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Aidia Studio reveals plans for desert safari lodges with retractable shell inspired by cacti
By Megan Whitby 18 Aug 2020
Called the Oculus, the pods consist of a double-glazed dome encasing a luxury hotel room, which is shrouded by a collapsible shell Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
Mexican design firm, Aidia Studio, has unveiled plans for a complex of 25 luxury hotel pods with collapsible shells, located in the Rub’ al Khali Desert in Abu Dhabi.

Called the Oculus, the pod consists of a double-glazed dome encasing a luxury hotel room, which is shrouded by a collapsible shell for shading, temperature control, camouflage and privacy.

The outer shell is made up of 60 shading panels which create a dense lattice to shelter the cabin, drawing inspiration from several desert cacti species which feature thick outer skins, foldings and fins to control heat and solar radiation.

The panels densify towards the crown, to adapt to the curvature of the pod, and in doing so, protect the pod by reflecting the harsh vertical sun radiation.

This outer layer can morph into different configurations depending on the time of the day, climate and needs of users, and also folds downwards to reveal a frameless acrylic dome for stargazing.

During daytime, the skin retracts sideways opening the front of the pod and unveiling the doors to the front deck.

When the shell is fully deployed, it camouflages the pod among the desert scenery to allow guests to go wildlife spotting from the comfort of their own cabin.

Aidia designers Rolando Rodriguez-Leal and Natalia Wrzask acted as lead architects for the project which is currently under concept design stages.

The complex is planned to include both standard (50sq m) or VIP (80sq m) size pods.

According to Aidia Studio, the main goal behind Oculus' design is to improve the environmental performance of the building through self-shading.

The proposed design also includes eco-friendly features such as incorporating technology to harness solar energy to power the pods, as well as water tanks to filter and recycle greywater.

The Oculus complex is envisioned to be built in the middle of a gravel plane backed by a tall sand dune, with the 25 cabins spread around the site in the shape of a constellation.

Aidia Studio is also planning to create a central hub of four pods with the same design as the cabins but on a larger scale.

The buildings will house a reception and guest toilets, reception lounge, restaurant and kitchen and staff functions, and all be interconnected via transition sleeves and held together by an elevated outdoor deck.


News
1 to 12 of 7870 news stories
30 Jul 2021
Italian destination spa Preidlhof in South Tyrol has been certified as a “Quiet Stay” by Quiet Parks International, a non-profit organisation committed to the preservation of quiet places for over 50 years. Preidlhof’s certification follows ... More
29 Jul 2021
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi has upgraded its spa with a new Aqua Wellness Centre to enhance guests’ wellness journey. The 7,735sq ft Aqua Wellness Centre features a custom-built hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, steamroom and sauna, ... More
29 Jul 2021
The International Spa Association (ISPA) has released the full findings of the 2021 ISPA US Spa Industry Study, marking the 22nd anniversary of this annual research initiative. Following an initial preview of the research at ... More
28 Jul 2021
Davines Group has partnered with the Rodale Institute to unveil a dedicated regenerative organic agriculture research facility at Davines Group's headquarters in Parma, Italy. This integrated partnership is an effort to propel the regenerative organic ... More
27 Jul 2021
A 74,000sq ft Italian day spa is set to debut this September on New York’s picturesque Governors Island after a US$50m (€42.3m, £36.1m) investment and seven years of planning, building and restoration. Named QC NY, ... More
27 Jul 2021
Arizona’s Sedona Rouge resort is currently undergoing a property-wide transformation and will debut as The Wilde Resort & Spa in September 2021. Surrounded by the majestic red rock formations of Sedona and situated at the ... More
26 Jul 2021
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has honoured 11 European spa towns and added them to its esteemed World Heritage List. The new transnational serial World Heritage Site is composed of The ... More
26 Jul 2021
Alpine tree species and ancient Celtic nature doctrines are inspiring spa programming at Forestis in South Tyrol, a secluded Italian alpine retreat surrounded by forests and a dramatic mountain backdrop. The luxury resort is located ... More
22 Jul 2021
Fairmont’s second Moroccan outpost has opened in the bay of Taghazout, renowned for its golden sand beaches, azure waters and extraordinary sunsets. The 146-room Fairmont Taghazout Bay stretches over 18-hectares of beachfront land and is ... More
21 Jul 2021
The Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) will host its inaugural International Wellness Tourism Conference at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Florida, between 28-30 September 2021. For the first time, the association’s annual two-day event – formerly ... More
20 Jul 2021
Proposals have been submitted for a AUS$25m (€15.5m, £13.4m, US$18.3m) hot springs development on the banks of Swan River in Perth, Australia. Formerly Dalkeith Hot Pools, the site used to be a popular bathing spot ... More
19 Jul 2021
Aspria Holdings, owner of eight premium wellbeing clubs in Germany, Belgium and Italy, has entered into a financial partnership with Fortress Investment Group. The deal makes over €50m of investment available to Aspria, accelerating its ... More
     
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Living Earth Crafts
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NEWS
Aidia Studio reveals plans for desert safari lodges with retractable shell inspired by cacti
POSTED 18 Aug 2020 . BY Megan Whitby
Called the Oculus, the pods consist of a double-glazed dome encasing a luxury hotel room, which is shrouded by a collapsible shell Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
Mexican design firm, Aidia Studio, has unveiled plans for a complex of 25 luxury hotel pods with collapsible shells, located in the Rub’ al Khali Desert in Abu Dhabi.

