GAJ designs Tunisian desert hotel for Qatari Diar

Architect retained to see $50m project through to the end

The Tozeur desert retreat is close to the Atlas Mountains
The Tozeur desert retreat is close to the Atlas Mountains

A $50 million hotel project in Tunisia has been outlined by Dubai architects Godwin Austen Johnson.

Developed by Qatari Diar, the development arm of the Qatari government, the 400,000 m2 resort comprises 63 rooms, a spa and restaurant and an outdoor amphitheatre in the Tunisian desert.

GAJ, which won two awards including Best Hospitality Project, at Middle East Architect's 2010 Awards, was orignally employed as design architects but has now been asked to see the project through to completion.

The hotel is situated close to a range of natural tourist attractions including the Atlas mountains, the mountain springs of Chebika, the Chott El Jerid salt pan and the Roman ruins at the Midas gorge. As well as the film locations of the Star Wars science fiction trilogy.

Nestled into the desert site, the hotel is elevated slightly above the natural ground level, and individual buildings are linked by walkways and palm groves. Some of the guest rooms have been designed to take full advantage of the uninterrupted views of the Chott, whilst the others have been sited around an oasis.

The firm has also tried to incorporate local materials and imitate the traditional architecture of the Tozeur region.

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