Zaha Hadid: even more than her buildings, it’s her mind that left its mark

Zaha Hadid: even more than her buildings, it’s her mind that left its mark

Zaha Hadid: even more than her buildings, it’s her mind that left its mark by Lakshmi Priya Rajendran, Anglia Ruskin University is more than an eye-opener on the person behind all those unconventionally looking buildings.

Changsha Meixihu Culture and Arts Centre, in Hunan province, China. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in 2019. Jason_x.j / Shutterstock.com

Zaha Hadid: even more than her buildings, it’s her mind that left its mark

In the five years since Zaha Hadid’s passing, much has been written about the glorious and towering legacy the fabled British-Iraqi architect left behind. Thinking about what she started, though, is more instructive.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Hadid – aka the Queen of Curve – fundamentally altered the contours of modern architecture and design. She shattered gender stereotypes too by, in 2004, becoming the first woman to receive the Pritzker prize – the highest award in her field.

Antwerp Port House by Zaha Hadid Architects, Antwerp, Belgium. Claudia Lorusso on Unsplash, FAL

As the world grapples with how to respond to the climate crisis, architecture is in the spotlight. The built environment is responsible for almost 36% of global energy consumption. Cement alone causes 8% of global emissions.

In this context, Hadid’s most valuable contribution is the inspiration she represented and the innovation she embodied. She conceived of modernity as an incomplete project, to be tackled. And she demonstrated to students not just how to imagine revolutionary forms but, crucially, how to bring them to life.

An aerial shot of Zaha Hadid's building for the Beijing Daxing International Airport in China
The Daxing International Airport in Beijing, China. Hao Wen on Unsplash, FAL

Problem solving

The seductive nature of Hadid’s buildings means that the approach she took to sustainability is often overshadowed. It also wasn’t an explicit aspect of her early works, but rather became so later on in her career, in projects including the Bee’ah Headquarters in Sharjah, and Eco-park stadium in London. In 2015 she memorably highlighted sustainability as a defining challenge of her generation and stated that “architects had solutions”.

Hadid was a problem solver. From the outset she was unique in harnessing both technology and talent, through her groundbreaking interdisciplinary research group. She was one of the early adopters of a fully digitised 3D design process. When virtual reality became a thing, her practice was one of the first to adopt that too.

A detail shot of the exterior of Morpheus Hotel by Zaha Hadid Architects in Macau, China
Morpheus Hotel by Zaha Hadid Architects in Macau, China. Macau Photo Agency / Unsplash, FAL

This ability to make things happen was hard won. As a student at the Architectural Association in London in the mid-1970s, Hadid turned heads from the start with her otherworldly ideas. But it took her over a decade to get her designs realised. It was with her first big commission – the 1993 Vitra Fire Station in Germany – that the world finally got to see up close the power of her architectural imagination.

The Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (founder of Bjarke Ingels Group, one of the most dynamic contemporary architectural practices) described visiting Vitra Fire Station as an “eyeopening experience” that brought to life the kind of visual impossibilities people usually only dream of. For all its ambition, though, the Vitra building was criticised as unsuitable by the firemen who occupied it.

An early, futuristic concrete design for a fire station in Germany by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid’s groundbreaking design for the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein, Germany. kamienczanka / Shutterstock.com

Undeterred, Hadid went on to create daring, experimental designs for London’s Millennium Dome exhibition spaces and the Serpentine Gallery’s annual summer pavillion. She gave Innsbruck a new landmark – the Bergisel Ski Jump – and became the first woman to ever design an American art museum, with her iconic Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati.

Immeasurable influence

Although her career had begun with that infamous tag of her buildings being unbuildable, Hadid rapidly established herself as a radical architect by creating a strong and unique design statement globally. Hadid expanded her global brand and her reach to product design, fashion and jewellery.

In Canadian architectural historian Despina Stratigakos’s book, Where Are the Women Architects?, Hadid explained how she survived and fought sexism in her profession. Her inspiring attitude and professional demeanour was gender-neutral. She was able to switch between femininity and masculinity as required to survive and excel in what is a ruthless and ultra-competitive business.

In this way, even though her projects saw her labelled a starchitect, Hadid’s ideas set her apart from the old school. They opened a radically new path for later generations, like this year’s Pritzker laureates, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal.

Her presence continues to be felt across the contemporary design and architecture worlds. With around 1.2 million Instagram followers, Zaha Hadid Architects is now the most followed architectural practice in the world. Her sinuous lines and captivating shapes have been referenced by set designers on trendsetting movies including Black Panther.

