Kagi Maldives Spa Island / Yuji Yamazaki Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. Our design mission was to satisfy our client’s intent and purpose, that is to create a place that combines the pristine nature of the Maldivian island and the well-being of the guests. From our standpoint for this island, well-being comes from the ample private space that is safe, at the same time it is open to the surrounding nature. Also, we believe that conveying the right balance between the sense of solitude and socialization is crucial.
In designing the master plan, maximizing the views from some key locations became important. We have placed 40 villas on the water, and 10 villas on the beach. Each villa was designed to have a front deck with a pool facing an unobstructed view of the Indian ocean. This is where an ample, safe, private space meets one of the wildest marine life in the world. We hope that the visitors would draw the sense of solitude here, and also the sense of being a part of nature.
Socialization among the guests and staff is important for the well-being of a remote island like this. Architecturally, we have created two hubs on the island – the spa complex on the south and a restaurant complex on the west. Those public buildings are designed to provide ample extra spaces and encourage not only socialization without crowding but also privacy without isolation.
The spa complex places people at its heart, creating an ideal calm place for well-being. The lagoon and a ring-shaped building form a seamless whole: Reception, Retail, Wellness Café, Treatment rooms, Relaxing Lounges, Gym, Yoga Studio, Steam rooms are radially arranged, and all supported by a communal open center ‘pod’ for the guests to rejuvenate mind, body, and soul. The entire shell-shaped building has a total footprint of 1,400 square-meter, making it one of the largest spa facilities in the country.
For the restaurant complex, our initial study showed that 1,600 square-meter of minimum space is required for 100 guests. The dining rooms, lounges, bar, wine room, and kitchen are also radially arranged with a common center of an herb garden to convey a sense of openness, where the local horticulture is showcased and interacted by the guests. The restaurant / bar seating was arranged to give the options of indoor or outdoor, natural breeze or air-conditioned, private or public. The total footprint was increased to 3,200 square-meter in order to accommodate those features and flexibilities.
In order to protect the existing ecosystem, landscape plant materials are kept, native. Coconut Palm (Dhivehi Ruh), Sea Lettuce (Magoo), Iron Wood (Kuredhi), Beach Hibiscus (Dhigga), Screwpine (Boa Kashikeya) are among the dominant plants. Often, we see beautifully manicured landscapes with exotic plants in Maldivian resorts, but we believe that the introduction of imported plants may result in unpredicted results within a holistic ecosystem in the country. There is an ecosystem in place attached to existing islands in the region and it was part of our crucial mission to minimize the change. In autumn, we expect to see bird migration come back to the island.