The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has revealed the Coral Bloom concept design to be built on Saudi Arabian island on the Red Sea, "inspired by the island's natural state," designed by Foster + Partners.
Coral Bloom will be made up of 11 hotels on the dolphin-shaped island of Shurayrah, located on Saudi Arabia's west coast and includes a vast archipelago of more than 90 pristine islands developed by The Red Sea Development Company.
Biodiversity considerations take centre stage, with the plan designed to avoid disruption of the island's mangroves and other habitats, providing natural defences from erosion. The design sees new beaches created on the dolphin-shaped peninsula along with a pristine lagoon. These enhancements will raise the land level, providing a defensive layer from the global threat of rising sea levels.
Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, said: "Our vision for Shurayrah is inspired by the island's natural state, with the hotels designed to give the impression that they have washed up on the beaches and nestled among the dunes almost like driftwood."
"The materials we use and the low impact they have ensures that the pristine environment is protected, while the additions we make to the island serve to enhance what is already there – hence the name, Coral Bloom."
There will be 11 hotels on Shurayrah showcasing different designs. The absence of high-rise buildings will ensure the spectacular vistas remain uninhibited while creating a sense of mystery for guests and keep the development footprint to a minimum. The designs enhance what already exists on the island without damaging any habitats or natural shores.
"We expect guests to be awed by what they see when they first arrive at The Red Sea Project, enjoying a truly immersive barefoot luxury experience. The Coral Bloom designs, taking inspiration from the incredible flora and fauna found uniquely in Saudi Arabia, promise to make that vision a reality," said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
"Shurayrah Island is the gateway to The Red Sea Project, so it's important that it sets the standard in ground-breaking architecture and sustainable design, not just for our destination, but globally too. This is achieved by going beyond simply protecting the environment to applying a regenerative approach," he added.
The hotel designs will respond to the changing travel industry. The design features no internal corridors, for example, in response to a growing demand for space and seclusion following the coronavirus pandemic. The resorts themselves will be created using lightweight materials with a low thermal mass and manufactured offsite, meaning more energy-efficient construction and less impact on the environment.
The development also promises to deliver a 30 per cent net conservation benefit by 2040. "It aims to create the world's largest district cooling plant powered by renewable energy 24 hours a day to facilitate efficient centralized cooling across the destination. The entire destination will be powered by renewables, underpinned by the largest battery storage system in the world." Said the Developers.
Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.
Shurayrah is one of only 22 islands selected for development as part of The Red Sea Project. The project is expected to finish the first few resorts by 2022, and a new airport located inland also designed by Foster + Partners.
Foster + Partners is a global studio for sustainable architecture, engineering, urbanism and industrial design, founded by Norman Foster in 1967. Since then, he, and the team around him, have established an international practice with a worldwide reputation. With offices across the globe, we work as a single studio that is both ethnically and culturally diverse.