sahara accomodation

Desert Accommodation

Submission: November 10, 2021
Registration: November 7, 2021
Language: English,
Location: Riyadh
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open


YAC – Young Architects Competitions – and Jarir Development launch Desert Accommodation, a competition of ideas aiming to design a luxury oasis in the Najd plateau overlooking the most brutal and fatal desert of the planet.

The cash prize of € 15, 000 will be distributed to the winning proposals selected by an international jury panel composed of some of the most world-renowned architects: Sou Fujimoto, Eli Synnevåg (Snøhetta), Lorenzo Boddi (BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group), Carlo Ratti, Ben Van Berkel (UNStudio), and Emiliano Roia (MORQ).

sahara accomodation


Al Sahara.

There are no other places on earth that can live up to the vast Arabian desert.

Prophets, treasures, lost cities: Al Sahara is the place of the supernatural. Indeed, only the supernatural can live where not even Bedouins dare to enter.

Al Sahara is the place where exploration stops. Here, human ambitions are annihilated, and vanity is overwhelmed. This is because the desert cannot be tamed, comprehended, or measured. The desert can only be contemplated from a distance in the hope of being ignored by its sands. The same sands that on countless occasions surged to demand a tribute of lives, civilizations, and wealth.

In the desert life is impossible. However, at the desert’s edge one can live some of the most intense experiences humans can ever experience: bitter cold, burning heat, silence, sand dunes singing, mirages, sunsets, skies studded with stars and especially lush oases.

Living at the edge of the desert is a privilege for the few. Such privilege is the origin of Desert Accommodation.

Desert Accommodation is YAC’s and Jarir Development’s competition with the goal of designing a guest house for a new settlement of large villas at the borders of Riyadh. Moreover, it aims at exploring the potential of contemporary architecture in one of the last and most majestic sanctuaries of mother nature.

What kinds of hospitality can be designed in the most inhospitable place by definition?  

By providing an answer to such a pivotal question, architects will have the opportunity to design a luxury oasis in the Najd plateau overlooking the most brutal and fatal desert of the planet. It will be a contemporary oasis where to relax in the shade of palm and fruit trees enjoying the immense expanse of the desert. Furthermore, it will be a place where to dive in a fresh swimming pool admiring incandescent sands reflecting the sunset. Here, guests will have the opportunity to watch the imminent shade of sandstorms over the horizon protected by the surrounding architectures.

It will be a refuge for the body but especially a hermitage for the spirit. This is because the oasis and the desert are opposites that involve human beings in all their complexity. In fact, according to an old saying of the nomads of the desert: “God created oases so that people can live in them, and the desert so that they can find their soul again”.


  • Sou Fujimoto
  • Ben van Berkel (UNS)
  • Carlo Ratti
  • Eli Synnevåg (Snøhetta)
  • Lorenzo Boddi (BIG- Bjarke Ingels Group)
  • Emiliano Roia (MORQ)
  • Abdulsalam Al-Agil  (Jarir company)
  • Ammar Atfah (Jarir company)


  • 1st  PRIZE 8.000 €
  • 2nd   PRIZE 4.000 €
  • 3rd  PRIZE  2.000 €
  • 2 GOLD MENTIONS  500 €  each


“standard” registrations: 13/09/2021 – 10/10/2021, h 23.59 GMT

“late” registrations: 11/10/2021 – 07/11/2021, h 23.59 GMT

Materials submission deadline: 10/11/2021, h 12.00 GMT (noon)


More information at: www.youngarchitectscompetitions.com

Contact: yac@yac-ltd.com