A unique, complex construction process involving approximately 6,000 tons of steel and concrete
The Red Sea Star was designed by the architect Sefi Kiryaty. The structural calculations and design were done by the engineers Mr. Moshe Dreemer and Dr. Nitai Dreemer. The “Star’s” steel sections were fabricated by the Kadmani Metal Works in the north of Israel between 1995 and 1996, prior to their transportation to Eilat in three separate truck convoys. In the port of Eilat the sections were welded together to create three massive structural units.
The structural base, or “load cell” in engineering terms, fulfills two primary functions. One is to create a mass at the base of the structure (mushroom shaped), preventing the structure from “taking off” (floating) to the surface of the water. The second is to keep the structure level in relation to the surface of the sea. To accomplish this, the seabed had to be leveled, since the seabed underlying the structure is steeply sloped, getting deeper as it recedes from the shoreline. This section weighed approximately 200 tons before it was filled with concrete.
The restaurant level, weighing approximately 110 tons, is star-shaped in plan to maximize the interior space and afford a window seat for almost every guest. The restaurant level has 62 windows of varying sizes built into the walls and ceiling. Very few manufacturers anywhere in the world were capable of producing the windows, which had to be specially designed to withstand the enormous pressure of the seawater bearing on them. The windows, which weigh twelve tons, were imported from Japan.
Two floors above sea level: the entrance level, including the entrance lobby, coffee shop, an area designated for a souvenir shop, an auditorium and kitchens, and the mezzanine level with offices and rest rooms. This unit weighs approximately 120 tons.
In the port, the units were lowered into the sea one on top of the other by a gigantic, 600 ton crane brought to Israel from Belgium for the purpose. Once final welding had been completed to connect the three units, the completed structure was towed by two sea-going tugs a distance of some two kilometers to its final site. The structure was erected like a ship and the sight of the gigantic tower floating on the surface of the water was astonishing. At the permanent site of the building, about 4,000 tons of concrete were poured into the base under water to sink the structure to the seabed. There it was anchored to thirty-four 20-inch diameter piles, which were driven through the structural base into the seabed to a depth of about 15 meters and then filled with concrete. The very heavy finished structure weighs 6,000 tons and is designed to withstand even earthquakes.
The “Star” is reached by crossing a 70-meter long bridge which connects it to the shore between the “Le Meridien” and “Ha’Sela Ha’adom” (Red Rock) hotels.