Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The Barai at the Hyatt Regency in Hua Hin

"Designed by the renowned Thai architect and interior designer, Mr. Lek Bunnag, THE BARAI is inspired by the Khmer cultural heritage. The architecture and interior design of THE BARAI represents the glory of the Khmer style of art, combined with the heritage of other art styles from this region."

So the official blurb goes. Well it's hard to tell whether the architect or the photographer is a genius. Certainly the colour scheme using the plums and reds is very attractive and looks spectacular at sunset and sunrise.

There's a combination of styles at play here. The first corridor shot below has a David Lynch surreal quality with the series of receding doors. The crinkly effect walls are also strange. The architraves used are western and on second inspection not very good. Whereas the other corridor that imitates the shape of a Thai roof is inspirational. The floor lighting through holes that follow the same design motif is very clever.

The McFarland House is a more traditional structure employing the wall-less wooden style that 100% shows the materials of the build and the internal structure of the roof.

I doubt if it's worth staying in the place or getting a spa there but it shows that Thailand remains a breeding ground for architectural talent and the big bucks of globalisation can occasionally be employed in the service of beauty (as well as attracting big spenders).

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