New York-based architectural firm Yuji Yamazaki Architecture (YYA) is behind the design of the Kudadoo Maldives Private Island that opened recently in Lhaviani Atoll, Maldives. With a strong focus on sustainability, this exclusive holiday destination is distinguished by its impressive photovoltaic roof. In creating the plans for the island resort, YYA wanted to integrate the solar panels into the island's overall design, with the hopes of showcasing what is truly possible for sustainable tourism.

"Traditionally, solar panels are hidden in discreet areas in the Maldives and it does not have any other function, but in Kudadoo, [the] photovoltaic roof is decidedly visible and becomes the icon of the place," the company says. "Solar concept should be as informative and persuasive as it is productive. At a glance, visitors can assess the size of solar roof, and then comprehend the relationship to the scale of the resort served by it. As you get closer, the design of the building reveals geometry that not only maximize production of electricity by its angle, but also minimize consumption of electricity by allowing sunlight to come through the gaps between panels, minimizing the use of artificial light during the day."

The 320-kWp (kW peak) solar system at Kudadoo Island generates enough electricity to power the entire three-hectare (7.4-ac) island retreat without the need for any additional energy supply such as diesel fuel. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the initial expense to install the complete solar system will pay for itself in just five years.

The wooden structure of the island retreat, including each residence, is built with eco-conscious materials, such as timber from sustainably certified forests in Canada, New Zealand and Indonesia. The architecture of the island also features passive house features, such as natural light during the day and lots of natural airflow, while over 50 percent of the private outdoor decks of all the water villas are designed to have a minimum of five hours of shade each day.

One- or two-bedroom residences are available to guests and are located on the sand lagoon. Each private villa includes an open floorplan with king-size bed, large lounge, open bathroom, handmade furniture, Tasmanian Oak floors, eco-cooling system, large private outdoor deck with uninterrupted sea views, private infinity plunge pool and a personal butler.

The resort also features a large resort style swimming pool and outdoor deck, restaurant, bar and wine cellar. Guests can enjoy private dining in their villa or visit any of the local culinary destinations, including the nearby 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. Local activities include diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, day trips and an abundance of water sports.

As you've probably guessed, accommodation at Kudadoo Maldives Private Island doesn't come cheap. Prices for a single night for two people in a one-bedroom residence start from US$4,000, excluding taxes and fees.

If you can't afford that, you can get a taste of how the other half holidays in the video below.

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