Called the Oculus, the pod consists of a double-glazed dome encasing a luxury hotel room, which is shrouded by a collapsible shell for shading, temperature control, camouflage and privacy.

The outer shell is made up of 60 shading panels which create a dense lattice to shelter the cabin, drawing inspiration from several desert cacti species which feature thick outer skins, foldings and fins to control heat and solar radiation.

The panels densify towards the crown, to adapt to the curvature of the pod, and in doing so, protect the pod by reflecting the harsh vertical sun radiation.

This outer layer can morph into different configurations depending on the time of the day, climate and needs of users, and also folds downwards to reveal a frameless acrylic dome for stargazing.

During daytime, the skin retracts sideways opening the front of the pod and unveiling the doors to the front deck.

When the shell is fully deployed, it camouflages the pod among the desert scenery to allow guests to go wildlife spotting from the comfort of their own cabin.

Aidia designers Rolando Rodriguez-Leal and Natalia Wrzask acted as lead architects for the project which is currently under concept design stages.

The complex is planned to include both standard (50sq m) or VIP (80sq m) size pods.

According to Aidia Studio, the main goal behind Oculus' design is to improve the environmental performance of the building through self-shading.

The proposed design also includes eco-friendly features such as incorporating technology to harness solar energy to power the pods, as well as water tanks to filter and recycle greywater.

The Oculus complex is envisioned to be built in the middle of a gravel plane backed by a tall sand dune, with the 25 cabins spread around the site in the shape of a constellation.

Aidia Studio is also planning to create a central hub of four pods with the same design as the cabins but on a larger scale.

The buildings will house a reception and guest toilets, reception lounge, restaurant and kitchen and staff functions, and all be interconnected via transition sleeves and held together by an elevated outdoor deck.
Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
Credit: AIDIASTUDIO
RELATED STORIES
MEAN*'s algorithmically-designed, 3D-printed desert pavilion is an oasis for rest and gathering


The Middle East Architecture Network (MEAN*) have designed a pavilion for rest and gatherings in the Wadi Rum desert valley in the south of Jordan that responds to the ancient landscape using current design and building technologies.
Sea urchins inspire pod designs for new Buhais Geology Park


The Buhais Geology Park Interpretive Centre, with a Hopkins Architects design inspired by fossilised sea urchins, has opened in the United Arab Emirates.
Aidia Studio's low-rise fortress wins Barjeel Museum For Modern Arab Art design competition


Aidia Studio has won the Rifat Chadirji Prize 2019, which sought design proposals for a new Barjeel Museum For Modern Arab Art in Sharjah, UAE.
MORE NEWS
Preidlhof celebrates the healing power of silence with five new journeys
Italian destination spa Preidlhof in South Tyrol has been certified as a “Quiet Stay” by Quiet Parks International, a non-profit organisation committed to the preservation of quiet places for over 50 years.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives’ spa launches new Aqua Wellness Centre and hydrotherapy programming
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi has upgraded its spa with a new Aqua Wellness Centre to enhance guests’ wellness journey.
Pandemic’s impact on US spa industry highlighted in ISPA’s 2021 Industry Study
The International Spa Association (ISPA) has released the full findings of the 2021 ISPA US Spa Industry Study, marking the 22nd anniversary of this annual research initiative.
Davines Group and Rodale Institute join forces to launch regenerative organic research centre
Davines Group has partnered with the Rodale Institute to unveil a dedicated regenerative organic agriculture research facility at Davines Group's headquarters in Parma, Italy.
QC Terme to unveil US$50m Italian thermal spa on NYC’s historic Governor’s Island with sweeping skyline views
A 74,000sq ft Italian day spa is set to debut this September on New York’s picturesque Governors Island after a US$50m (€42.3m, £36.1m) investment and seven years of planning, building and restoration.
Secluded boutique hotel and spa retreat set to debut in Arizona desert town
Arizona’s Sedona Rouge resort ​is currently undergoing a property-wide transformation and will debut as The Wilde Resort & Spa in September 2021.
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The Woodlands Conference Centre, Wyboston, United Kingdom
09-13 Sep 2021

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Fair District, Bologna, Italy
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