A love letter to Retro Futurism, the imaginative hotel will occupy five acres of Judean Desert and overlook the Dead Sea. Rose Dykins reports
A new luxury resort is planned to open in 2025 in the Judean Desert, with a fascinating aesthetic combining ancient heritage, contemporary design and Space Odyssey vibes.
Developed in collaboration between Bar Orian Architects and Lambs & Lions Studio, the 109-room property will be built on a plot of land covering 20 dunams (five acres) of the Judean Desert, overlooking the serene landscape of the Dead Sea.
Drawing upon creative inspiration from ancient “resting hotels” and a “space odyssey,” design theme, the hotel will celebrate a symbiotic connection to its surrounding natural desert landscape.
Bar Orian established two central design principles for the hotel, based on the Dead Sea region’s unique location.
Firstly, the hotel is designed to maximise open space, natural light and clean, unpolluted natural airflow, and the majestic panoramic views. Each of the property’s rooms and suites will face out towards the desert to maximise the privacy of the rooms and balconies.
The second guiding architectural principle for the property is based upon protection from desert weather conditions. The hotel is designed in the shape of a desert khan: a building with square proportions and a large courtyard in the centre.
Lambs & Lions Studio have designed the hotel’s interiors and furnishings in line within the “space odyssey” theme. Another nod to the otherworldly natural beauty surrounding the hotel, the interior design concept captures the unique atmosphere of the “jagged bluffs of the Judean Desert… carved out of dry tan-coloured canyons rising from the cobalt blue waters of the Dead Sea”.
The company says: “This breathtaking natural beauty is almost ‘out of this world’ and more akin to the opening scene of Kubrick’s 1960’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey.” [Architecture renderings by Bar Orian. Interior and hyper realistic renderings by Fat Tony.]
Lambs & Lions wanted to combine the cinematic dynamism of 1960’s “Retro Futurism” with a natural and tactile material palette. Angular forms are juxtaposed with the soft curves of Atomic Age architecture and the colours and textures of Bedouin desert dwellers are incorporated in contemporary touchpoints. The overall effect aims to combine: “Unexpectedness with intimacy and tactility through incredible design.” Bar Orian Architects’ inspiration from “khans” pays homage to the region’s ancient history. Khans were used as lodging and resting places for merchants passing through the arid, desolate desert. For today’s travellers, the desert has evolved into a place of relaxation, wellness and extraordinary hospitality where people can escape from the busyness of city life. With this in mind, the property’s courtyard is based around the idea of a central place for preparing meals and dining – as the space would have been used for passing merchants. This area will also serve as a “pocket garden” for the resort, providing protection from the intense sun during the day and the strong winds in the evening.
The garden will also be used as a vegetable garden serving the hotel and its restaurant. On the lower level of the property, there will be an outdoor infinity pool.The upper floor of the hotel is entirely glass-walled, offering panoramic views of the Judean mountains. From here, guests will descend towards the sheltered and enclosed courtyard and the entrance to the rooms and suites. The majority of the rooms sit on the first floor of the property. Ranging in size from 40 sqm to 150 sqm, many of the hotel’s rooms and suites have balconies and some have private pools.
The construction and development materials used to build the property symbiotically connect with the rough and raw desert landscape – such exposed concrete and washable plaster. They are inspired by the earthy tones of the desert, blending in with the natural environment of limestone and sandstone mountains and valleys.