Saudia Arabia‘s first Unesco World Heritage Site will see renowned French architect Nouvel’s stunning take on the millennia-old Nabataean style of living with his masterful creation that has revived the legacy of the 2000-year-old architectural wonder.
The resort will treat guests to unparalleled views of northwest Saudi Arabia and is located deep within the Sharaan Nature Reserve, with the resort being built inside the rock dwellings. A masterpiece of contextual architecture, the Sharaan by Jean Nouvel resort will offer an emotional and immersive experience, filled with modern and historic art, that will take them on a journey through time and space.
“AlUla is a museum. Every wadi and escarpment, every stretch of sand and rocky outline, every geological and archeological site deserves the greatest consideration,” Nouvel said. “It’s vital we keep all its distinctiveness and conserve its attractiveness, which largely rests on its remote and occasionally archaic character. We have to safeguard a little mystery as well as the promise of discoveries to come,” he added.
Nouvel has taken inspiration from the Nabateans, with his design playing on the old ways of living yet building on the present and future challenges we face. Integrating the way Nabateans interacted with their environment, reconnecting to the earth, and building sustainable habitats, Nouvel has committed to adapting old ways of life to the modern world. “Our project is celebrating the Nabateans spirit without caricaturing it. This creation genuinely becomes a cultural act,” he emphasized.
The project has promised to respect AlUla’s landscapes and ancient heritage, with the new luxury resort planning to draw on emission-free power and new standards in sustainability. “AlUla deserves to acquire a degree of modernity,” Nouvel said. “Envisioning the future is a never-ending obligation that requires us to be fully alive to places in the present as well as conjuring up the past.” To minimize the impacts on AlUla’s extraordinary natural and urban landscapes, Nouvel has introduced a new, previously unseen, typology of architecture sculpting within the existing landscapes rather than competing against it.
The world-first resort is expected to be completed by 2024 and will include 40 guest suites, three resort villas, as well as a retreat summit center near to the resort that will feature 14 private pavilions.