Stunning nature-inspired designs for ‘Coral Bloom’ unveiled
Here’s what you can expect at ‘Coral Bloom’ luxury Red Sea Project…
On Wednesday, February 10, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Chairman of The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), launched the Coral Bloom concept, part of the luxury Red Sea Project designed to blend with the island’s natural environment.
Situated on the dolphin-shaped Shurayrah Island – the Red Sea Project’s main island – Coral Bloom will be developed by TRSDC and created by world-renowned British architectural firm Foster + Partners.
The Coral Bloom designs take inspiration from the flora and fauna found in Saudi Arabia. “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,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
Biodiversity considerations are at the heart of the project. The plan is designed to avoid disruption of the island’s mangroves and other habitats, and include new habitats created through landscaping to enhance its natural state.
Pagano added, “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.”
More than a room with a view
The island will have 11 hotels, designed for a post-coronavirus world, including doing away with internal corridors and creating more space. Part of the design idea is to use the island’s natural landscape to dramatic effect, with all hotels and villas nestled within the landscape.
The resorts will be constructed using energy-efficient lightweight materials that are of low environmental impact.
The design also includes new beaches, along with a new lagoon. These enhancements will raise the land level, providing a defensive layer from the global threat of rising sea levels. The changes aim to preserve or enhance what already exists on the island, without damaging any habitats or natural shores.
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.”
Evenden further explained, “We aim to use timber and other sustainable materials, deriving inspiration from the historical tradition of basket weaving in the region to create natural, earthy, low carbon buildings. The idea is also to provide good thermal insulation using materials that will age gracefully.
TRSDC is creating the world’s largest district cooling plant powered by renewable energy 24 hours a day. This will facilitate efficient centralised cooling across Coral Bloom.
Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project in progress
The Red Sea Project, which spans 28,000 km² along Saudi Arabia’s west coast, is on track to open its first four hotels and international airport by the end of 2022. The remaining 12 hotels planned in phase one will open in 2023.
Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 50 resorts, featuring 8,000 hotel rooms and 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment and leisure facilities.