In the city of Aqaba in southern Jordan, Oppenheim Architecture has designed the Ayla Golf Club—an unusual clubhouse with an undulating concrete shell that aims to resemble the surrounding desertscape.
Designed by Oppenheim Architecture, the innovative and organic design of the building forms the iconic core of the Ayla Oasis mixed-use resort development.
The 1,200-square meter building is part of the first phase of a 44 square-kilometers leisure development currently under construction in Aqaba, Jordan.
The development encompasses residential, hotel and commercial space, all centered 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.
Drawing inspiration from the surrounding desert landscape as well as Bedouin architecture vernacular, 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.
Architects: Oppenheim Architecture
Architects of Record: Darb Architects and Engineers
Landscape Architects: Form Landscape Architects
Client: Ayla Oasis Development Company
Photographers: Rory Gardiner, Moh’d Musa, Rasem Kamal