The Maldives is the new attraction for a magical vacation set in blue lagoons and among the beauty of coral reefs. Due to this magnetism, the island has become a hotbed for innovations showcasing a wide range of unconventional forms, a spectrum of materials, and out of the closet designs. The seamless blend of the contemporary condition with the vernacular offers ceaseless views of surrounding nature. Aquatic architecture has found newer visions and scope ranging from hospitality to commercial grounds. 

The virgin land of Maldives invites Avant-garde ideologies, exemplary fashion, and foresightedness. The development pace of architecture in this boundary is brisk with numerous things in store for seekers, ranging from rich history to modern aquatic architecture. 

Now, let’s look at some of the many reasons why you must visit the Maldives:

1. Architectural innovations

Maldivian architecture accounts for countless innovations scaling the new horizons of the built environment. Drawing inspiration from the spectrum covering vernacular architecture, aquatic architecture to craft a hospitality environment that has endless possibilities. The place has on its name, numerous firsts like the world’s first underwater hotel Villa and the world’s first inter-tidal art museum proposed. 

Coralarium, by Jason Decaires Taylor the project is the island’s first coral regeneration project addressing the environmental issues of degree rising ocean temperature, causing devastation to the coral. The structure is semi-submerged stainless steel, tidal gallery space exhibiting a series of sculptural artwork on the skyline, inter-tidal waterline, and seabed. The complex structure is based on natural coral structure and its porous allowing currents, the tides, and the marine life to pass through it, whilst being a part of the natural habitat. 

This artwork guides new visions that play fair with the environment and surpass the boundaries, molding the perspective of designers, to create wonders.

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Coralarium_©Cat Vinton

2. Rich Maldivian Architecture

In the recent scenario of Maldives, the development and transformation of space have been quite fastwaking up to the call of tourism and globalization. But the Maldivian craftsmanship and skills have been admirable from a very early period. The architecture here accounts for the climatic condition and meager resources available in the region, with also showcasing close relation to the sea. 

Coral stone can be seen in most of the ancient buildings as it was found in abundance. One can see various indigenous construction techniques used and majorly three typologies of housing layouts. The architectural history of the area can be read through the walls of these structures.

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Male Friday Mosque, 1658_©httpscoralstonemosques.commale-friday-mosque

3. Flourishing aquatic architecture

Here an architect/designer will see the epitome of aquatic architecture: diving deep into the reigns of possibilities with new technological advancements and ease of construction. The underwater architecture is a refuge from the rising sea levels due to climatic change. The Maldives hosts several aqua marvels. 

Muraka, in the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, is the world’s first underwater hotel, which will allow guests to enjoy, relax within the waters of the Indian Ocean. This hotel is 16 feet above sea level, a stay in Muraka should be on an architect’s visit bucket list. Endorsed by the developers as “an ambitious display of architecture, design, and technology.” 

With architectural miracles sprouting on the island, the archipelago entertains a good number of tourists throughout the year. Consequently, the scope and prospects of such a place are upmarket. The charm of Maldives pulls visionary eyes which can process spatial wonders.

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Underwater Villa, Muraka_©Tom Grahsler

4. Art with nature

Maldives’ built environment is art with nature and its surroundings flow harmoniously with the sea. The best-designed resorts like the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resorts, by WOW Architects, create a symphony with the greens and blues. These paradises are created with a profound awareness of the complex relation of the ecosystems. The four ecological zones: lagoon, beach, coastal, and jungle are designed as experiential programs with anchoring activities. 

Landscape at the resort is focusing on conserving Existing flora and fauna, with the forms and spaces driven from nature itself creating awareness in the guests.

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St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resorts _©Aaron Pocock, Ralf Toolten

5. Unconventional forms

The resort located on Muravandhoo Island in the north Maldives, JOALI, has some villas elevated above water while others are built on the island itself. ‘Maldivian spirit’ has been channelized through apt utilization of local materials, textures, and craftsmanship which has been drawn entirely from the vernacular architecture. 

The most eye-catching structure is the arrival jetty, structurally a wave-like canopy, welcoming guests coming to the resort. The dramatic roof is covered entirely with touch, the color palette for the interior being different shades of coconut. Inspiring creativeness in the designer to shift from the grey blocks into an arena of groundbreaking forms.

