Kudadoo Maldives Private Island / Yuji Yamazaki Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. The Maldives has the lowest average ground level of any nation, which makes for some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. It also makes Maldivians extremely sensitive to the change in sea levels. The burden of global CO2 reduction in the atmosphere lies primarily with a few large economies, but achieving carbon neutrality in this small island nation should be an inspiration for sustainable development in larger countries. There may be no better place in the world to showcase the future of sustainable tourism.
It is unique to this island nation that you first discover your destination from the sky, which gives the visitors a stunning impression of the entirety of the architecture on the island. Traditionally, solar panels are hidden in discrete areas in the Maldives and it does not have any other function, but in Kudadoo, the photo-voltaic roof is decidedly visible and becomes the icon of the place. Visitors may instantly understand our aim to integrate the solar system into the overall design concept.
The solar concept should be as informative and persuasive as it is productive. At a glance, visitors can assess the size of the solar roof, and then comprehend the relationship to the scale of the resort served by it. As you get closer, the design of the building reveals geometry that not only maximizes the production of electricity by its angle but also minimizes the consumption of electricity by allowing sunlight to come through the gaps between panels, minimizing the use of artificial light during the day. The system is producing 320kWp of electricity, which suffice to operate the entire island without diesel fuel. The initial investment in the solar system is to be recovered in 5 years by eliminating the need to import diesel fuel. This should be a fantastic example for other countries with similar climates.
Architecturally, breeze, shade, and view were the driving elements for our design in a tropical setting. Typical villa or public spaces have operable full height windows strategically placed on opposite walls, advocating natural air ventilation with Maldivian wind. With overhang roofs, umbrellas, and canopies, more than 50% of private outdoor decks of all water villas were designed to have at least 5 hours of shaded hours during the day. Our “egg crate” privacy screen system between villas gives guests a wider frontal ocean view while blocking views from adjacent villas. Breeze, shade, and view create comfort in nature. That’s what most guests seek in a tropical setting.
The design of the surroundings takes inspiration from what was there before. The island had beautiful beaches, littoral plantings, coconut groves, and interior forests. The basic plant structure and the native plant palette were kept intact such as Sea Lettuce, Iron Wood, Coconut Palm, Beach Hibiscus, and Screwpine. All guest accommodations are placed on the sand lagoon in an effort to preserve the vegetation. 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.