Sitbon Architectes shared with us their proposal for a leisure center in the Dead Sea which was recently awarded the 1st prize for the "Best unbuilt competition entry" as well as the "People's choice winner" of the international competition AZ Awards 2013. Titled 'Cristal – The Dead Sea Gem,' the purpose of their design is to sensitize people to the interpretation of its specific nature. Like a sculpture, its volume is inspired by the salt cube structure, the symbol of the Dead Sea. All the steps remind us consequences of time. It means that we need to take care of everything: our body, our mind, our environment. More images and architects' description after the break.
Cristal is located where we understand the essential of nature: its fragility. Today, the nivel of the Dead Sea, lowest emerged point in the earth, is reducing by one meter per year and is destined to disappear in 2050. Cristal has the desire to be an answer for all these concerns by permitting us to be one with nature.
Placed at north canal’s mouth, it crystalizes the void of a sleeping region to wake it up. Close to an old small airstrip and to an easy access zone, the project provides a leisure center offering various services. Spaces are organized around a crystal core. The ground floor is for platform of social relationships and sport activities. The first floor, accessible only by stairs, connected us to heaven in the esplanade of contemplation to look the sunrise and the mountains. Spaces surrounding the project are landscaped into several zonings such as bike rides, camel’s promenades, walks, and to practice paddle or take a relaxing bath in the mud squares.
Easy to install, the project can be mounted in six days. Telescopic frames in metal are unfolded then fixed and entirely covered with salt. This way, the structure gets salinized until reaching a total white pristine. The Cristal center zooms in one of the ten wonders of the world and invites us, by its activities, to discover the beauty of a nature really authentic. An essential vitality.
Gross Floor Area19,720 sqm
Height22m50 / 2 levels
StructureMetal + Salt
CompetitionAZ Awards 2013
Status1st prize of the "Best unbuilt competition entry" and "People's choice winner"
PhotographsCourtesy of Sitbon Architectes