Desert Rocks, AlUla
Ensamble Studio 

Desert Rocks, AlUla

Ensamble Studio 


The AlUla territory gathers a unique collection of landscapes. The inland desert plateau, the mountain ranges, and the valleys offer extreme geological conditions and diverse habitats that coexist. The architecture of the place is defined by the actions of wind, water, sand, land shifts, which have sculpted the landscape through centuries.

Desert Rocks develops on this barely urbanized land. The project starts by identifying iconic rocks of AlUla and recognizing their value as places. From the Nabatean monument of Madain Saleh and the pre-Arabic inscriptions of Jabal Ikmah, to the many natural formations – like Hand Rock or Arch Rock –, the sculptural character and cultural meaning of these stones create strong attraction forces for both visitors and locals alike. In dance with these existing rocks, Desert Rocks introduce new destinations and energies in consonance with the ongoing efforts to develop the area. Each one is different and located in its own space, filling the interstices of the landscape, and all of them together configure a new layer, superimposed on the land. From these new rocks, monumental, civic, hospitality and domestic spaces arise, integrating art, architecture and landscape, and connecting human needs with the essence of the place...[+]


Arquitectos Architects
Ensamble Studio

Autores del proyecto Authors of the project
Antón García-Abril & Débora Mesa

Equipo Team
Javier Cuesta (arquitecto técnico building engineer), Borja Soriano (director de proyecto project manager), Massimo Loia, Mengyuan Cao, Mónica Acosta, Álvaro Catalán, Andrea Pau, Caterina Pereira, Sameer Ashraf, Naz Üstündağ