It was essential for us that the building was handmade – that it comes from the land and shows the soul of the people
– Chad Oppenheim
Global design practice Oppenheim Architecture (OA) have completed the Ayla Golf Academy & Clubhouse in Aqaba, Jordan.
The 1,200 sq m building, which is situated opposite an 18-hole, Greg Norman-designed golf course, features a shop, putting and swing studios, and a gourmet restaurant.
The space forms part of the Ayla Oasis, a US$1.4bn (€1.2bn, £1.1bn) destination resort that plays host to manmade lagoons, a Hyatt Regency hotel, luxury residences, sports courts, a marina, and a wakeboarding park.
According to the architects, the clubhouse – which draws both from the “architectural heritage of ancient Bedouins” and from the sand dunes – was also inspired by the “rolling waves” of the Red Sea.
Boasting Corten steel screens, which OA have called a “twist on traditional mashrabiyas” the complex also has a sandstone-coloured concrete exterior to match “the tones of the surrounding mountains”.
Other members of the design and engineering team included Darb Architects, Form Landscape Architects, Modern Technology Construction, and a number of local artisans.
“It was essential for us that the building was handmade – that it comes from the land and shows the soul of the people," Chad Oppenheim, principal at OA, told Architectural Digest.
“For this reason, we used very few techniques, relying on craftsmanship in the construction to show the marks of things being built by hand.”
The highly anticipated project has already won a number of accolades.
In 2017, the design concept won the Leisure Led Future Project Award at the World Architecture Festival. In the same year, the clubhouse was also named the best Leisure Architecture scheme at the Arabian Property Awards.