Club Med Finolhu Villas – Modern & Chic Design Surrounded by Stunning Nature
Finolhu Villas by Yuji Yamazaki Architecture and Meriem Hall Designs. Each villa is gifted with its own distinct character but the general design of the resort itself is a refined reflection of various cultures to present a worldwide appeal. For over six decades Club Med has been synonymous with high-end, all-inclusive luxury in some of the world’s most exotic locations. Founded by a former Beligum polo star the French vacation resorts strive to provide the most prestigious holiday resorts in the industry.
New Finolhu Villas, an idyllic island (Gasfinolhu) of the Maldives where you can stroll down a pristine stretch of beach beside clear, turquoise waters sparkling brilliantly in the sun, with your feet gently cushioned by fine, powder-white sand – has been described as “the green jewel in the middle of the Indian Ocean”.
“Club Med is proud to announce the launch of its brand new Finolhu Villas, an exclusive eco-chic paradise in the Maldives. The new property, which is due to open in February 2015, is a collection of 52 exquisitely designed Villas. With beautifully spacious and private Villas surrounded by incomparable natural beauty, Club Med has set a new benchmark for top-end accommodation and service in the Indian Ocean paradise. The new Finolhu Villas, which are very close to the adjacent Club Med Kani Premium Resort, will offer guests the most refined, luxury facilities and services available as well as access to the Kani Premium Resort.” – Club Med
located in the beauteous Maldives, features 52 Villas with private pools. The story of this elegant design appeals to the esteemed traveller who voyages the world in search of decadence and relaxation. Each villa is gifted with its own distinct character but the general design of the resort itself is a refined reflection of various cultures to present a worldwide appeal. The concept is infused with abundant usage of tactile textures and plush surfaces for the essential feel of a premier establishment.
The five-star resort, which will accommodate 100 guests year round, invites the clientle 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 123,000 sq. ft. It’s been determined that 67,000 sq. ft. 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.
“I travelled the world, guided by experience and light. My words are beauty, my eyes are essence, my touch is natural and my attitude is elegance. Everywhere I go, I feel home because wherever I am, I transport in my refined baggage, my world and my memory. As wide as the world could be, within my hands it is a map folded in my bag. I look for the essential, the quintessential as the essence is ultimate luxury and Luxury is essence. I travel the world with respect, enjoy the refinement of its expression and the inner beauty that lies within…” – Meriem Hall
Yuji Yamazaki Architecture:
The Maldives’ first entirely solar powered five-star resort is now open to guests. The Maldives has the lowest average ground level of any nation, which makes for some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. It also makes Maldivians extremely sensitive to the effects of rising sea levels. The burden of global CO2 reduction lies primarily with a few large economies, but achieving carbon neutrality on this small island should be an inspiration for sustainable development in larger countries. There may be no better place in the world to showcase the future of sustainable resorts than the luxurious tropical setting of Finolhu Villas by Club Med.
The resort opened to the public with a three-day festival of special events, beginning with presentations by Chairman and CEO of Club Med Henri Giscard d’Estang and CEO of Club Med South East Asia Pacific Heidi Kunkel. At the speech given at the ceremony, the owner, the initiator of “100% solar-powered” project, and Maldivian hospitality pioneer Champa Hussain Afeef, recalled how the island was “a simple sandbank with coconut trees when we first saw it.” With this project, he said, “We wanted to do something different and sustainable. I believe renewable energy is not just the future for tourism, but for all other industries as well.”
Designed by New York based architectural firm Yuji Yamazaki Architecture PLLC in partnership with local firm Design 2000 and Italian engineering firm T&D Water Technologies, the island resort will accommodate about 100 guests year round. Guests can relax and enjoy the equatorial sun, and they can also see how solar energy is collected to operate the island. The island is approximately 13 acres with interior space of 123,000 sq. ft. It’s been determined that 67,000 sq ft. of solar panels, with a storage battery generating 1 mega watt on an average sunny day, is sufficient to serve 100 guests and 100 staff occupying the resort at any time. The solar panels are visible to the guests throughout the island and are integrated into all aspects of the resort’s design as an architectural embellishment. The initial investment in the solar system (including the batteries and monitoring system) will be paid off in seven to eight years by eliminating the need to import diesel fuel. This should be a fantastic example for other countries with similar climates. An about two hundred person occupying a 13-acre island is similar to the population density of Miami. In theory, if Miami could delegate just 12% of their land or rooftops to solar panels, the largest city in the “Sunshine State” could be powered entirely by the sun.
Although the solar system generates a surplus of electricity, all guest rooms are designed to minimize energy consumption. The typical guest villa is oriented with operable windows strategically placed, maximizing air ventilation with natural Maldivian wind. Wooden shade screens on two sides of each villa cut off direct sun before reaching the exterior walls and patio, keeping interior temperatures low. The majority of guests typically do not turn on air conditioning during their stay despite the hot and humid climate.
“All resorts in the Maldives are accessed by boats or seaplanes. It is unique to this county that you first see any building in the distance from the sea or sky, which gives the visitors a stunning impression of the entirety of architecture on the island.” Yamazaki intended for the shape of the buildings to suit the uniqueness of the place. For Finolhu Villas, YYA uses gentle curves for all roofs to derive a sense of the organisms that inhabit the tropical environment. “Banana leaf, hermit crab, ocean wave, sea turtle—those are all interesting reference points that guests have pointed out to me after they have observed the resort, but the shape is really a function of efficiency in this case.” says Yamazaki. The design of the surroundings takes inspiration from what was there before. “It is impossible to recreate nature, but we tried our best. The island had beautiful beaches, littoral plantings, coconut groves and interior forests. We kept this basic structure, and also kept the native plant palette such as Sea Lettuce, Iron Wood, Coconut Palm, Beach Hibiscus and Screwpine. When you have a beautiful and unique site like this, you want to just preserve it. Hopefully our new landscape will seamlessly blend with what was there before. Ultimately that’s the main thing that people come to enjoy.” – According to Yuji Yamazaki, AIA, and the principal architect
Project name: Finolhu Villas
Location: Gasfinolhu Island, Male Atoll, Maldives
Coordinates: 4.361345, 73.626349
Type: Resort, Resort Interior
Site Area: 62,000 sqm
Accommodations: 52 VILLAS
- 13 SUNSET OVERWATER VILLAS – Size 168 sqm – (indoor = 78 sqm and outdoor = 90sqm)
- 17 SUNRISE OVERWATER VILLAS – Size 151 sqm – (indoor = 66.5 sqm and outdoor = 84.5sqm)
- 22 BEACH VILLAS (9 Sunset/ 13 Sunrise Beach Villas) – Size 168 sqm – (indoor = 66.5 sqm and outdoor = 101.5 sqm)
Completion Year: 2015
Opening Date: 31 Jan 2015
Client / Owner / Developer: Crown Company Pte. Ltd
Operator: Club Med Finolhu Villas
Architects: Yuji Yamazaki Architecture – 611 Broadway, Suite 734, New York, NY 10012 United States
Interior Designer: Meriem Hall Designs – 20 Peck Seah Street, #05-00 Singapore 079312
Contractor: Flight Timbers
MEP: T&D Water Technology
Solar Panel: T&D Water Technology
Text Description: © Courtesy of Yuji Yamazaki Architecture, Meriem Hall Designs, Club Med, Finolhu Villas
Images: © Yuji Yamazaki Architecture, Finolhu Villas