After his outstanding work on Hurawalhi’s public spaces, selecting New York-based architectural firm Yuji Yamazaki Architecture PLLC to design Kudadoo Maldives Private Island in its entirety was an obvious choice. Yuji has gone above and beyond by breaking away from common resort design and has conceived Kudadoo as a cohesive representation of the place, with each building and each design detail taking inspiration from the Maldives’ unique characteristics.
‘All resorts in the Maldives are accessed by boats or seaplanes. It is unique to this country that you first discover everything from the sea or sky, which gives the visitors a stunning impression of the entirety of architecture on the private island’, says Yuji. One such example is the residences; 15 villas on the water connected by a ring is, as he describes it, ‘a microcosm of the Maldives’ geography, an atoll.’
Kudadoo’s most iconic feature and the island’s hub is The Retreat. The social centre of any stay, it provides a communal space for all to enjoy; it houses a restaurant, a bar, a wine cellar, an infinity pool, a gymnasium, a steam room, a sauna and a Himalayan salt chamber, a boutique, a spa and meeting facilities. The views from the upper level are out of this world; ‘This is perhaps the highest vantage point in the Maldives built over the sea! Standing on the upper deck in the middle of the Indian Ocean, looking afar to the horizon, there is no other feeling comparable to this. Think the ‘I’m flying’ scene in the Titanic,’ notes Yuji. The Retreat is a truly impressive, 21-metre high building.
The Retreat’s graceful gently sloped roof grates the bright Equatorial sunlight into a comfortable dappled glow underneath and, even more significantly, it generates electricity. It has been determined that the solar panels on this 2,000-square metre roof generate sufficient power to serve 50 guests and 100 staff occupying the private island at any time. Kudadoo truly showcases what the future of sustainable resorts in tropical climates looks like.
Although the solar system generates a surplus of electricity, all residences are designed to minimise energy consumption.
Yuji Yamazaki s a licensed architect in New York State and principal of YYA based in New York City. Prior to establishing YYA, Yuji served as a senior associate at Janson Goldstein and created projects for Giorgio Armani, W Hotel, Calvin Klein and Saks Fifth Avenue. At Vignelli Associates, his projects included Roma Termini Station, Murano Glass exhibition, JFK airport terminal 8, Millennium Message art installation for Smithsonian Institution, train interior design for Fiat, and streetscape design for New York City. YYA’s first project in the Maldives was in the North Male’ Atoll which has been awarded “Best Beach Hotel” by the International Hotel & Property Award, and awarded “Best Beach Resort” by Interior Design Magazine, the largest interior design publication in the US. Yuji attended School of Visual Arts and Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York and holds Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design, and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University in Landscape Design.