Foster + Partners’ ambitious Coral Bloom Resort unfolds on a Saudi Arabian island

Part of The Red Sea Project, Coral Bloom includes 11 luxury hotels that blend into the pristine Shurayrah Island, their designs taking cues from Saudi Arabia’s native coral reefs.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Feb 17, 2021

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has revealed visuals of Coral Bloom, its new, nature inspired luxury resort complex on Saudi Arabia's Shurayrah Island. Envisaged by Foster + Partners, the concept consists of 11 hotels sprawled across the dolphin shaped isle, inspired by the colours and forms of the stunning underwater coral reefs, and other flora and fauna native to Saudi Arabia. The resort embraces the exquisite landscape, which is one of the core elements of the design and is being hailed as the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project. 

Coral Bloom Resort includes 11 luxury hotels sprawled on Shurayrah Island | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
Coral Bloom Resort includes 11 luxury hotels sprawled on Shurayrah Island Image: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, Chairman of The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), launched the design recently, which aim to “protect and enhance Shurayrah Island’s pristine natural state”.

The Red Sea Project will come up on the west coast of Saudi Arabia | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
The Red Sea Project will come up on the west coast of Saudi Arabia Image: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

The Red Sea Project is being developed over 28,000 km of land and waters across the west coast of Saudi Arabia, which includes a marvelous archipelago of more than 90 islands, with features of mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes, and ancient cultural and heritage sites. The project comprises hotels, residential properties, leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities, and supporting infrastructure that runs on renewable energy and emphasises water conservation. Shurayrah is one of only 22 islands selected for the development, relays TRSDC.

Villas in Coral Bloom Resort draw from Saudi Arabia’s coral reefs | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
Villas in Coral Bloom Resort draw from Saudi Arabia’s coral reefs Image: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

“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,” explains Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners.

The resort will make the guests feel as though they washed up on the beach | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
The resort will make the guests feel as though they washed up on the beach Image: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

The Coral Bloom Resort concept incorporates low slung villas that ensure panoramic, uninhibited vistas for the guests to enjoy. The 11 hotels each will have a distinct design, and will be operated by the world’s most distinguished hospitality companies.

The resort design also takes in consideration some additional space, keeping in mind post COVID-19 expectations of architecture, while sitting cosy with sand dunes for company and views to the stunning natural landscape that envelopes them. For an enhanced energy efficient construction that has significantly less impact on the environment, the villas will be constructed with lightweight materials that possess low thermal mass, and will be manufactured off site.

Each villa in the resort will have a distinct design | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
Each villa in the resort will have a distinct design Image: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

“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. The Coral Bloom designs, taking inspiration from the incredible flora and fauna found uniquely in Saudi Arabia, promise to make that vision a reality,” says John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.

The luxury resort design protects and enhances the biodiversity it is imagined in, planned such that the island’s mangroves and other habitats remain undisturbed. This guarantees that they remain as a natural stronghold against erosions, while new ecologies keep flourishing, enhancing the island’s beauty.

The hotels will have a low slung, luxurious design | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
The hotels will have a low slung, luxurious design Image: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

New beaches will sprout along the lagoon, which will ultimately raise the land, which will then act as a defensive layer from rising sea levels. “The changes and additions aim to preserve or enhance what already exists on the island, without damaging any habitats or natural shores,” says the developer team.

The hotels will be built with low impact materials | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
The hotels will be built with low impact materials Image: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

TRSDC also claims that they are creating “the world’s largest district cooling plant powered by renewable energy 24 hours a day to facilitate efficient centralised cooling across the destination. The project will be powered by renewables, underpinned by the largest battery storage system in the world”. To further this, the masterplan has an extensive marine spatial planning exercise in place, and leaves 75 per cent of the islands untouched.

The Coral Bloom Resort waterfront | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
The Coral Bloom Resort waterfront Image: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

The Red Sea Project is expected to start welcoming guests by the end of 2022, once Coral Bloom's first four hotels and the international airport open. The remaining hotels are planned to open gates by 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,” mentions the developer.

03 mins watch Coral Bloom designs at The Red Sea | Foster + Partners imagines the Coral Bloom Resort for TRSDC | STIRworld
Coral Bloom designs at The Red Sea Video: Courtesy of The Red Sea Development Company

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