Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Fad with Unpainted Concrete

I am always surprised when I visit a new place in Thailand. I invariably stumble across a building with unpainted concrete. I can see no evidence of building work so I can only presume that the concrete has been left unpainted deliberately. Why do people do that?

It is not just in Thailand. I have seen the same thing in Japan as well. I suppose there is a certain appeal to polished concrete. It can pick up quite an attractive sheen. Sometimes polished concrete can work well for flooring areas; however, to build walls using concrete, and then to leave all the concrete bare and unpainted does not appeal.

The idea I think in many instances is not to save money but to create some type of effect. That is the case, for example, at See Through Boutique Resort in Haad Yao. You can see below it is a row of joining hotel rooms on two levels. The architect has used a zigzag design to create a small amount of privacy between each unit. The long pool stretches for the entire length of the hotel building. This is impressive. It harks back to classical ideas of architecture of using water to reflect buildings and to add grandeur.

See Through Boutique Resort markets itself as exclusive and high end. For Haad Yao the design does make it stand out. The interiors of the rooms are comfortable without being accused of being luxurious. The best thing about them from the point of view of interior design is that they use splashes of color.

It is just a shame that the color motifs were not used on the outside of the building - grey looked cool and minimal about 8 years ago. It is not fashionable or boutique any longer. It just looks cheap. Moreover bare concrete soon gets rain stains and looks very far from boutique.