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This resort and spa perfectly blended in majestic cliffs and rock formations in southern Utah
United States Architecture News - Jul 8, 2019 - 05:42 8601 views
This linear super-luxury resort and spa have perfectly been blended in the majestic cliffs and rock formations of southern Utah, United States.
Named Amangiri Resort and Spa, the resort is located on a spectacular 600+ acre site in southern Utah, and was developed as a unique collaboration between three well-established architects: LA-based firm Marwan Al-Sayed, Arizona-based studio Wendell Burnette Architects and Tucson-based Studio Rick Joy.
Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Mesa view. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Inspired by Utah's majestic cliffs and rock formations and the region’s ancient Navajo heritage, the team closely worked with Aman Resorts founder Adrian Zecha to create a unique and bold concept to redefine travel and luxury architecture.
The three architects were brought onto the project by Bernt Kuhlmann, one of the current owners of Amangiri, and then the managing partner in the development of the lands that now include Amangiri.
Amangiri at Dusk. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
"Our aim was to build something that was a contemporary interpretation of native Indian architecture. Not perfectly adapted, but hopefully generating a sense and spirit of it," said Adrian Zecha.
"Also, that it would respect the natural environment. This was the most important aspect of the whole development."
Entrance details. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Based on a deep understanding of the Desert Southwest, the brief was to create a place of authentic experience, not one based on simplistic cultural appropriations, but rather on what was most true to this particular site and place - namely the landscape and the light that envelops it.
Amangiri entrance. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Situated on a 243-hectare (600-acre) area in Canyon Point, Southern Utah, the resort is just a 25-minute drive from the nearest town of Page, Arizona. The resort contains 34 rooms, situated against a low entrada sandstone rock formation, rather like an ancient settlement, with a 2,322 square metre (25,000 square feet) Aman Spa.
From every room, guests are able to witness the rawness and pure natural beauty of the surrounding mesas and the region’s mesmerizing light play throughout the day. Beyond the clearly defined line of the resort there is nothing but the pristine terrain within which Amangiri is set.
Amangiri bedroom suite. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
The key component of the resort is the Pavilion which houses the Living Room, Dining Room, Library and Gallery, and the spectacular swimming pool, which wraps around a natural rock escarpment.
Desert view suites. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
The basic elements of this landscape are juxtaposed and emphasized with water, rock and sky. The architects designed buildings as simple as possible by using simple concrete blocks made of creamy white stone, Douglas-fir, walnut and raw concrete. The building volumes were arranged according to the program, movement and light.
Amangiri suite. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Frozen, timeless mass is rendered as abstract geology, with colours that blend effortlessly into the shifting landscape of sand, sage and rock. Leading from the Pavilion and main swimming pool are two separate wings that bend and fold against the rock.
View from the Spa. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
The Desert Wing to the east of the Pavilion is composed of 16 suites that are reached via an external walled lane. Designed as an abstraction of a slot canyon, the lane is replete with the natural sound of water and the moisture of verdant moss. The Mesa Wing to the south features 18 suites, unfolding across the desert sand and undulating rock formations.
Suites are entered via rock archways, reminiscent of the region’s spectacular slot canyons, and private screened courtyards. From the courtyards, the suites unfold, affording guests breathtaking framed views of the surrounding desert scenery. A raised stone island in the centre of each suite incorporates a bed, desk and sofa.
Desert Lounge. Image © Joe Fletcher
Outside, a private desert lounge provides additional lounging benches around a private fire pit, capturing a sense of camping under the stars in a luxurious setting. The separate bathing and dressing areas are carved out of the dense stone mass that separates individual rooms.
Pool Suite Terrace. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
The effect is one of mystery, with green stone, filtered light and water elements contrasting with the bright light and striking views of the living and sleeping areas. Several suites are designed with private pools, as well as sky terraces featuring lounge beds for relaxing by day, or star-gazing by night.
At the opposite ends of both wings are the larger Amangiri and Girijaala Suites. These offer spacious living, sleeping, dining and bathing areas, as well as generously-proportioned lap pools and extensive sky terraces.
Spa Step Pool. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
The Aman Spa, located within the Mesa Wing, engages directly with the wonders of rock formations crafted over millennia by wind and water. Incorporating five separate pavilions and water elements, the Aman Spa is designed for intimate reflection, both inside and out.
Swimming pool. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
The architecture mirrors the timeless nature of the surrounding rock formations: the pavilions scattered like tumbled rocks, abstracted, and made solid or liquid, heavy or light depending on program and placement. Wet treatment areas are defined by sculpted organic form and mysterious, natural or coloured light, while dry treatment areas are defined by wood linings and serene light.
Amangiri’s interiors, from lighting and furnishings to signage, have been custom designed to blend in with the architecture and the surrounding landscape.
Amangiri spa reflection pool. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Everything from desks, sofas, chairs and tables, to street lights and hooks have been designed to capture something unique and particular about the American Southwest, yet rendered in a thoroughly modern way.
Amangiri outside entrance suite. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Hides and leathers, blackened and forged steel are given a modern interpretation, alluding to, yet never overdoing references to the region’s Native American people and the ranchers that continue to inhabit this particular corner of the earth.
Lounge view. Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Image courtesy of Aman Resorts
Image © Nic Lehoux
Image © Joe Fletcher
Project name: Amangiri Resort and Spa
Location: Canyon Point, Utah, USA
Architects: Marwan Al-Sayed, Wendell Burnette Architects, Studio Rick Joy.
Top image © Joe Fletcher
> via Aman Resorts