LHAVIANI ATOLL, MALDIVES—Crown & Champa Resorts has opened its 100 percent solar-powered Kudadoo Maldives Private Island. The luxury resort is 200 meters long by 200 meters wide and was designed by Yuji Yamazaki. Included on the island are 13 one-bedroom residences and two two-bedroom residences.
According to Crown & Champa Resorts, at every point in the design and operation of Kudadoo, the team has carefully selected and purposefully minimized its environmental impact. Together with architect Yuji Yamazaki, Crown & Champa has sourced exclusively eco-conscious materials for the residences, including wood from sustainably managed forests in Canada, New Zealand and Indonesia.
Solar panels are easily visible on the rooftops of the residences. Traditionally, solar panels are hidden in discreet areas in the Maldives but Crown & Champa Resorts wanted to make the panels a symbol for the resort’s attention to sustainability. By utilizing solar panels, the resort does not have to rely on diesel fuel.
The design of the buildings reveals geometry that not only maximizes production of electricity by its angle, but also minimizes consumption of electricity by allowing sun light to come through the gaps between panels, minimizing the use of artificial light during the day. The solar system is producing 320kWp of electricity, which is enough to operate the entire island without diesel fuel. The initial investment in the solar system will be recovered in five years by eliminating the need to import diesel fuel.
The residences include large sliding doors on two sides which allows for a cross-breeze as well as the feeling of a large, open living space that extends all the way to the ocean. This design was purposely created to allow guests to feel the elements of the Maldives.
Typical villa or public spaces have operable full height windows strategically placed in opposite walls, advocating natural air ventilation with Maldivian wind. With overhang roofs, umbrellas and canopies, more than 50 percent of the private outdoor deck of all water villas were designed to have at least five hours of shaded hours during the day. An “egg crate” privacy screen system between villas gives guests wider frontal ocean view, while blocking views from adjacent villas.
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 to preserve those vegetations. There is an ecosystem in place attached to existing islands in the region and it was part of Crown & Champa Resorts’ mission to minimize change.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.