Project name: Maldives GA(D)AKOSHIBEEGA
Location: Maldives
Client: Akarsu Holding 
Architect: GAD & Gokhan Avcioglu
Team: Derya Arpac, Mehmet Baykara, Karun Tugay Candir, Mert Cigizoglu, Ertugrul Morcol, Selin Kin, Müge Tan
Start / Compelation: 2012
Building type: low rise
Project type: Hospitality
Project site area: 176.210 sqm
Construction area: 32.000 sqm

 2013 International Hotel Award, Best International Hotel Award with Maldives GA(D)AKOSHIBE


The Maldives, which is located in the South Indian Pacific, are a group of islands which are spread over an area of 300 sqkm and provide a tropical climate throughout the whole year.
GAD primarily considered for the conceptual development of the project the climatic conditions, and the island’s natural features, like colors, textures, light-shadow relationships and all these elements in everyday life. Due to the geographical conditions of the islands, a traditional architecture style in form of solid constructions has not been developed in the Maldives for a long time. Increasing investments in the regions’s tourism by developing resort islands has truly initiated new architectural processes. The project has been developed  by GAD after clients first applications. We suggest a new approach  which is more sustainable and contains nature friendly materials. Our main aim is to interpret the island natural beauty with a new architectural approach while protecting island’s nature. 

Underneath the Lagoone
GAAKOSHIBEE (Kofenbe)  is a large island over two miles in diameter, with a lagoon of a greatest depth of three fathoms. The lagoon is literally like a swimming pool with full of different variety of fishes. A large triangular island occupies the greater part of the eastern maldives. The vegetation consists of low bushes, though on the eastern face there are a few clumps of large trees. The island is flanked by steep coarse coral shingle beaches. At low tide of lagoon a great part of the sink is bare, the bottom being fine coral ooze ; it is an exceedingly pretty sheet of water surrounded on all sides by clumps of large forest trees, with bays and bights reaching out from all faces. 

Tradational kettuvallam boat ( kerala boat) was the biggest inspiration on design process. Kettuvallam  is a house boat widely used in the Indian state of Kerala. These have thatched roof covers over wooden hulls. The traditional kettuvallam is mainly used for promoting Kerala tourism. In the Malayalam language "kettu” means "to tie” and "vallam” means boat – the two together make the local name "kettuvallam”.  Houseboat is constructed using the ancient principles and techniques of boat building by the local carpenters using ‘Anjili’ wood. Coir ropes are used for fastening the wooden planks together. Boats in a variety of shapes and sizes have traditionally been the main means of transport of men and materials in the Kerala backwaters since olden days. For the royalty these boats even became comfortable living quarters. Traditional South Asian architecture, which exists predominantly in countries like Thailand and Indonasia, has been transformed into an architecture language to adapt to the amenities of resorts and their vacation, relaxation concept. Typical features are bungalows which are built above the sea water and connected with each other. Spa & wellness areas with Far Eastern characteristics complete the main codes of Maldivian architecture.

Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean consisting of a double chain of twenty-six atolls, orientated north-south, that lie between Minicoy Island (the southernmost part of Lakshadweep, India) and the Chagos Archipelago. The chains stand in the Laccadive Sea, about 700 kilometres (430 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka and 400 kilometres (250 mi) south-west of India. The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. With an average ground level of 1.5 metres above sea level, it is the planet’s lowest country. It is also the country with the lowest natural highest point in the world, at 2.4 metres. Not surprisingly, forecasts of Maldives’ inundation are a great concern for the Maldivian people.

Beyond usual practices, we chose a material focused and envoriment-friendly architecture language for this project. Our goal is to achieve a discipline where natural materials are not only used for interior, but also as structural elements as they provide many flexible alternative usages. We created as much as possible open spaces for the guests to suppress traditional hotel concepts. Materials are modified and placed as close as possible to their natural characteristic and without adding unnecessary details or decorations. The guests shall the anemities of the marvelous nature on and around the islands without any lack of comfort or luxury.
It’s for us important throughout the whole design process that the building’s masses which we spread over the island are in a close relationship and dialogue with natural forms in that environment. We use the advantageous flexiblity of organic materials such as bamboo to develop project related usage possibilities based on different technological process. The Spa blocks are an example for this natural material use concept. Beyond conventional methods our aim is to develop organic materials with industrial forward-looking industrial methods. Electricity is provided by generators and by sea transportation in order to protect the natural beauty of the islands. At this point the great distant of Gaakoshibee to other islands is a disadvantage.

An advantage is that the region is located very close to the equater. As an inference the sun shines for a long time throughout the day. Due to the lack of natural resources we think that solar panels are a good solution for electricity and hot water production on the island. We also propose to build the necessary facilities to decompose sea water for the pool water and any other water utilization on the island.  
Most of the wood which is used like for external facade cladding, decks, etc. in the project are easily inflammable. Due to that a surface protection is inevitable. This will enable to upgrade the original fire class from B to A1. ISONEM Anti-Fire solution is a colourless water-based impregnation and protects also against insects.
GAD’s aim is to design a resort project which creates a provides a luxurious and natural looking environment which reflects the main ideas of the client and offers an overhelming and relaxing place for guests. Next to that it is for us hugely important to develop a sustainable and eco-friendly project, for Gaakoshibbee.