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Arrival Jetty at JOALI, Maldives _©www.cntraveller.com/article/joali-maldives-hotel-review

6. Hosting sustainability

Maldives structure design has figured out the path to comfortable sustainability, serving just right, making hospitality economical in various manners. These new mannerisms crafted by Yuji Yamazaki Mingle flawlessly with surroundings, luxury, and efficiency at Kudadoo Private Islands. Designed with traditional solar panels and building symmetry maximizing electrical production and minimizing consumption. Breeze, shade, and view are the driving elements of these villa designs. These fantastic examples are worth visiting for every designer.

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Kudadoo Private Islands Image  _©www.kudadoo.com/latest-news/private-island-exclusive-hire/

7. Monuments of Maldives

Maldives not only has sparkling crystal blue waters, Soothing beaches, and beautiful resorts, it also has several incredible monuments that demonstrate Islamic culture with lots of facts and inquisitiveness for observers. One of such architectural marvels is the Hulhumale Mosque, located in Hulhumale, encompassing architectural patterns of the Mughal Empire, also being one of the most beautiful mosques in the region. It is a massive, modern-looking circular building with large openings and a splendid golden dome.

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Hulhumale Island  _©Ibrahim Asad

One of the most significant monuments is Tsunami Monument, in the Malé, Maldives: a must-visit for its fancy history. It is a steel memorial adorned with spears representing and remembering those who lost their lives in the tsunami destruction of 2004. 20 steel spears are encircling it, showing the pillars representing the waves of the tsunami.

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Tsunami Monument  _©Zairon

8. Inventive potential

The free spirit of Maldives has made the land a hotbed for magnificent designs with great future brewing for its architecture. The Maldives Floating City, designed by Netherlands-based Dutch Docklands, mitigates the effects of climate change and overcomes the rising sea levels. Thriving on tourism, the floating hexagon-shaped segments will be an inspiration to many for greater development plans.

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The Floating City  _©Bjarke Ingels Group / Oceanix

9. Roaring hospitality

The Maldives has the finest of resorts and hotels with top-notch amenities and luxuries setting benchmarks for the entire industry. The architecture of these built aurae with their landscape is one of their kind, set in the heavens. The philosophy, concepts, and details are worth learning and experiencing.

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W Maldives by Poole Associate Private Ltd  _©www.marriott.comhotelstravelmlewh-w-maldives

10. Deserving vacations

The Maldives is just the right destination for an architect to go on a vacation, take the load off his/her shoulder and be with the moment. The place will give you the rightful break you have been planning while working on your desktops. So, relax and take time for yourself and be in the very heaven on earth!

Maldives Break  _©joali.com/island-and-story/where-is-joali

Reference 

  • designboom | architecture & design magazine. (2018). coralarium, world’s first inter tidal art museum at fairmont madives sirru fen fushi by jason decaires taylor. [online] Available at: https://www.designboom.com/art/jason-decaires-taylor-coralarium-fairmont-maldives-sirru-fen-fushi-underwater-art-museum-07-03-2018/.
  • ArchDaily. (2019). World’s First Underwater Hotel to Open in the Maldives. [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/908998/worlds-first-underwater-hotel-to-open-in-the-maldives [Accessed 2 Sep. 2021].
  • Nast, C. (2019). The Maldives Is Having a Design Moment, Dive In. [online] Architectural Digest. Available at: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/the-maldives-design-moment [Accessed 2 Sep. 2021].
  • Welcome! (n.d.). A History of Maldivian Architecture: Part 1—Medieval records to 1900. [online] Available at: https://www.hassanhameed.com/a-history-of-architecture-of-the-maldives-from-the-medieval-period-to-1900/ [Accessed 2 Sep. 2021].
  • designboom | architecture & design magazine. (2019). this luxury resort draws from the maldives’ vernacular architecture. [online] Available at: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/autoban-joali-resort-maldives-muravandhoo-island-03-09-2019/.
  • designboom | architecture & design magazine. (2018). world’s first undersea residence set to open beneath the indian ocean. [online] Available at: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/worlds-first-undersea-residence-conrad-maldives-rangali-island-04-27-2018/ [Accessed 2 Sep. 2021].
Author

She is an architecture student, envisioning to mold the stereotyped perspective of architecture, beyond the walls and roofs. Practicing to craft song of words, which would do justice to the unseen and unheard beauty of the built world dancing around us. In hope that they will make a difference someday. Other than that you can find her gardening!

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