Bringing Next-Gen Architects to TRSDC
By Taha Alandejani, Senior Architecture Manager at The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC)
The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) is creating the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, and is using the skills and expertise of world-renowned architectural design firms, including Foster + Partners, Kengo Kuma and Killa Design, to achieve this. It’s every architect’s dream to work on a project that is as ambitious and innovative as The Red Sea Project, where design knows no bounds and sustainability is at its core.
However, working with global designers is just one aspect of TRSDC’s approach to design. In line with our strong sense of corporate responsibility and dedication to ensuring that the community is among the first to benefit from the development, it is important that local architects also play a major role. That is why we have introduced multiple programs and initiatives, such as the Red Sea Ecotecture Design Competition in 2020, to encourage local talent.
Kingdom’s Advanced Educational System
TRSDC has always been confident that the future of Saudi Arabia’s architecture lies within the Kingdom itself. We therefore launched a competition encouraging students from Saudi architectural schools to be involved in designing the project’s community center in the Coastal Village. The success of these designs showed us just how professional these students were. Their ability to produce such a high-level of work and talent is a real credit to the Kingdom’s advanced educational system. In total, the Kingdom has more than 21 design universities and standalone colleges and this resulted in more than 680 students registering through our website for the competition.
The competition was driven by the fact that we wanted fresh ideas that showed creative flair. Given the students are not very familiar with TRSDC, in creating their designs, they were not hindered by the common restrictions of budgets and client reactions, which encouraged bold designs that went that extra mile. Without these obstacles, they were able to work on a project that refused to impose limits on their creativity and actively encouraged the boldest of creations.
In addition to unleashing creativity from the students, national architectural schools have always reflected an important part of our nation’s culture. And we recognize that now more than ever, it is important to involve this generation in projects that are shaping Saudi Arabia’s future. This is because they are embracing design in a very different way. Today’s generation of students are influenced by technology and globalization, and they have a greater understanding of the world around them. This is something we felt was important to bring to a project that is pushing boundaries, especially from an architectural point of view.
Deep Cultural Background
Developing a project that is rooted in such a deep cultural background has seen us look from within Saudi Arabia and our own communities to shape and grow the many different designs involved in creating The Red Sea Project. Culture is embedded within the way people interact and behave with one another, and modern culture is all about adopting a global perspective without forgetting the strong roots that have historically shaped our communities.
Therefore, if you look at the cities along The Red Sea you will find that they share similarities in nature, culture and tradition. It has always been important that the design of The Red Sea Project pays homage to the local traditions of fishing and art and represents the dynamic social interactions that underpin the local culture.
From encouraging local talent to embracing the expertise of world-class architects from abroad, we have created a project that is truly unique. Every element of its design is grounded in sustainability, with inspiration from the local community and environment at its core. Once complete, The Red Sea Project will be an example of the groundbreaking architectural design that can be achieved once you adopt a holistic approach to design and actively involve young minds.
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