The Red Sea Astrarium (Astrarium) represents an opportunity to demonstrate Jordan’s commitment to innovation and sustainable development. Resort developments, particularly those that target a global audience, increasingly reflect the global interest in sustainable development. The Astrarium will be at the forefront of sustainable resort development by implementing Arup’s infrastructure recommendations.
The Astrarium is a planned 184 acre entertainment resort and virtual reality theme park showcasing the rich cultural history and future of Jordan and the Middle East. Situated on a soaring plateau close to the Port City of Aqaba, the park includes four hotels, an entertainment district, a man-made saltwater lagoon, and two waterfront areas, one anchored by a ‘Star Trek’ themed attraction.
Brought in to provide infrastructure planning and design of the development’s energy, water, wastewater, solid waste, mobility and logistical management systems, the Astrarium presented a number of challenges to the Arup team. Located 200 metres above sea level in the mountains bordering the Red Sea, the site has no natural source of potable water thanks to the region’s arid climate while the development itself will have a substantial energy demand due to the array of attractions and amenities.
The Arup team’s goal for the client was to make the development as self sufficient as possible in terms of water, energy, and waste. To reduce the burden on Aqaba’s potable water supply the Astrarium seeks to utilise seawater for the lagoon and also for cooling at the onsite energy centre. The Astrarium’s solid waste strategy calls for the source separation of organics and recyclables with all organic waste (food, sludge and green waste) being treated onsite with the resulting compost used within the landscaped areas of the development. The Astrarium’s energy strategy seeks to maximise the onsite development of renewable energy which is also complemented by the development of best practice energy demand reduction measures.