A new resort has broken ground in Saudi Arabia with the goal of redefining the concept of sustainable architecture. Dubbed Desert Rock, the project is the first inland resort of The Red Sea Project, a destination comprising 50 resorts, 8,000 hotel rooms, and 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.
The resort will not be built on a mountainside but will instead be carved directly into the ancient rock itself. The materials removed to carve into the site will then be reused to create the resort’s infrastructure.
The ground stone and existing sand will be used for concrete aggregate, which will be the main building material for all the architecture. Using the excavated material to build the project will ensure that it will have the same integral colors as the surrounding landscape, further immersing the architecture in its setting. Water retention and distribution systems will be used throughout the site, with harvested rainwater used to create a more green, flourishing wadi.
Desert Rock will feature 48 luxury villas and 12 hotel rooms that all offer panoramic views of the surrounding desert. A range of accommodation will be available, from ground level dwellings to crevice hotel suites midway up the mountain. A select number of excavated rooms will be located within the rock massif itself.
Resort amenities will include a spa and fitness center, remote destination dining areas, and a feature lagoon oasis. Guests will be able to hike, use dune buggies, and star gaze as part of the site-wide activities program.
Oppenheim Architecture designed the project. The Red Sea Development Company is the developer. Desert Rock is slated to welcome its first guests by the end of 2022.