Foster + Partners Has Designed an Idyllic Circular Resort Lassoing the Red Sea

Foster + Partner Has Designed a Circular Hotel on the Red Sea

Renowned British architecture firm Foster + Partners has just completed the conceptual design for a circular resort in Saudi Arabia. The hotel, called Ummahat AlShaykh Hotel 12, was designed as part of the Red Sea Project—the most ambitious tourism endeavor in the world.

Planned by The Red Sea Development Company, the Red Sea Project will drive the growth of tourism along Saudi Arabia’s west coast. Well-known architects like Kengo Kuma and Foster + Partners are among the designers dreaming up luxurious projects for these relatively untouched islands between Umluj and Al Wajh, Saudia Arabia.

Foster + Partner Has Designed a Circular Hotel on the Red Sea

Foster’s circular proposal in the middle of the Red Sea is designed for Ummahat AlShaykh island but goes past the boundary of land by using stilts to build suites far into the water. Each hotel suite breaks away from the continuous circular path and is covered with a tropical timber roof. This style is used for all buildings in the resort including guest rooms, restaurants, and public rest areas all over the island.

Foster + Partners explains that environmental responsibility was an important consideration in their design for Ummahat AlShaykh Hotel 12. It had to meet the requirements set forth by the Red Sea Project like the use of renewable energy, banning single-use plastics, and planning for 100% carbon neutrality. Aside from the technical sustainable requirements, the designers wanted the project to be inherently environmentally friendly.

“When we looked at the islands our approach was to have a light touch. As light as we could possibly be,” says Gerard Evenden of Foster + Partners. The firm wanted to introduce tourism to this remote site with little to no harm to the natural environment. “How do you bring people to these places where nobody has been before?” asks Evenden. “And how do you bring people into those places without damaging anything?” These questions drove the design and helped them to develop a minimally invasive proposal that will allow future guests to truly appreciate the environment for years to come.

Foster + Partners has designed an incredible circular hotel in Saudi Arabia as part of the Red Sea Project.

Foster + Partner Has Designed a Circular Hotel on the Red Sea

Foster + Partner Has Designed a Circular Hotel on the Red Sea

Foster + Partners: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn
Red Sea Project: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn
h/t: [Dezeen]

All Images via Foster + Partners and the Red Sea Project.

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Samantha Pires

Sam Pires is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She is also a freelance architectural designer. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from NJIT and is currently earning a Master in Architecture II from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sam has design experience at multiple renowned architecture firms such as Gensler and Bjarke Ingels Group. She believes architecture should be more accessible to everyone and uses writing to tell unexpected stories about the built environment. You can connect with her online at
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