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 7581     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7581     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Blu Spas, Inc.
Blu is a full-service firm offering consulting, advisory and operating solutions.
videos
BluGalaxy a Division of Blu Spas
Blu Spas
This animation showcases the beautiful concept design of BluGalaxy Spa.
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
The Electric Lemon restaurant features glamorous interiors by Rockwell Group
"Further hotels have been confirmed for Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Seattle, Chicago and Houston"

Rockwell Group and Joyce Wang on the inspirations behind the guest rooms, public spaces, spa and gym at Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards

The Standard Kings Cross is located opposite St Pancras Railway Station
"We tried to take over in a friendly way"

The Standard’s first London hotel is bold, fun and full of surprising touches

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Health & Fitness: Working it
"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

The orchard view platform has a glass floor and railings at 40ft-high
Alan Metcalfe
"When people are a bit scared, they gather together"

Featuring a vibrating glass platform and one of the US’s longest tree canopy walks, Whiting Forest has been designed to bring visitors closer to nature and to one another

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

features
Olga Polizzi is director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels and also owns two of her own hotels
"On Via Sistina, everything breathes history. At the same time I wanted to reflect the modern hunger for the fantastical - Tommaso Ziffer"

Following the highly anticipated launch of Rome’s Hotel de la Ville, Rocco Forte’s director of design reflects on a fascinating project

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, US
José Almiñana
"We are committed to designing evocative landscapes informed by the best environmental science"

The Andropogon principal on pushing the boundaries of landscape design for the benefit of humans and nature

cladkit product news
ASPA International launches handheld UV-C light disinfection lamp
The compact plug-in product can be used easily in a commercial spa or domestic setting to disinfect surfaces with UV-C light
Megan Whitby
For over 30 years, ASPA International has designed and built high-quality spas for the hotel, health and wellness sectors. During ...
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils first glimpses of Mother of Pearl decorative surfaces inspired by the four seasons
The new winter design is finished with naturally occurring hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes
Megan Whitby
Siminetti has collaborated with British designer Chrisanna London to create a luxury Mother of Pearl decorative surface range inspired by ...
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
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, ...
cladkit product news
Atelier Alain Ellouz launches handcrafted precious stone lighting collection
LYRA has a sleek, cylindrical design complete with an elegant brass dimming switch
Megan Whitby
LYRA, GAMA, MONA and ATHENA are the first pieces from designer Atelier Alain Ellouz’s new.édition collection of handcrafted stone lighting ...
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
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