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Kempinski Aqaba, Aqaba, Jordan

Wednesday 27 Oct 2010

Framing the mountaintops

Kempinski Aqaba by Nabil Gholam Architects in Aqaba, Jordan
nabil gholam architects 
Kempinski Aqaba by Nabil Gholam Architects in Aqaba, Jordan Kempinski Aqaba by Nabil Gholam Architects in Aqaba, Jordan Kempinski Aqaba by Nabil Gholam Architects in Aqaba, Jordan Kempinski Aqaba by Nabil Gholam Architects in Aqaba, Jordan
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Nabil Gholam Architects completes luxury hotel in Jordan 

The whole design for the Kempinski Hotel is mainly defined by two 'sliding' concentric arcs, setting out a clear radial geometry converging to a center point located in the sea, hence allowing unblocked sea view to all the guestrooms and facilities.

The building skin reflects an abstraction the famous Jordanian stone carvings through its consistent use of the yellow stone surfaces, punctured with different opening shapes and sizes. Those openings are directly facing the great vistas; the silhouette of red mountains on the east and the calm sea on the west. Landscaping provides natural shading to the project. Wooden louvers, pergolas and terraces minimize the impact of the heat and sun.

Horizontal openings on the eastern fa├žade regulate panoramic views of the granitic mountain silhouette. As guests walk along the back corridor to access their rooms, they are offered a cinematic experience that blocks out the random urbanisation below, frames the mountaintops, and prepares them to the grandiose sea view from their own balcony. By night, conversely, it is the city that is offered a spectacle of light and shadows, as silhouettes move along the brightly lit horizontal windows of the hotel. It is almost a gesture of thanks towards the city, for allowing it to hug all the sea views.

The project addresses the strong constraints of the geometry of the plot, the limits of exploitation and the complexity of its program. It inverts the handicap of the site by using the context as a base point to its development, letting the architecture seek and achieve simplicity, integrity and efficiency. The spirit of the project is about a respect for the visceral experience of the elements, in their most basic form; earth, water, air and fire represented by the mountains, the sea, the wind and the light. It offers guests a comfortable setting without negating the simple, hard, awesome beauty of the Jordanian landscape.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Nabil Gholam Architects

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