Jordan is renowned for its history, food, and striking desert landscape. A new resort in the port city of Aqaba is taking the rolling dunes of the desert as its inspiration, as encapsulated by the curved roof of a gorgeous new clubhouse and golf center.
The building’s defining feature is a sand-colored curved concrete shell that helps it blend right into the surrounding mountains. Designed by the Switzerland office of Oppenheim Architecture, the clubhouse also served as the centerpiece of a knowledge exchange program, with the architects teaching local workers the shotcrete building technique: It involves spraying concrete through a hose at high speeds to construct walls.
All the building’s openings to the outside are defined by the rise and fall of the curved shell, with perforated steel screens in traditional Jordanian patterns acting as a shade against the sun. The interiors also reference the surrounding topography: The architects worked with a local artist, who took minerals from the region and applied them by hand, using a traditional pigmentation technique, to the walls and ceilings.
The clubhouse is part of what will be a 17-square mile-development called Ayla Oasis that’s currently under construction in Jordan’s only port city. It will eventually include residential homes, commercial space, and a hotel that’s oriented around an 18-hole golf course (and this clubhouse). Beneath the rolling concrete roof, the building has shops, restaurants, a bar, fitness center, and spa.