Details of the exterior of the Nanjing International Youth Cultural Center by Zaha Hadid in Nanjing, China
The Nanjing International Youth Cultural Center by Zaha Hadid in Nanjing, China. Denys Nevozhai / Unsplash, FAL

Her words – especially the famous quote, “There are 360 degrees. Why stick to one?” – have stuck with architects in China and designers in Germany and India. Her principles have fostered new possiblities in architectural research, thinking and process.

In every way, Hadid remains a muse. She was rebellious and defiant. She embraced the unimaginable. Known for provoking controversies, even her critics agreed to the fact that without Hadid, architecture would be less interesting.

When she won the Pritzker prize in 2004, the jury noted how consistently she defied convention. Even if she’d never built anything, they said, Zaha Hadid would have radically expanded the possibilities of architecture. She was lauded as an iconoclast, a beautiful mind. As the critic Joseph Giovannini put it at the time, “Rarely has an architect so radically changed and inspired the field”.

Lakshmi Priya Rajendran, Senior Research Fellow, Future Cities, Anglia Ruskin University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

Read the original article.

The Conversation

Debunking Construction Integration Technology Myths

Debunking Construction Integration Technology Myths

Advanced Project Management & System Integration Project Management & System Integration elaborated on the current trends in the construction industry concerning its necessary but vital digitalisation. They came up with what is so apparent, i.e. deconstruct that heavy concrete slab of traditions and day-to-day routines that weighs on the industry. It is all about debunking Construction integration technology myths because Digital integration would otherwise be inefficient.

March 26, 2021

Few construction industry leaders would say they oppose data integration. Most acknowledge that combining different data types and formats into a central location allows access to complete, current and accurate information to help them make fact-based decisions instead of acting on hunches. So why doesn’t every engineering and construction (E&C) firm have a warehouse of integrated data? The culprit is often misinformation created by myths about data integration. We will debunk three of the biggest myths about costs, downtime, and complexity below.


Myth #1: Data integration cannot be achieved without high costs

This myth was once true, and some vendors still do quote integration approaches that are not feasible for many E&C firm budgets. But today, integration solutions once available only to enterprises atop the ENR 500 are now available to small and mid-sized firms. Recent breakthroughs in virtualization, iPaaS, and cloud computing have contributed to their lower costs and broader availability.

Virtualization

As defined by Tech Target, data virtualization is an approach to data management that allows an application to retrieve and manipulate data without requiring technical details, like data format or its physical location. As this technology has matured, it has driven total integration costs down.

Integration Platform as a Solution (iPaaS)

Gartner defines iPaaS as a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution, and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on-prem and cloud-based processes, services, applications, and data within individual or across multiple organizations.

iPaaS is ideal for E&C firms. Collaborating and sharing information across multidisciplinary teams including owners, architects, consultants, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers using different systems is the cornerstone of E&C work.

Construction organizations typically collaborate with teams across multiple cloud platforms, so when considering iPaaS, look for a cloud-agnostic solution. Some solutions offer packages with varying costs based on the number and/or complexity of flows (data sources) needed. Custom email alerts may also prove helpful, for example, if an error occurs or if a batch is completed.

Cloud Computing

Collecting servers in a single room or rack is no longer necessary. Geographic isolation of data sources is actually a business continuity / disaster recovery best practice. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud were growing in popularity even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sharp increase of remote work and video conferencing accelerated their growth.

E&C firms are deploying more hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud arrangements. Essentially, hybrid cloud refers to the combination of private and public cloud infrastructure, and some or many from an organization’s own data center. Multi-cloud configurations use multiple cloud providers to meet different technical or business requirements. The reason cloud computing, sometimes referred to as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), is so popular is that it allows for fast scalability, broad availability, and low total cost of ownership vs. managing everything in company-owned data centers.


Myth #2: Data integration requires significant downtime

Even during off-peak times, E&C firms want to avoid downtime. Today’s data integration solutions offer rapid time to value with development-cycle times reduced by as much as 33%. Some solutions may be able to eliminate workday downtime with only brief downtime on evenings and weekends.

Containerization, enabling developers to create predictable environments isolated from other applications, is also used by some solutions. With containerization, consistency is guaranteed regardless of where an application is deployed. Containers only use about 60 lines of code so they can be developed and deployed quickly to minimize downtime.


Myth #3: Managing a data warehouse is complicated

What is involved with keeping a data integration platform running?

