Casa Cook El Gouna | Egypt

The Vibe: A considered escape for the discerning city dweller with the aim of producing background buildings that don’t scream loudly and provide the vessel for a memorable escape.

The Area: Located at the threshold of the Red Sea, in El Gouna, Egypt.

The DNA: The Casa Cook El Gouna‘s vernacular embraces the Greek concept of parea, the celebration of coming together to make memories. It echoes the German hotel company’s highly Instangramable style while also drawing inspiration from the surrounding blue lagoons, rolling dunes, and sweeping views. Stylish and functional, the desert oasis shows off a tactile flexibility that “skillfully creates zones for guests to curate their own experience,” says Mark Bellingan, lead architect with South African firm Common Architecture, which oversaw the new build’s architecture and interiors. “By drawing inspiration from common construction methods, humble materials, and simple forms, we aim to design projects that respond with sensitivity to their unique environments.” A pared-back design reflects modern luxury through an Egyptian lens. Clean lines and sculptural forms juxtapose textured materials like brass, rattan, and linen to balance classic and contemporary sensibilities. Raw wood furnishings and tarnished ceramics accent the restrained interiors, with rough-hewn timber and textured plasterwork installed alongside orange and red tones to offset soothing notes of green and blue. “The overall aesthetic prioritizes the interplay between light and shadow to create graphic focal points that transform throughout the day, creating a rhythm to the passage of time,” Bellingan points out.

Suite-Me-Up: The harmony between indoor and outdoor spaces is a key distinction, as it not only conveys a respect to the rugged setting, but natural light also “creates dramatic sculptural effects that produce interest and movement,” he explains. Terraces attached to the 100 guestrooms overlook and engage with outdoor communal areas like the swimming pool, gardens, and lagoon-side beach club. As a result, myriad spaces – even secluded corners – are linked visually to ensure the resort embodies parea from all angles.

Seen: Hospitality Design

✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 100 rooms, suites & villas (39-83m2) (420-893 sq ft) • hotel opened: November 2019 • architecture & interior design: Common Architecture ✅ free parking on-site • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk

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