dubai-based practice MEAN* ‘middle east architecture network’ generates the desert pavilion in jordan, a celebration of the heritage of hospitality in the spirit of tomorrow. the innovative, digitally and ecologically-driven studio proposes the 3D printed pavilion to welcome visitors to jordan’s southern desert of wadi rum. offering an oasis of rest and communal gathering, the parametrically-designed space is defined by its otherworldly, organic geometries and is envisioned to attract visitors from across the globe.

mean desert pavilion jordan
all images courtesy of MEAN*



middle east architecture network MEAN* designs its desert pavilion in jordan with a unique hybridization of bedouin heritage and space-age technology. the design team utilized generative design methods to simulate a holistic structure: a hybrid of a 3D printed polymer shell on 3D printed concrete topography. inspired by the ingenuity of the mobile architecture of the local bedouins, a ‘mesh relaxation’ parametric strategy was used to develop a tent-like form, which generates a digital catenary mesh geometry, in equilibrium. team envisions a unique structural system of 3D printed panels that can be deployed onto a CNC bent network of steel pipes.

mean desert pavilion jordan



MEAN* generates the jordan desert pavilion as a field of forces. by grounding the tent form as a ‘diagram of forces’ emitting various ‘charges’ that correspond to seating areas, an array of magnetic fields serves to unify those charges. the emergent patterns resulting from the interaction of one space to another serves as the developmental foundation for the floor plan of the pavilion. the flow-lines from the magnetic field simulation are then projected onto a digitally simulated optimized mesh which is generated by a script that approximates centenary curves.

mean desert pavilion jordan



the generative script yields a set of vector fields resembling magnetic forces. the team at MEAN* then manipulates this condition to subdivide the outer shell of the structure into panels within the printing range of a 6-axis industrial robot. a stepping topography of 3D printed concrete platform creates a transition from the sandy site to the interior. the mesh is anchored towards the periphery of the stepped platform, creating welcoming archways for entries.

mean desert pavilion jordan mean desert pavilion jordan



project info:


project title: desert pavilion

architecture: MEAN*

location: wadi rum, south jordan