Finolhu Villas is the worlds’s first exclusively solar-powered, five-star island resort in the Maldives and boy is it a sight to behold. Designed by New York based Yuji Yamazaki Architecture, (in partnership with local firm Design 2000, and Italian engineering firm T&D Water Technologies) the award winning Finolhu Villas accomodates about 100 guests annually in 52 tropical villas, along a picturesque backdrop. The design of the resort integrates its solar panels into all aspects of the development, most notably the long walkway that connects the villas on the water to the beach, making them visible to guests as an architectural embellishment.
Here’s a description from YYA, including their inspiration for going 100% solar,
The five-star resort, which will accommodate 100 guests year round, invites the clientele to experience both the luxurious settings and the innovative energy-saving techniques, making this destination more than a typical beach getaway. The burden of global CO2 reduction lies primarily with a few large economies, however achieving carbon neutrality on this small island nation could be a template for future developments in larger countries. The island is approximately 12.6 acres with occupiable interior space of 11427 sq m. It’s been determined that 6225 sq m. of solar panels, with a storage battery generating 900 kw on an average sunny day, is sufficient to serve 100 guests and 100 staff occupying the resort at any time. 200 people occupying a 12.6-acre island is equivalent to the population density of Miami. In theory, if Miami and other cities in Florida could delegate 12% of their land or rooftops to solar panels, the sunshine would give the state of Florida something more than just a nickname—clean energy.
If there,was ever a vacation destination to put on a bucket-list, this would be it. The design is subtle, natural and very contextual. Sure, it has some modernist elements here and there, but the core of it is obviously inspired by its location.
The curved gables, wooden decks, facades and roof elements all complement the green vegetation on the beach as well as the clear blue on the water. The luxury here is not so much in all the proverbial “bells and whistles” that come with most holiday destinations, but the experience of being on this picturesque island, and taking in the breeze, enjoying the beach and savouring what the exquisite design and amenity that the Finolhu Villas have to offer.