In the middle of a basalt plateau in the Al Madinah region of Saudi Arabia resides the new home for the country's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wendell Burnette Architects, based out of Phoenix, will design the Mada’in Saleh Hotel that will dwell among the Jabal Ithlib rock formations and the ancient city of Hegra. The site is home to Saudi Arabia's first UNESCO site, the Mada'in Saleh, a natural rock formation featuring architectural façades carved out by Nabataean masons, which dates back to the first century B.C.. The project is approved by the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage.
The hotel will be designed as a mirage to the Jabal Ithlib, sedimentary rock stacks, by using locally sourced silica stone erected from the sand plains. Although the plans for the hotel have yet to be revealed, the firm intends for the hotel to appear invisible from afar, receding into the ground, surrounded by the preexisting stones.
A rock garden will act as the heart of the stone assemblage, acting as a hub for social interaction during a hotel stay. The guest villas and standard guest rooms will be built surrounding the garden, looking out onto the Jabal Ithlib.