Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project Reveals Details of First Two Hotels, Designed by Foster + Partners

Main Photo: The hotel 12 on Ummahat Alshaykh Islands

Date: March 2021

Location: Ummahat Alshaykh Islands, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia

Name: hotel 12

No. Keys: In all 16 hotels with 3,000 keys

Who is Behind it All: The Red Sea Project has revealed images of two hotels that foster + partners has designed as part of the luxury tourism development. the first phase of the ambitious masterplan, which is currently under construction on the coast of Saudi Arabia, involves the development of five islands, two inland sites, and 16 hotels with 3,000 rooms.

foster + partners is also designing the hub island of the development — ‘coral bloom’. meanwhile, Kengo Kuma is involved in the project, with the Japanese architect explaining the importance of maintaining the site’s pristine conditions in this interview with designboom.

Located on one of the three Ummahat Alshaykh islands, this ring-shaped proposal called ‘hotel 12’ has been designed to tread as lightly on the landscape as possible. ‘when we looked at the islands our approach was to have a light touch. as light as we could possibly be,’ explains Gerard Evenden, head of studio at foster + partners. ‘it was the light touch, non-damaging approach, and that has led through the whole of the design from beginning to end, and that is what we continue to strive towards.’

foster + partners has also drawn up plans for the ‘southern dunes’ hotel — one of two inland hotels to open as part of the project’s first phase. the project, has been designed to be as lightweight as possible. ‘from our work previously in the desert, one of the most important things is to avoid using what we call high thermal mass materials,’ Gerard Evenden explains. ‘if you use stone or concrete in the desert, the problem is that over time it heats up and it becomes a thermal mass. they radiate heat and they hold the heat. and because in the desert they are being baked every day, they never get cooled.’ this also means that many of the components that make up the structures are able to be transported to the site.

The light touch aspect of hotel 12

The Red Sea project is placing a big emphasis on sustainability throughout its realization. ‘we are pursuing a policy of 100 percent renewable energy at the destination, with the ultimate objective of generating and storing energy exclusively from using renewable sources,’ says the team behind the development. ‘we plan to implement a range of policies including zero waste-to-landfill, 100 percent carbon neutrality, and a total ban on single use plastics.’

foster + partners has also been appointed to design an airport for the region. due for completion in 2022, the Red Sea International Airport will serve an estimated one million tourists per year with a schedule of domestic and international flights. meanwhile, Killa Design has drawn up plans for villas on Sheybarah Island, with Kengo Kuma designing around 100 villas on one of the three Ummahat Alshaykh islands.

The Southern Dunes hotel

THPT Comment: Hmmm the Saudi Red Sea project professing green credentials in this exciting new project.

First Seen: Designbloom

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