10.2.2022

Desert Rock

Oppenheim Architecture recently collaborated with The Red Sea Development Company to design and construct Desert Rock – a regenerative resort that truly leads architecture in sustainability as it builds with the land, not simply on it.

The resort is carved directly in the mountainside and the materials that may have otherwise been tossed aside after excavation are used to create the infrastructure. Stone will be used for interior and exterior walls and floors, while ground stone and existing sand will be used for concrete aggregate, which is the main building material for all the architecture. Energy, wildlife, and historic preservation are ingrained in its design; the project aims to maintain the antiquity of the site by appointing members of the local community as stewards of the land and educators of the local history.

Additionally, water retention and distribution systems will be used throughout the site, with harvested rainwater used to renew and flourish the surrounding Wadi. Desert Rock is designed to protect and preserve the environment along with achieving the highest LEED certification level. Phase one of Desert Rock is on track to welcome guests by 2023 to 16 completed hotels. The resort is veiled behind a hidden valley nestled between the mountains of Saudi Arabia, made up of 48 villas and 12 hotel rooms. Ground level dwellings, hotel suites, excavated rooms in the rock massif itself and a number of other accommodations will be available. To provide undisrupted views across the landscape, most roads leading into the resort will be pushed to the edge of the main wadi and hidden behind landscape mounds. This will also minimize sound and light pollution, allowing guests to fully absorb the dramatic desert landscape. The resort will feature state-of-the-art facilities, including a world-class spa and fitness centre, remote destination dining areas as well as a feature lagoon oasis. Guests will be able to hike, use dune buggies, and star gaze as part of the site-wide activities program.

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