Targeting LEED Platinum, these two luxury resorts are designed respectively by Foster + Partners and Kengo Kuma & Associates for The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC). The resorts are sited on the Ummahat Al Shaykh Islands in the Red Sea, and focus on environmental protection and preservation; welcoming guests to understand and appreciate the region’s spectacular natural offering.
Hilson Moran is providing engineering, fire, controls, smart-systems and specialist-lighting design, as well as ICT and security design in partnership with local consultants. Our team has been tasked to conceive a building-services design strategy that serves the extensive, high-end hospitality requirements while integrating within a highly prefabricated construction that reduces site interventions.
The Kengo Kuma & Associates designed resort provides 90 overwater and inland villas, while the other Foster + Partners resort provides 82, coupled with assorted pavilion buildings for the amenities and hotel operational facilities, altogether connected with pathways, boardwalks and jetties.
Hilson Moran worked with both architects to arrive at the optimum massing and layouts to achieve demanding thermal performance targets for the various building typologies, through analysis of solar shading, daylighting, and natural ventilation. All services integrate within these highly unique and spectacular architectural forms, while the site-wide distribution networks similarly integrate seamlessly within the elevated and sunken boardwalks to help leave the surrounding environment undisturbed.
The ventilation and air conditioning strategy deploys a variety of distribution solutions, which work in tandem with passive strategies; All buildings feature openable glazed doors that allow occupants to optionally introduce natural modes.
Most utilities within each resort are served by discretely located centralised plant. The overall energy strategy capitalises extensively on the abundant local solar energy, in conjunction with limited thermal and battery storage to extend this into overnight supply. Electricity is 100% solar (drawn from a nearby solar farm on the mainland), while hot water is created locally within each building using a combination of electric and solar thermal. Fire suppression is supplied from a central pumping station, while a high-tech vacuum-operated sewerage network solves the site’s long distances with a minimum disturbance of the local environment, and again from a singular centralised hub. Where installations are locally buried, these are positioned deep enough to be covered and protected, but not so deep that they encounter the seasonal water table.
We’ve also worked closely with the TRSDC Smart Technology team to incorporate site-wide smart-control systems, whereby guests use intuitive handheld tablet devices for environmental control of their villa and to engage with hotel services and excursions. Hotel-operators’ smart technologies will be integrated, to further streamline operations.
The digital collaboration platform provided for all project partners has been crucial within the design’s coordination and management, with some workshops involving up to 30 people, spread across many organisations, countries and time-zones. This collaborative approach, aligned to international best practises, has also allowed the design’s development within budget and timeframe despite the first year of appointment coinciding with the global Covid-19 lockdowns.