The short answer is that it depends, but there are solutions that do not require a high degree of information technology (IT) overhead. Look for solutions that include intuitive dashboards to monitor and troubleshoot integrations, the ability to quickly review flows, rerun flows on demand, or view error details, if any.

If using iPaaS, consider a solution that includes a dedicated client-success (CS) manager. The CS manager puts an iPaaS subject-matter expert on your company team, instantly adding value while eliminating the learning curve for an existing team member to become proficient. And unlike a consulting relationship where the expert stays for a while to train your team but then leaves, a client-success manager is always available to create or troubleshoot flows.

Today’s construction and engineering world requires unprecedented external collaboration, with multiple parties outside your organization at every building, site, and external site. The mobile information, in turn, reduces data centralization, creating a greater urgency to adopt a data integration solution.

Want to learn more? Gaea Global Technologies, Inc. has decades of experience with construction and engineering solutions. Nexus, Gaea’s integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) solution, was designed to automate construction processes across applications.

To learn more, visit https://nexus-platform.com/.

Work of design studio Bahraini-Danish

Work of design studio Bahraini-Danish

A cultural exchange between two regions underlies the work of design studio Bahraini-Danish, whose furniture features in the Dezeen x The Mindcraft Project collaboration. Here it is.

Bahraini-Danish creates architecture-inspired bench and bedside tables

Dezeen staff | 18 March 2021

Bahraini-Danish draws upon the heritage of both countries in its designs, including Bench 01 and Bedside Tables, which feature in The Mindcraft Project digital exhibition.

Work of design studio Bahraini-Danish
Bench 01 by Bahraini-Danish in the Mindcraft Project exhibition
Bahraini-Danish features in The Mindcraft Project 2021 with Bench 01. Photo by Anders Sune Berg

Another distinguishing element of the furniture pieces is the way they reference architecture, with the Bench 01 recalling an arched bridge. The structures are also meant to be self-supporting and simply slotted together.

“We’re looking for the architecture in a furniture object,” said studio co-founder Christian Vennerstrøm Jensen.

Work of design studio Bahraini-Danish
Bedside Table by Bahraini-Danish in the Mindcraft Project exhibition
The studio has also designed the softly illuminated marble Bedside Tables. Photo by Anders Sune Berg

“The idea is that you can build our work and take it apart again,” he continued. “The bench is joined by elements into a structure that is stable and strong enough for you to sit on, and the bedside tables are simply stacked together.”

Bench 01 is made of solid walnut timber that is CNC routed, while the pair of Bedside Tables — one right, one left — is smooth Portuguese rosa marble with “a deliberate overzealous use of material” and hidden backlighting.

Work of design studio Bahraini-Danish
Bahraini-Danish designer assembles Bench 01
Both furniture designs simply slot or stack together. Photo by Benjamin Lund

Bahraini-Danish was founded in 2016, with Jensen working from Copenhagen and co-founders Batool Alshaikh and Maitham Alumbarak from Bahrain.

Video is by Benjamin Lund.


Dezeen x The Mindcraft Project

The Mindcraft Project is an annual exhibition presented by the Copenhagen Design Agency to bring the best in explorative and experimental Danish design to the world.

The Dezeen x The Mindcraft Project 2021 collaboration showcases the work of ten innovative designers and studios from the 2021 digital edition of the exhibition via a series of videos. Watch all the videos as we publish them at: www.dezeen.com/the-mindcraft-project-2021.

Dezeen x The Mindcraft Project 2021 is a partnership between Dezeen and Copenhagen Design Agency. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

Read more: 

Passive Thermal Comfort Strategies in Residential Projects

Passive Thermal Comfort Strategies in Residential Projects

ArchDaily‘s Green dealt with Passive Thermal Comfort Strategies in Residential Projects. It is well informed regarding today’s main concerns of green building and is by Camilla Ghisleni and translated by Tarsila Duduch.

The picture above is of ArchDaily’s previous article on the Middle East: The Latest Architecture and News. Its caption is GOLD: Eco-Techno Park: Green building showcase and enterprise hub. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation.

This article is sponsored by Saint-Gobain

Passive Thermal Comfort Strategies in Residential Projects

Passive Thermal Comfort Strategies in Residential Projects, The House of Silence / Natura Futura Arquitectura © Lorena Darquea
The House of Silence / Natura Futura Arquitectura © Lorena Darquea

There was a time when people appreciated self-contained architecture, in which the building envelope would not function as a moderator between the climate outside and the interior environment but rather as an inert and independent barrier. Countless mechanical devices and electrical ventilation, heating, and cooling equipment. A real machine.

