09 February 2007

Foster + Partners reveals designs for a luxury lifestyle development- Serrenia - set in an area of outstanding natural beauty near Sahl Hasheesh between the Red Sea and the breathtaking Mountains of the Eastern Sahara. Anchoring the Sahl Hasheesh bay at its southern most tip, the 2.5 million square metre masterplan is for an ultra-luxury community. In addition to the residences that range from palaces and villas to apartments nestled in the lush and extensive landscape, the project includes a seven star hotel, the worlds premier spa destination, an 18 hole golf course and a 330-berth marina. Combined, these elements provide a social hub and a private haven for an elite international community in the idyllic seclusion of the Sahara. Ideally located for visitors from all parts of the world and within immediate reach of Europe, India and the Middle East, Serrenia embodies a discreet and environmentally intelligent architecture.

The natural phenomena of the desert dunes, and the earthy colours, textures and light of the landscape, have shaped and inspired the masterplan. A new language of architecture acknowledges the history of the region dating back to the Pharaohs and beyond. For the ancient Egyptians luxury in the desert meant an alliance of water and greenery. Like the ancient Egyptian Gardens, believed to contain the secrets of life, gardens and water are key to the design concept for Serrenia. A series of lagoons and canals run through the site, creating a sense of grace and tranquillity. The site will appear as a green totality, with the architecture discretely hidden within the landscape.

The heat and desert winds require structures offering shade and shelter, with curving protective forms inspired by the shape of the barchan dunes. The profile of the buildings is shaped by nature and timeless in appearance. The serpentine theme continues with the sensuous shape of the Spa, a reference to the ancient god Ranno whose symbol was the snake. The hotel, in its form and exterior design, mirrors the submarine world to be found in the Red Sea, famous for its scuba diving. All this is underpinned by a philosophy of sustainability. Solar power reduces the carbon footprint and helps to heat water and generate electricity.

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Further Information

For further information please contact:

Katy Harris
Partner, Head of Communications
Foster + Partners

T +44 (0)20 7738 0455
E press@fosterandpartners.com