Desert Rose

Salalah, Oman / 2012-2013
Architecture, Private

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The project area is placed at 8 km from the city of Salalah, the second-largest, by size, of the Sultanate of Oman and important centre of tourism in the region. The favourable climate of the site, due to the proximity to the seaside and to the protection derived from the mountain range on the reverse side, favours the lush vegetation which is here cut out in a quadrangular oasis surrounded by palm trees. This oasis, flanked by a salty pool to separate the area from the highway which connects the harbour to the airport, generates the shape of the building, by variegating the composition of concentric squares forming a summation of voids and solids which derives directly from the traditional local architecture. The principal aspects of the project, which is conceived as a business hotel, simple and at the same time complex, can be summarised in a few components that define its characteristics. The building, with a central courtyard, is detached from the ground thanks to four pillars placed in the vertices of the square. Thus the ground floor is free for crossing and open towards the surroundings. It contains a swimming pool and a series of circular voids, sources of light for the space beneath them, and is connected to the different levels of the complex through five vertical connections: A spiral staircase allows to descend to the basement floor, the four load bearing pillars, supporting the upper ring, contain internally the staircases and elevators, which direct to the two levels of hotel rooms.
The basement floor, the entrance to the complex, can be reached externally across a road accessible to pedestrians and vehicles lined by precious waterfalls; its single space, dedicated to the common areas, is characterised by circular rooms including a ballroom, an auditorium, a conference room and service rooms.
The hotel rooms, around 180 distributed on two levels, cantilever over a solid hollow ring of reinforced concrete, which bears on the four corner pillars and houses a large internal corridor. Thus they develop pursuant to two rings, one surrounding the courtyard and one external; both of them are closed vertically by ceramic moucharabieh of different sizes, fixed towards the exterior and assembled on sliding panels towards the interior of the courtyard.

ProgramHotel
LocationSalalah, Oman
Project2012-2013
Price12.169.300 €
Terrain Surface15.651 sqm
Building Surface9.360 sqm