Today, architects are increasingly concerned with the interaction between architecture and the environment in which it is inserted, thus assuming responsibility for the thermal comfort of interior spaces, using design strategies for natural climate control.

+ 17

As a result, the design process involves more and more strategies called passive systems, which are mechanisms to naturally moderate temperature, to achieve harmony between the natural and the built environment, taking into consideration the particularities of each space, such as local micro-climate and its natural resources.

Although these strategies may vary considerably depending on the location of the project, there are a few basic principles that should always be followed to ensure the achievement of passive systems. In addition to the indispensable role of natural ventilation and lighting, passive measures also include the use of appropriate materials that can contribute to thermal mass, as well as specific design elements, such as indoor greenery and reflecting pools, among others.

To better understand the main passive design strategies for thermal comfort, here are some residential projects that demonstrate their application.

Natural ventilation is one of the most common passive design solutions and is used to move fresh air through the interior spaces thanks to air pressure variations. In cross ventilation, for example, by placing the openings on opposite sides of the room, the pressure difference promotes airflow, as is the case of the Lee House, designed by Marcio Kogan and Eduardo Glycerio, in which large sliding doors lower the temperature of the main living area, or in the FVB House with its red wooden lattices, allowing air to circulate throughout the residence.

FVB House / Claudia Haguiara Arquitetura © Christian Maldonado
FVB House / Claudia Haguiara Arquitetura © Christian Maldonado

Still on the subject of ventilation, one can also take advantage of the stack effect in which the warmer and denser air rises and the cooler air descends. In this case, double-height ceilings are used to favor this air exchange, as seen in the Sloth’s House in Guarujá, São Paulo, which also features a combination of great lighting, cross-ventilation, and requires no air conditioning.

Sloth's House / Nautilo Arquitetura & Gerenciamento © Alessandro Guimarães
Sloth’s House / Nautilo Arquitetura & Gerenciamento © Alessandro Guimarães

Furthermore, the use of interior courtyards is a century-old design strategy that contributes towards the passive cooling of buildings, such as the Infiltrated Patio House, built in the hot climate of Mérida, Mexico, or the House of Silence and the House Among Trees, both in Ecuador, one featuring a partially covered courtyard with little vegetation, the other a fully open courtyard with large plants.

House Among Trees / El Sindicato Arquitectura © Andrés Villota
House Among Trees / El Sindicato Arquitectura © Andrés Villota

When it comes to natural lighting, it is important to also pay attention to shading, aside from the basic principle of large sunlit surfaces for cold climates. A well-designed sunscreen should control solar gain in the hottest seasons without blocking it during the winter or interfering with the entrance of natural daylight. For this purpose, many design elements can be employed, the most popular of which is the brise-soleil, as used in the Boipeba House, made of wooden slats, or in the Soul Garden House, with metal perforated panels.

Boipeba House / daarchitectes © Michel Rey Photographe
Boipeba House / daarchitectes © Michel Rey Photographe

The Cobogós, as seen in the Lima House or the L106 House, two projects that are an ocean apart but in very similar climates, are a genuine Brazilian invention used very often because they allow airflow while preventing solar radiation.

L106 House / Pereira Miguel Arquitectos © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
L106 House / Pereira Miguel Arquitectos © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Moreover, in the history of Brazilian buildings, we can also see the remarkable use of verandas and large eaves, illustrated here by an architectural classic, Lina Bo Bardi‘s Valéria Cirell House, enclosed by a cozy veranda originally covered with straw.

AD Classics: Valéria Cirell House / Lina Bo Bardi (2010). Image © Pedro Vannucchi
AD Classics: Valéria Cirell House / Lina Bo Bardi (2010). Image © Pedro Vannucchi

Building materials are also fundamental when it comes to thermal comfort through passive strategies. For buildings located in very hot climates, some materials can help in the house’s “transpiration” and also serve as a thermal barrier that prevents solar gains. As for buildings in colder climates, they can increase thermal inertia by retaining heat and releasing it during the night. Some materials that have high thermal capacity are concrete, brick, solid clay, and stone, found in various projects such as the Half Buried House, which uses the soil to create appropriate thermal inertia for the local climate, and the Family House in La Pereda, both in Spain.

