OFIS arhitekti has devised a desert retreat that functions as an observatory in the midst of spain’s gorafe desert. it can be rented for week-long intervals allowing tourists to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the desert all while maintaining the creature comforts of home. the glass pavilion offers a complete 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. it overlooks a massive canyon where undisturbed desert stretches out as far as the eye can see.

glass pavilion OFIS arhitekti
the pavilion overlooking the canyon bellow
image by gonzalo botet, courtesy guardian glass 



the project was described by OFIS arhitekti as an ‘exploration into the intrinsic structural nature of glass and timber.’ the firm, prompted by guardian glass, looked at ways in which it could construct ‘a response to the local desert climate conditions.’ all while incorporating both a ‘passive design and renewable energy generation.’ the building process was conscious about methods and the integrity of the desert landscape; it sits atop the earth with a minimal footprint. still it must be anchored sufficiently to withstand the desert’s high speed winds.

gglass pavilion OFIS arhitekti
a retreat for canines and humans alike
image by gonzalo botet, courtesy guardian glass 



glass and specifically mirrored glass are the predominate material in this structure; the mirror serving to deflect the suns rays and keep the house cooler. the glass is described as a ‘thermally efficient envelope constructed of triple glazing walls that, due to use of almost invisible coatings, protects the interior from the sun.’ all in all, the structure attempts to blend in with the environment while offering a comfortable retreat, it appears like a desert mirage shimmering in the arid landscape, but it is quite real and offers life for the human desert dweller. 

glass pavilion gorafe desert
an illusion of glass and mirrors
image by gonzalo botet, courtesy guardian glass 
glass pavilion OFIS arhitekti width=
comfortable accommodation with a live show of nature
image by gonzalo botet, courtesy guardian glass 
glass pavilion gorafe desert
the structure has band windows allowing for incredible panoramic views 
image by jose navarrete
glass pavilion gorafe desert
image by jose navarrete
glass pavilion OFIS arhitekti
welcome to the desert
image by jose navarrete
glass pavilion gorafe desert
the reflective surface gives a mirage effect to the structure
image by jose navarrete
glass pavilion gorafe desert
looking over the valley
image by gonzalo botet courtesy guardian glass 

glass pavilion gorafe desert
sunset at the glass pavilion
image by jose navarrete
glass pavilion OFIS arhitekti
feel as one with the universe
image by gonzalo botet, courtesy guardian glass 



project info:


architecture: OFIS arhitekti

design team: rok oman, spela videcnik, andrej gregoric, janez martincic, josé navarrete jiménez, lucas blasco sendón, jakub chaloupek, agnieszka sukienniczak, hanif kara, daniel bosia, carlo diaco, edoardo tibuzzi, jose montes, lorenzo greco, deyan marzevl
general contractor: permiz
electrical engineering: energovat
local contractor: shn constructora
climate engineering : transsolar
structure and envelope : akt II
type: temporary retreat
program: residential
initiator: guardian glass
area: 20 sqm

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