Organic growth

04 Nov 2009

Five star hotel rises from the desert in Egypt

The shape-shifting lands of Egypt are providing plenty of architectural interest of late. Its largely undeveloped lands have provided the perfect blank canvas for architects including Zaha Hadid, SOM, Callison and Perkins Eastman to draw upon their creativity. The latest project to come out of the Egyptian sands is Wady al Qamar, a 450-room 5-star hotel set for an 80,000 sq m plot in Hurghada, beside the Red Sea.

Drawn as an extrusion of the land itself, the project rises along the lines of an ancient river which descends from the mountains down towards the sea. The flow of the water is abstracted within the sinuous design which meanders towards the land's edge. As water traces the bends of a mountain, forking at its ridges and joining later down the slope, so too does the hotel. And as the water erodes rock to reveal geological layers so too does the design, creating platforms and inbetween, voids of activity.

Designed by independent architect Amin HASNI for the tourism group Arab German for Touristic Development SAE, the project is currently under design development and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2011, costing an estimated €35 million.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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