Samui is a popular destination island in the South of Thailand with a large population of tourists. It has countless number of resorts and hotel competing to stand out and provide guests with distinctive experiences.
Nowadays local people has built up their businesses to support the tourism industry and in part abandoned their local culture or way of living including the local craftsmanship. The wish to make an impression has spurred creations of varying scale and style to appear throughout the island. These new developments have invented new architectural style of their own. Our aim is to investigate how to create the atmosphere of local architecture without depending on local materials or traditional craftsmanship which has become unaffordable.
The build-able area of the site is concentrated at the side adjacent to the road and decreases closer to the beach. The target room keys dictated the buildings along the front to be 4 storeys. This serves to form an entry gate into the site separating the busy road from internal landscape and the sea. The proposed design recalls the scale and visual images of traditional Thai house clusters where the timber villas are raised from the ground to avoid moisture and water level damaging timber. The timber houses were inserted into concrete buildings as if they are perched on a cliff, where the ground floor is full concrete base and gradually progresses such that on the top floor rooms are completely timber. In front of these towers, are villas which is assembled as composite of concrete and timber scattered across the landscape.
Construction details were planned to be continuous throughout the project, started from the large scale of buildings to interior details. A simplified form of Thai pattern was applied on building components of different scales, so the selection of materials and construction methods were applied differently. The chosen pattern was the simplest joint pattern which allowed us to use durable lightweight aluminium extrusion with clipped joints to form the building skin. While the guestrooms partitions are made from composite materials of steel tubes and solid timber. At the restaurant, the same pattern is applied in the form of acrylic screen to allow architectural lighting to shine through and highlight the quality of various materials.
The design aim to achieve the atmosphere of locality by experimenting with scale and materiality. Whilst being adaptive and sustainable without high maintenance.