We appointed award-winning British architects Foster + Partners to design our Southern Dunes hotel, one of two inland hotels to open as part of phase one of The Red Sea Project. Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, elaborates on the inspiration behind their designs.
“From our work previously in the desert, one of the most important things is to avoid using what we call high thermal mass materials. If you use stone or concrete in the desert, the problem is that over time it heats up and it becomes a thermal mass. They radiate heat and they hold the heat. And because in the desert they are being baked every day, they never get cooled.
“This means that in order to reduce temperatures you have to pump in systems to lower temperatures internally within these buildings because these buildings are just getting hotter and hotter.
“So the physical makeup of your buildings needs to be lightweight. Lightweight materials. Simple materials that construct together. They can then be transported as finished items. The more transportable finished items we can bring, the better. And that will lead not only to fast reactive buildings but will also lead to incredibly energy efficient construction.”