The Red Sea Project By Foster + Partners
Location: Shurayrah Island, Saudi Arabia
Status: In Planning
His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, Chairman of The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), has launched the Coral Bloom concept. Hailed as the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, the striking vision for its main hub island at the destination, Shurayrah, is designed to blend in with the island’s pristine natural environment. 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 are low impact and ensure 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.’’ Biodiversity considerations take centre stage, with the plan designed to avoid disruption of the island’s mangroves and other habitats, a natural defence 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 traveller expectations post-Covid-19, including more space. Immersed into the landscape to effectively form part of the sweeping dunes, the design allows the island’s natural beauty to reign supreme. 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.
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 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 entire destination will be powered by renewables, underpinned by the largest battery storage system in the world.