Oppenheim Architecture design dune-shaped golf clubhouse on the Red Sea coast

by Andrew Manns | 10 Jun 2019
It was essential for us that the building was handmade – that it comes from the land and shows the soul of the people
– Chad Oppenheim

Global design practice Oppenheim Architecture (OA) have completed the Ayla Golf Academy & Clubhouse in Aqaba, Jordan.

The 1,200 sq m building, which is situated opposite an 18-hole golf course, designed by Greg Norman, also has putting and swing studios, a pro shop and a gourmet restaurant.

The golf course forms part of the vast Ayla Oasis development, a US$1.4bn (€1.2bn, £1.1bn) destination resort which features a Hyatt Regency hotel, luxury residences, sports courts, a marina and a wakeboarding park.

According to OA, the clubhouse – which draws its form from the architectural heritage of the Bedouins and from sand dunes – was inspired by the rolling waves of the Red Sea.

The firm created a curved sandstone coloured concrete shell for the exterior of the building, which seems to rise from the desert, with curved openings giving views of the golf course and the mountains beyond.

The building boasts Corten steel screens, which OA have called a twist on traditional mashrabiyas (projecting oriel window enclosed with carved wooden latticework).

Other members of the design and engineering team included Darb Architects (Design Associates and Research Bureau), Form Landscape Architects, Modern Technology Construction, and a number of local artisans.

“It was essential for us that the building was handmade – that it comes from the land and shows the soul of the people," Chad Oppenheim, principal at OA, told AD.

“For this reason, we used very few techniques, relying on craftsmanship in the construction to show the marks of things being built by hand.”

The highly anticipated project won a number of accolades at the concept stage, including the Leisure Led Future Project Award at the World Architecture Festival 2017 and best Leisure Architecture scheme at the Arabian Property Awards in the same year.

Oppenheim Architecture  Jordan  Ayla  Aqaba 
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