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30 Sep 2022

Foster and Partners reveal design for sustainable marine life centre on the Red Sea
BY Tom Walker

The institute will function as both a scientific research center and a tourist destination

The institute will function as both a scientific research center and a tourist destination
photo: Foster + Partners/TRSDC

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the AMAALA tourism project on the shores of the Red Sea, has revealed detailed plans for a marine life institute.

Designed by Foster and Partners, the institute will function as both a scientific research centre and a tourist destination, with 10 zones providing a range of experiences, from augmented reality to submarine dives.

The 10,340sqm institute will be built three levels – one above ground and two below – and offer panoramic views of the Red Sea and marina. 

Inspired by the Red Sea's coral formations, the glass-reinforced concrete being used to build the institute will be intricately moulded to resemble reef patterns.

Inside, exhibition displays have also been integrated into the infrastructure, with visitors flanked by suspended semi-spherical tanks containing colourful local marine life.

Expected to host up to 650 people at any one time, guests will be able to walk underwater, snorkel with rare species, participate in lab tours and dive into the depths of the Red Sea in a submarine.

The marine life institute is part of phase one of AMAALA Triple Bay, which is set to welcome its first guests in 2024.  

John Pagano, Group CEO of TRSDC, said: “We wanted to design a first-of-its-kind facility that extends far beyond any existing marine life attraction.

"With 10 zones that provide everything from augmented reality experiences to night diving and spaces for the scientific community to effectively progress their environmental projects, the facility is undeniably unique.

"Not only will it drive global green and blue innovations, it will also help put Saudi Arabia on the map for travellers seeking trips that enrich their lives."

More than 40 per cent of the site will be covered by native plants, and a system to collect runoff water put in place to prevent erosion and pollution while reducing mains water use.

The lighting throughout the institute has also been designed with the company’s green ambitions in mind, with an innovative framework to prevent light pollution to protect the nocturnal environment.

Gerard Evenden, head of studio at Foster and Partners, said: “The marine life institute will take guests on a vibrant, educational, and awe-inspiring journey that unveils the natural wonders of the Red Sea and blurs the boundaries between the institute and the ocean.

"By recreating natural marine habitats, offering unforgettable marine interactions, and sharing glimpses into conservation projects, it will provide guests with an immersive marine experience unlike any other.”

TRSDC is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

AMAALA is marketed as an ultra-luxury destination and as the "first global integrated family wellness destination"

Phase One of Triple Bay is well underway and set to be complete in 2024. It will consist of eight resorts offering upwards of 1,200 hotel keys. Over 300 contracts have been awarded to date worth in excess of 6.6bn riyals.

Once complete, AMAALA will be home to more than 3,000 hotel rooms across 25 hotels, and approximately 900 luxury residential villas, apartments, and estate homes, alongside high-end retail establishments, fine dining, wellness, and recreational facilities.



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