Aidia Studio reveals plans for desert safari lodges with retractable shell inspired by cacti

by Megan Whitby | 18 Aug 2020

Mexican design firm, Aidia Studio, has unveiled plans for a complex of 25 luxury hotel pods with collapsible shells, located in the Rub’ al Khali Desert in Abu Dhabi.

Called the Oculus, the pod consists of a double-glazed dome encasing a luxury hotel room, which is shrouded by a collapsible shell for shading, temperature control, camouflage and privacy.

The outer shell is made up of 60 shading panels which create a dense lattice to shelter the cabin, drawing inspiration from several desert cacti species which feature thick outer skins, foldings and fins to control heat and solar radiation.

The panels densify towards the crown, to adapt to the curvature of the pod, and in doing so augment their reflective capability from the harsh vertical sun radiation.

This outer layer can morph into different configurations depending on the time of the day, climate and needs of users, and also folds downwards to reveal a frameless acrylic dome for stargazing.

During daytime, the skin retracts sideways opening the front of the pod and unveiling the doors to the front deck.

When the shell is fully deployed, it camouflages the pod among the desert scenery to allow guests to go wildlife spotting from the comfort of their own cabin.

Aidia designers Rolando Rodriguez Leal and Natalia Wrzask acted as lead architects for the project which is currently under concept design stages.

The complex is planned to include both standard (50sq m) or VIP (80sq m) size pods.

According to Aidia Studio, the main goal behind Oculus' design is to improve the environmental performance of the building through self-shading.

The proposed design also includes eco-friendly measures, such as the incorporation of highly flexible dye-sensitised solar cells sewn into the shading fabric as textile electrodes to power the pod, as well as water tanks to filter and recycle greywater.

The Oculus complex is envisioned to be built in the middle of a gravel plane backed by a tall sand dune, with the 25 cabins spread around the site in the shape of a constellation.

Aidia Studio is also planning to create a central hub of four pods with the same design as the cabins but on a larger scale.

The buildings will house a reception and guest toilets, reception lounge, restaurant and kitchen and staff functions, and all be interconnected via transition sleeves and held together by an elevated outdoor deck.

Aidia Studio  Abu Dhabi  UAE  Oculus  Rolando Rodriguez-Leal  Natalia Wrzask 
Related stories
12 Mar 2020

MEAN*'s algorithmically-designed, 3D-printed desert pavilion is an oasis for rest and gathering

27 Jan 2020

Sea urchins inspire pod designs for new Buhais Geology Park

01 Nov 2019

Aidia Studio's low-rise fortress wins Barjeel Museum For Modern Arab Art design competition

Mexican design firm, Aidia Studio, has unveiled plans for a complex of 25 luxury hotel pods with collapsible shells, located in the Rub’ al Khali Desert in Abu Dhabi. Called the Oculus, the pod consists of a double-glazed dome encasing a luxury hotel room, which is shrouded by a collapsible shell for shading, temperature control, camouflage and privacy. The outer shell is made up of 60 shading panels which create
CLD,SAB,ARC,DES
Called the Oculus, the pods consist of a double-glazed dome encasing a luxury hotel room, which is shrouded by a collapsible shell / AIDIASTUDIO
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7535     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7535     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Fabio Alemanno Design Ltd
Based on ancient knowledge – and confirmed by scientific research – warmth is one of the most important sources of healing and preventative therapy available.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Marianne Shillingford
"The technology involved in paint is extraordinary"

Used cleverly, colour has the power to influence how people use the spaces they inhabit, says the creative director of Dulux

Extreme Climates: Into the wild
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

features
"The cities where you have good cultural buildings and facilities – it’s a way for people to mix, to share the city in a much deeper way"

The French architect and winner of the 2017 European Prize for Architecture tells us why she is determined to surprise

SHL’s Monroe Blocks mixed development in Detroit, US
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

cladkit product news
Tom Dixon collaborates with Prolicht to launch CODE lighting range
The product has three LED light sources: Dot, Dash and Grid
Megan Whitby
British designer, Tom Dixon, and Austrian architectural lighting specialists, Prolicht, have collaborated to unveil a new lighting range. Called CODE, ...
Metalline transforms London hotel with bespoke aluminium fins
The aluminium fins will form the façade of the upcoming Minories Hotel in Aldgate, London
Lauren Heath-Jones
Metalline, an architectural metalwork specialist based in the UK, has created a range of bespoke 3D twisted metal fins for ...
Daniel Svahn creates furniture collection using repurposed table tops
The Goodies But Oldies collection features three pieces made from repurposed MDF table tops
Lauren Heath-Jones
Daniel Svahn, a Stockholm-based furniture designer, has created a new range of sustainable furnishings, made from recycled MDF tabletops. Svahn, ...
cladkit product news
XTU concept imagines life in the clouds
XTU's X Cloud concept is part of the Future and the Arts: AI, Robotic, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo
Lauren Heath-Jones
XTU Architects, a Paris-based architecture firm, has released images and renderings of X Cloud, a new concept that showcase a ...
1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium celebrates Southampton FC's history
Rainbow Design worked closely with KSS Architects to ensure the furniture matched the design vision
Lauren Heath-Jones
KSS Architects has partnered with Rainbow Design, a London-based furniture supplier, to create the 1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium, ...
BIG partners with Louis Poulsen for new lighting collection
The Keglen collection is made up of four different pendants
Lauren Heath-Jones
BIG Ideas, the technology arm of renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), has partnered with Danish lighting manufacturer Louis ...
cladkit product news
Barr + Wray to launch space saving hammam concept
Light shines through a striking central chandelier to create a feeling of movement
Katie Barnes
Smaller footprint. Maximum theatre. Those are the two main features of a new hammam concept being developed by wet spa ...
Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
The team combines lighting, video, sound and special effects, with scenic and architectural elements, to create unforgettable visual experiences
Megan Whitby
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, ...
Matteo Thun grows Allaperto collection with new suspended outdoor armchair
Megan Whitby
Allaperto, the lounge collection spawned by the partnership between design studios, Matteo Thun, Ethimo and Antonio Rodriguez, has been expanded ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates