Forest landscape and cultural context shape spa RESORTS in Thailand
Bangkok-based architecture studio Design in Motion completes the renewal project of spa and spa plan in ko samui, thailand. The architectural concept is established from two impressions that are produced when visiting the existing site. Located in a tropical forest amongst abundant vegetation, the plot is shaded under the dense branches and leaves of the trees, allowing some sunlight to pass through and creating intricate moving shadows on the ground. Impressed by the natural element that takes over the building grounds, the design team sets guidelines that shape the concept reflecting the growth stages of the forest, the “forest floor” containing various small plants such as moss and fern, as well as tree roots, the ‘understory’ with logs, shrubs, vines and climbers, the upper ‘canopy’ layer with overlapping tree branches and leaves, and the ’emergent layers’ topping off the rest with trees towering above the natural vegetation.
The second notable element that shapes the project is the popular culture and vernacular architecture that defines the region. The construction materials selected for rehabilitation are locally sourced and natural, such as wood and wood, rammed earth, and basketry or basketry with a local glass-like plant of the sedge family called ‘Krachoot’. The distinctive native direction is also cohesive in the furniture design. The resort’s redevelopment approach, therefore, centers on the fertile land and cultural visual context.
chalet | all images by Soopakorn Srisakul
The Design in Motion plan achieves optimal space management
The three types of buildings in the existing building, including the villas, the lobby and the restaurant, required to be renovated under the conceptual principles of the project and to optimize the complex in terms of circulation, spatial design and comfort. Starting with the housing units, the design team adjusts the views of the existing guesthouses considering the limitations presented by the main pedestrian route. Regulating the issue of privacy, the plan assembles the ‘forest floor’, one of the layers of the forest, and surrounds the rooms with a group of shrubs and trees. Serving as natural blinds, the green elements awaken the essence of living in nature.
Consequently, there are three ‘green rooms’ formed in each villa. The living room and dining room are arranged in the exterior and semi-exterior space, respectively, adding stepped terraces to the structure, while modifying the previous solid material of the roof in transparent to generate more natural light. The rooms located in each unit apply wooden awning windows that open onto the rich vegetation. The furniture design is based on folk customs featuring the pattern of sitting on the ground, leaning on a local lower seat called ‘tang’, and sleeping on a local lower bed called ‘krae’, leading to the cultural value of the concept. .
divan in the woods
dinner near the hotel pool
shaded living room