Half Buried House / eneseis arquitectura. © Andrés Flasjzer
Half Buried House / eneseis arquitectura. © Andrés Flasjzer

Water is one of the oldest and most efficient methods of passively cooling a building, especially in dry climates. Evaporative cooling is a process of removing heat from the environment or material through water evaporation. An example of this is the Nivaldo Borges Residence, by Lelé, another emblematic work of Brazilian architecture, where gardens and a striking reflecting pool permeate the private living area and study room, and a more contemporary example is the Bacopari House, by UNA Arquitetos, in São Paulo.

AD Classics: Nivaldo Borges Residence / João Filgueiras Lima. © Joana França
AD Classics: Nivaldo Borges Residence / João Filgueiras Lima. © Joana França

Finally, we must not overlook the impact of vegetation, both indoors and outdoors, as it plays an important role in reducing solar radiation and achieving a microclimate that provides better thermal comfort conditions. Among many examples that use vegetation as a design strategy, we have here the MM Tropical House, which, as the name implies, is situated in a tropical environment in Southeast Asia, and therefore uses vegetation as a tool to minimize solar gain.

MM Tropical Suburb Town House / MM++ architects. © Hiroyuki Oki
MM Tropical Suburb Town House / MM++ architects. © Hiroyuki Oki

Some projects also feature vegetation on the rooftop which provides greater thermal comfort inside the building, thus reducing energy consumption for heating or cooling the environments. The LLP House, in Spain, is an interesting example because, to maximize the environmental and thermal performances, following the clients’ request to create a passive house, the construction features not only a roof garden but also a compact built environment, solar capturing and protection, thermal resistance, and cross ventilation.

House LLP / Alventosa Morell Arquitectes © Adrià Goula
House LLP / Alventosa Morell Arquitectes © Adrià Goula

The search for a building with high levels of thermal comfort through passive design requires architectural creativity and ingenuity, often thinking of new ways to apply different materials or revisiting vernacular techniques. However, to correctly execute these design strategies, it is imperative to be familiar with the particularities of the building site, understanding the orientation of the sun and the direction of the winds. Moreover, successful projects usually combine different strategies to achieve the best thermal comfort conditions.

Related articles
How to Design for Optimal Thermal Comfort (And Why it Matters)
Cross Ventilation, the Chimney Effect and Other Concepts of Natural Ventilation

French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula)

French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula)

In 2018, France and Saudi Arabia signed a cultural partnership agreement and created the French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula) writes Cécilia Pelloux, Contributor Travel in this Forbes article.

The picture above is of Design displaying the view from within the resort over the landscape of Sharaan “Every urban act is … [+] ROYAL COMMISSION FOR ALULA

A New Era In Architecture Jean Nouvel Unveiled Masterpiece Resort In AlUla

17 February 2021

AlUla is a spectacular natural and archaeological region. This unknown site inhabited for millennia is located 1100km from Riyadh in the North West of Saudi Arabia. The region has enjoyed prosperity since Antiquity thanks to the fertility of its oasis. AlUla was a crossroads on the caravan routes of myrrh, incenses and aromatic plants which crossed Arabia from the South. The birthplace of Arabic writing, this immense area of 23,000 km² is the witness of an extraordinary natural and human cultural heritage.

The geological formation of the valley with its lush oasis offers towering sandstone mountains and ancient civilization and architectural sites like the Nabataean from Petra. 

For nearly thirty years, Franco-Saudi archeological teams have done intense research inside thousand years old history, from the first human settlements seven thousand years ago to contemporary times.

Last Fall, French renowned architect Jean Nouvel announced his new extraordinary project in the Sharaan Nature Reserve near the Nabataean wonders of Hegra, UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first Saudi archaeological site listed on the UNESCO World Heritage in 2008. Hegra – A 52-hectare ancient city- was the principal southern city of the Nabataean Kingdom. It includes more than 100 well preserved tombs with elaborate facades cut into sandstone outcrops. Current research suggests Hegra was the most southern outpost of the Romans after conquering the Nabataeans in 106 CE. 

French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula)
Concept rendering showing an aerial view of the resort built into the majestic Sharaan Nature Reserve.
Concept rendering showing an aerial view of the resort built into the majestic Sharaan Nature … [+] ROYAL COMMISSION FOR ALULA

MORE FOR YOULondon To Build Hill At Marble Arch To Lure Back TouristsLooking For The Perfect Getaway? Head To Greenwich, ConnecticutDesign Story: Behind The Scenes At Bainland Country Park

Jean Nouvel’s works offer a modern design vision on this 2,000-year-old architectural legacy since the Nabataeans carved into the region’s millions of years old sandstone rock. “The coming together of a landscape and history, the history of past civilisations in an extraordinary landscape – the only place to create such a masterpiece.” said Jean Nouvel. The architect wants to preserve this unique landscape. “AlUla is a museum. Every wadi and escarpment, every stretch of sand and rocky outline, every geological and archeological site deserves the greatest consideration. It’s vital we keep all its distinctiveness and its attractiveness which largely rests on its remote and occasionally archaic character. We have to safeguard a little mystery as well as the promise of discoveries to come.” He added. 

