Aiming to carve out a niche for itself in the hospitality market, a resort in Wadi Rum, Jordan – due for completion in 2014 and designed by Florida-based Oppenheim Architecture + Design – is set to comprise a series of 47 luxury lodges carved directly into the sandstone cliff face.
In a bid to constantly remind guests of its fascinating location in the heart of the desert, much of the other building materials will be created from rammed earth and cement mixed with local red sand. The interiors will also draw on the natural geology and geometry of the cliffs. The architects believe that by literally inhabiting nature and harnessing its beauty, guests will have a "more primitive sensorial experience".
The Oppenheim team – who are well-known for creating dramatic-looking spaces that also push an eco-agenda – have already considered how to ensure the project is sustainable. They are planning to use clever positioning, the cooling properties of the rocks and natural ventilation systems to minimise energy consumption.