His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, Chairman of The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), has launched the Coral Bloom concept, which was created by architectural firm Foster + Partners, and designed to blend in with the island’s pristine natural environment. TRSDC, the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has since shared the striking vision for its main hub island at the destination, Shurayrah.
Protect and enhance
Biodiversity considerations take center stage, with the plan designed to avoid disruption of the island’s mangroves and other habitats, providing natural defenses from erosion, while new habitats are created through landscaping to enhance the island’s natural state. The proposal also outlines designs for the island’s 11 hotels, adapted to suit traveler expectations post-Covid-19 including more space, and immersed into the landscape.
The design sees new beaches created on the dolphin-shaped island along with a new lagoon. These enhancements will contribute to raising the level of the land, providing a defensive layer from the global threat of rising sea levels. Importantly, the changes aim to preserve or enhance what already exists on the island, without damaging any habitats or natural shores.
Immersive hotel design
There will be 11 hotels on Shurayrah, which will be operated by some of the most distinguished hotel brands in the world. The island’s natural landscape will be used to dramatic effect with all hotels and villas nestled within the landscape. The absence of high-rise buildings will ensure the spectacular vistas remain uninhibited, while creating a sense of mystery for guests as the island slowly reveals itself.
The hotel designs have also been responsive to the changing world and traveler demands over the last 12 months. There will be 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 Red Sea Development Company is committed to delivering a 30 percent net conservation benefit by 2040. It is creating 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.
In line with this commitment, the destination’s master plan is informed by an extensive marine spatial planning exercise and leaves 75 percent of the project’s islands untouched. Shurayrah is one of only 22 islands selected for development. The Red Sea Project has already passed significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests by the end of 2022, when the international airport and the first four hotels will open.
The remaining 12 hotels planned in phase one will open in 2023. 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. The destination will also include luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment and leisure facilities. Source and images Courtesy of Foster + Partners.