forest scenery & cultural context create spa centers in Thailand
Bangkok architecture studio Design in Motion completes the restoration project of spa and resort plan in Ko Samui, Thailand. The architectural concept is based on two impressions made when visiting the current site. The plot is located in a tropical forest amidst abundant vegetation under the dense branches and leaves of the trees letting the sunlight through and creating complex moving shadows on the ground. Based on the natural feature that passes over the grounds of the building, the design team sets out guidelines that shape the concept that represents the growth stages of the forest, the ‘forest floor’ which contains several small plants such as moss and fern, as well as tree roots, the ‘underground’ with trunks, bushes, vines and climbers, the upper ‘canopy’ layer with overlapping tree branches and leaves, and the ‘rising layers’ on top of the rest and trees at the height of the natural green.
The second significant aspect that shapes the project is the folk culture and indigenous architecture that defines the region. The building materials chosen for the renovation are from local and natural sources, for example wood and wood, rammed ground, and a wickerwork or basket with a local glass-like plant in the civet family called ‘Krachoot’. The distinctive native direction is also consistent in the design of the furniture. The resort’s reconstruction approach therefore focuses on the fertile ground and the visual cultural context.
Villa | All images of Soopakorn Srisakul
Movement design achieves the best space management
The three types of buildings in the existing building including the villas, the lobby, and the restaurant need to be renovated under the conceptual principles of the project and to make the best choice in terms of circulation, spatial design and comfort. Starting with the accommodation units, the design team it adjusts the views of the existing guesthouses taking into account the restrictions presented by the main walking route. Controlling the issue of privacy, the plan combines the ‘forest floor’, one of the forest layers, and surrounds the rooms with a group of bushes and trees. Serving as natural blinds, the green elements spark from the essence of living in nature.
As a result, there are three ‘green rooms’ in each villa. The living room and the dining room are arranged in the outdoor and semi-outdoor space respectively adding step terraces to the structure, and, also, transparently modifying the former solid roof material to generate more natural light. The bedrooms located in each unit have wooden mirror windows that open towards the rich greenery. The design of the furniture draws from folk ways that present a pattern of sitting on the floor, leaning on a local lower seat called ‘tang’, and sleeping on a local lower bed called ‘krae’ which leads to the cultural value of the concept.
day bed in the forest
diner near the hotel pool
lounge area in the shade