Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Architecture and Interior Design in Koh Samui

Koh Samui is the second biggest island in Thailand. Since the island was discovered by backpackers in the early 1970s the island has transformed itself from a coconut growing backwater to one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia.

There has been a lot of money put into the development of Koh Samui. Besides the money spent on an airport, good roads and a few big hospitals there has also been a serious investment in architectural design and practice as well as care paid to interior design in Koh Samui.

Many places opt for a contemporary Thai architecture while others go for an ultra modern look. There is a small ground swell in Koh Samui for sustainable design. Some designs are just plain bizarre while other buildings just look plain ugly.

The island is continually changing the way it looks and the way visitors interact with their surroundings.

In the few years leading up to the global financial disaster of 2008 there was a private housing boom in Koh Samui. Developers, while usually looking for cheap design that ticked all the boxes of pool, air-con, privacy and view, did sometimes build a few villas with noteworthy characteristics.

Below are a few photos of architecture and interior design in Koh Samui along with notes.

Buri Rasa Village has pool villas. This is an example of tick the box luxury. Wooden slating, tiny pool and simple concrete slab with 4 ceramic tiles to give just a hint of design.
 Another example of luxury and poor design. KC Over Water Villas has the original idea to built villas over swimming pools and then ruins the effect with standard housing that is packed tightly together.
 A better use of a swimming pool at Outrigger. The semi circular pool increases access and style.
Sala Samui uses natural materials, clever ground lighting and vistas to create striking interior design.
 This comes in plain awful category. Some type of pastiche of Louis XVI grandeur.
Unfinished private villa next to the beach such a remarkable amount of architectural ambition: round and vaguely reminiscent of a lighthouse.
Excellent use of contemporary Thai architecture by the Sala Samui.
 Ultra modern by Solo Bar in Chaweng. Featuring huge tinted windows and a curve theme.
Using there curved lines of a pool and a natural corridor of coconut palms to enhance the natural beauty of the sea horizon view at the Buddy Oriental.
An example of the bizarre: a series of boat shaped villas around a boat shaped pool. The villas look like the result from a tsunami. This is the Imperial Boat Villas.

Melati Resort uses understatement and the natural beauty of the beach. Nice use of bamboo.
Traditional Chinese shop house in Fisherman's Village in Bophut to create a boutique shop. Red is a strong Chinese colour that is found in lots of the interior designs on Koh Samui. Shame about the corrugated iron roof.