Dunescape Inspired Golf Academy

Dunescape Inspired Golf Academy

Ayla Golf Academy & Clubhouse takes inspiration from the natural dunescapes and mountains of the surrounding desert as well as the architectural heritage of the ancient Bedouin. The innovative and organic design of the building forms the iconic core of the Ayla Oasis mixed-use resort development. 

This 1200 square meter building is part of the first phase of a 44 square kilometres leisure development currently under construction in Aqaba, Jordan. The development encompasses residential, hotel and commercial space, all centred around an 18-hole signature golf course. The Clubhouse features retail, dining, bar/lounge, banquet, fitness, and spa components; while the Golf Academy includes retail, dining, and indoor/outdoor swing analysis studio components. 

The distinct architectural form of the Ayla Golf Academy & Clubhouse establishes a unique connection with nature by capturing the elemental, vibrant beauty of the rolling desert landscape.

A massive concrete shell drapes over the program areas, enveloping the interior and exterior walls of each volume. The curved shotcrete shell blends with the sand like dunes instead of having conventional walls and ceilings. Openings grant views towards the spectacular Aqaba Mountains in the background. Corten steel perforated screen filters the light, similar to the traditional Arabic ‘Mashrabiya’. Jordanian patterns inspired the triangular pattern of openings while the tones of the surrounding mountains are echoed in the colors of the shotcrete and the metals. The construction of the project is the result of a knowledge exchange program between the European office of Oppenheim Architecture and local workforce. Shotcrete pouring techniques were taught to workers in the first phases so that they could take ownership of the construction and obtain specialized skills. A local artist also helped shape the building by applying a traditional pigmentation technique to the interior surfaces, granting a raw, unadorned look that stays true to its context and inspiration.

About the Architectural Firm 

Based in Miami, USA, Oppenheim Architecture is an award-winning architecture, planning, and interior design firm specializing in hospitality, commercial mixed-use, retail and residential buildings worldwide. The international practice has received over 80 awards and distinctions, including over 50 AIA Awards, and has been featured in numerous publications around the world. In 2018, Oppenheim Architecture was the recipient of one of the National Design Awards by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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