Architect: OFIS arhitekti Location: Maldives Islands Project Leaders: Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik Design Year: 2004-2006 Further Development: 2009 Design Team: Nejc Batistic, Martina Lipicer, Marisa Baptista 3d Animations & Realisations: David Lozej, Jaka Zvan, Rok Jereb
The government of Maldives runs every few years a bid for the islands that investors can rent for 25 years. The bid documentation has to contain also a concept and architectural proposal for the resort. The extra challenge was developing environmentally friendly, ecologically sensitive and self-sustaining model of 4 different islands and how to demonstrate an earnest concern and a keen sensitivity to its authentic environment.
The set-up respects the indigenous nature and a local surrounding condition.
After visiting all 14 islands that were available we choose four of them and developed proposals for 5-star resorts with 100 beds. The program besides different type’s accommodation such as on-water villas and beach-bungalows contained also 3 restaurants (main restaurant, beach-grill and pool-restaurant), spa, pool, diving school, services and staff accommodation.
The layout of facilities was chosen carefully with help of the local environmental experts – depending on position of reef, sea erosion, wind, existing vegetation and highs-the Maldivian urbanistic law has a very interesting high restriction-no building must be higher than the tallest tree on the island. The aim was not to damage any existing qualities and give the new infrastructure best possible climate and sun exposition. Main construction materials were local, wood, bamboo, straw and soil, construction method used prefabricated elements that would be built on land and brought to the island…
The prototype is an elevated floor that is embraced with U-shape wall with changing patterns. In this way series of bays appear offering different external and internal spaces. Accommodation villa for example contains 3 enclosed spaces with bedroom, bath and living and external porch or verandah with views to the sea or the island. Spa has enclosed spaces for massage, ayurveda or other treatments and external porch for resting.
Continuous loops are elements of this proposal, creating paths, floors or roofs. Roofs have moon-shape and are rising from the ground covering internal and external spaces. Loop wraps the interior of the island, where existing groups of palm trees are located and continue to the coast and the sea forming private plateaus and piers…
The main prefabricated element is a sandwich-wall of wood and straw forming a tree-Y-shape. These elements can be connected in various ways offering different internal and external spaces. They form sky-light, pergolas, rooftops, blinds and similar. All types of infrastructure are built from the same elements.
The basic prototype has elliptical shape with large external verandas, main internal space and services. Prototype has different variation in terms of size and use:
Accommodation facilities for example have pool on verandah, outdoor shower on the opposite site and internal space with bed, wardrobes and bathroom. Restaurant has similar organisation with outdoor eating, main indoor restaurant and kitchen with buffet in service areas.