Italy’s Giancarlo Zema Design Group, EHang looking to build eco-sustainable vertiport in Maldives

Concept design by Giancarlo Zema Design Group for Palm Village project. (Photo/Gianocarlo Zema Design Group)

Italian architecture firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG) and world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle company EHang, who are building their first eco-sustainable vertiport in Italy, have expressed interest in replicating their designs in Maldives, pending approval from government authorities.

According to Vittorio Coco, the sole agent for GZDG in Maldives and Sri Lanka, who is based in AA. Rasdhoo, both GZDG and EHang are keen on focusing on exploring use-cases of remotely piloted aerial tourism in resorts, local islands and marine protected areas in Maldives.

They also plan on integrating vertiports into their own Palm Island Resort project, and can also integrate vertiports into existing infrastructure to build fully independent plug-and-play infrastructures to monitor flights and conduct on the spot recharge of the EHang 216-passenger drone taxis, said Coco, who was recently appointed Blue Economy Desk Coordinator by AA. Atoll Council.

GZDG is an innovative architecture firm which specializes in smart eco-sustainable projects, semi submerged architectural structures, floating habitats, yacht and interior design.

Giancarlo Zema came up with the design for an ecofriendly tower with a steel and laminated wood structure, a trendy café, and a 200 square meter panoramic restaurant after drawing inspiration from the native African tree Baobab. The take off-and-landing platform will be set on the roof terrace. The vertiport is built with non-slip photovoltaic panels that can generate over 300 KW of electric power per day.

“The idea is to launch the first air tourist experience built directly into eco-sustainable resorts to offer guests an ocean environment vista from above the sea level of the beautiful Maldivian atolls,” said Coco.

EHang has already obtained flight permits for tourism in China and has initiated flight certification procedures in Europe.

Concept design by Giancarlo Zema Design Group for the Baobab vertiport project in Italy. (Photo/Gianocarlo Zema Design Group)

GZDG is integrating the Baobab design into their own Palm Village eco-resort project to offer new resort projects an integrated logistic for air service by drones, believing in a future where drones may be used to transport passengers between the atolls and from the airports to resorts.

Palm Village is a new concept of hospitality on the water. According to Coco, the Palm Village designed by GZDG is an innovative and poetic resort for Maldives, inspired by forms of nature.

“Each suite at Palm Village overlooks the sea thanks to large windows, like telescopes facing the horizon, developing on a 7x14 m platform wrapped in an ideal palm leaf folded on itself, a sort of pergola architectural that brings shade by naturally cooling the 55 sqm living unit with a 40 sqm half-covered terrace with direct access to the sea,” he said. “The interiors are bright and elegant with modern and refined furnishings, large living area with sliding doors, large bedroom and bathroom.”

Palm Village is an eco-sustainable village made of laminated wood obtained from PEFC certified forests. From an energy point of view, the housing units are self-sufficient, thanks to the energy produced by particular photovoltaic palms by LumineXence, capable of creating energy from the sun and giving rise to pleasant shaded relaxation areas.

Coco said that the secret of the new architectural formula is emotional design, advanced engineering and attention to detail.

According to Coco, multiple Baobab vertiport projects are in initial negotiations in Southeast Asia, Middle East and Europe.

“Maldives public and private sector now have a unique opportunity to start discussing  with EHang and Giancarlo Zema Design Group one or more custom-tailored project solutions for resorts with AVV passenger transportation on local islands, as well as smart city urban mobility management in Male’ and close environment monitoring over the marine protected areas, all of which would greatly enhance the competitive advantage of the Maldivian islands over other international tourism destinations,” said Coco. “Time is right to usher in the era of aerial mobility powered by 5G technology."


Vitorrio Coco, the Giancarlo Zema Design Group Agent in Maldives and Sri Lanka, can be reached through +9609856448 or email: [email protected]