French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula)
Concept rendering of a pool area displaying the interaction of modern designs mixed with the Nabatean way of using light, shadow and rocks. Concept rendering of a pool area displaying the interaction of modern designs mixed with the Nabatean way of using light, shadow and rocks.
Concept rendering of a pool area displaying the interaction of modern designs mixed with the … [+] ROYAL COMMISSION FOR ALULA

He is adapting old ways of life to our modern world  minimizing the impacts on natural and urban landscapes. To do this, genius Nouvel has introduced a new typology of architecture never seen before, using abstraction, sculpting within the landscape itself rather than competing with it. Inspired by the Nabateans, it plays on the old ways of living to build on the present and meet the challenges of the future. Jean Nouvel integrates the way Nabateans interacted with their environment, both with verticality and horizontality, to reconnect with the earth and build sustainable habitats, away from the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter.

These concept renderings show the resort’s luxurious embrace of AlUla’s natural colours, light, shapes, and materials.
These concept renderings show the resort’s luxurious embrace of AlUla’s natural colours, light, … [+] ROYAL COMMISSION FOR ALULA

The resort will bring emotional experiences from nature, architecture and art. Jean novel invites us to embark on a thousands of years journey where civilisations and geographical strata will be found in every detail of his designs, from the permanent feel of the rocks to the soft comfort of the armchairs, sofa, and seats. 

The sound, musicality, harshness, tactility, power and complexity of nature are everywhere, from finely chopped stones on balconies to the singular granularity of each rock wall, everything becomes an artwork in itself.

French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula)
Design of one of the resort’s rooms with terrace: “Our design principles will guide us as we explore new typologies that reconcile heritage alongside the subtle transformation of the existing architecture.” Jean Nouvel
Design of one of the resort’s rooms with terrace: “Our design principles will guide us as we explore … [+] ROYAL COMMISSION FOR ALULA

Sharaan by Jean Nouvel is scheduled to open in 2023. The resort will feature 40 rooms, three villas and 14 pavilions carved into a sandstone outcrop, each suite having a balcony that looks out across the stunning surrounding AlUla scenery landscape. The hotel’s entrance will be from a circular courtyard that will be carved into the sandstone hillside. From here a series of rooms will be arranged around a central 80-metre high lift shaft.

French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula)
A scenic express lift will bring guests to the heart of the resort, allowing them to travel through millions of years of geological stratas.
A scenic express lift will bring guests to the heart of the resort, allowing them to travel through … [+] ROYAL COMMISSION FOR ALULA

Sharaan by Jean Nouvel Resort is a major part of the Royal Commission of AlUla’s strategy to develop in a long term commitment AlUla as a global destination for culture, heritage, and eco-tourism. “These concepts, which showcase Jean Nouvel’s masterly innovation in architecture, underscore our commitment to developing AlUla as a global tourism destination without compromising the history, heritage, and landscape of AlUla. We are a destination built by artists. Sharaan by Jean Nouvel will build on that legacy to become a timeless landscape-architecture that will last forever – a gift to the world.” told Amr AlMadani, CEO of RCU.

To learn more about Saudi Arabia. Assouline just released a beautiful book Crafts of the Kingdom: Culture and Creativity in Saudi Arabia curated by author HRH Princess Najla bint Ahmad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula)
CRAFTS OF THE KINGDOM Culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia published by Assouline
CRAFTS OF THE KINGDOM Culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia published by Assouline ASSOULINE

This book celebrates Saudi Arabia unique craft traditions and the master artisans who produce the Kingdom’s rich handicrafts. It highlights the abundant traditions which still exist in each of the Kingdom’s regions while revealing each craft’s historic roots and modern interpretations. A rich portrait of Saudi Arabia as a nation whose cultural heritage and diverse creativity have been proudly cherished, reverently preserved, and profoundly influential from ancient days to modern times.

Follow Cécilia Pelloux on Twitter or LinkedIn