Foster + Partners Designs Coral-inspired Museum by the Red Sea
Foster + Partners has designed a state-of-the-art marine life institute for the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism projects. The institute will function as both a scientific research center and a tourist destination. It will accelerate conservation-driven research, while offering visitors truly multidimensional experiences that bridge educational exhibitions with adventure-filled excursions.
“We wanted to design a first-of-its-kind facility that extends far beyond any existing marine life attraction,” commented John Pagano, Group CEO of TRSDC. “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 travelers seeking trips that enrich their lives.
“The institute will live in the Triple Bay marina at AMAALA, but is the beating heart of our broader ambitions to protect and enhance the thriving Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. Through our expanding portfolio of projects, we will share our valuable scientific discoveries with the world and enable our guests to experience the true beauty of our thriving coral reefs.”
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 the depths of the Red Sea in a submarine. A testament to TRSDC’s coral farming operations, the facility will also be home to one of the world’s largest man-made reefs, measuring an astonishing 40 meters long and 10 meters deep and providing an epic “Grand Reveal” moment for visitors on arrival.
Set within the AMAALA destination on the west coast of Saudi Arabia and located on the waterfront of Triple Bay, the 10,340 square meter institute will comprise three levels – one above ground and two below – and offer stunning panoramic views of the Red Sea and the marina.
Inspired by the Red Sea’s thriving coral formations, the glass-reinforced concrete that is being used to build the institute will be intricately molded to resemble reef patterns against the skyline. Inside, exhibition displays have also been integrated into the infrastructure, with visitors flanked by suspended semi-spherical tanks containing colorful local marine wildlife from the point of entry.
“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,” said Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners. “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.”
Images: Courtesy of Foster + Partners