Conceptual designer Rachen Intawong – or ‘Tam’ as he is best known – played a pivotal part in the construction of Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai beginning with its inception in 2001. He sees the resort as a working museum, a place where traditional Lanna culture and Asian colonial splendour have been carefully brought together in masterful harmony.
Chiang Mai was the capital of the historical Lanna Thai Kingdom (Kingdom of One Million Rice Fields), which is the first independent Thai kingdom within the fabled Golden Triangle.
The luxury Thai hotels design draws heavily from the architectural and cultural influences of the historic Lanna Kingdom that influenced the region for 300 years from the end of the 13th century. Facilities include the 3,100 square metre The Dheva Spa and Wellness Centre; an amphitheatre for cultural events and shows; two large swimming pools; seven restaurants and lounge bars; cooking school; extensive health club; library and recreational facilities; kids’ club; arts and crafts village; grand ballroom and private meeting areas; and a boutique shopping village styled on a traditional village market.
Offering some of the world’s most spacious and exclusive accommodation, the 123 luxurious villas, colonial suites and signature residences have been lovingly handcrafted in keeping with traditional Lanna architecture and feature extensive museum-quality artefacts and antiques. The villas open onto spacious terraces, some of which feature private plunge pools or swimming pools. Exquisitely designed interiors and Mandarin Oriental’s signature technology contribute to an overall atmosphere of luxury and serenity.
Chiang Mai International Airport is only a 15-minute drive from the luxury Thai resort.
Santiago-based architects 57Studio have designed the Fray Leon House project. The luxury property can be found in Las Condes, Santiago, Chile.
According to the architects: “The contemporary Santiago house is located in a district in the east area of Santiago and one of its characteristics is the presence of old trees. The spaces are organised in a ‘H’ shaped plant adapted to the lot, having great care for the trees and creating patios that reinforce their presence from the inside.
“The first floor is organised around a native Peumo (cryptocaria alba) that goes along with the access from the south. A huge Avocado tree is the focal point on the drive and on the private wing towards the east is bounded by an old Cypress. The public space in the west wing opens towards the garden through a terrace by the north. The contemporary Santiago property is preceded by a paved esplanade built to prolong the approach of the visitor towards the access, where the Peumo gains a major presence.”
Designed, built and operated for the discerning yacht owner, Çesme Marina opened in June 2010. It was awarded the “Best Marina” title at the Golden Anchor Awards in Istanbul in 2011, and named “Best Tourism Investment” at the 4th Izmir Tourism Awards in April 2012.
Sensitively integrated within a historic maritime city, just one-hour from Turkey’s cosmopolitan third largest city, Izmir, this chic area at the western end of the Izmir peninsula is relatively undiscovered. The luxury marina is an ideal base for exploring the nearby Greek islands of Chios, Samos and Lesvos, in addition to an estimated 300 other islands in the region. It is a recognised port of entry into Turkish waters and acts as a gateway to the Aegean Sea.
Designed in classic Aegean style, this joint venture between Camper & Nicholsons Marinas and IC Holding offers superior shore side facilities. With 400 berths from 8m to 60m, chic cafés, fine dining restaurants and vibrant bars, this attractive waterfront is already a go-to destination for locals, as well as visiting yachtsmen and women.
Prevailing northerly winds during the summer make for ideal sailing conditions with warm breezes and constant sunshine well into the autumn months offering an extended season and excellent charter opportunities for owners seeking a second revenue stream.
The luxury Turkish marina hosted the first Aegean Link Cup in 2011, with 28 yachts and 200 yachtsmen taking part in the inaugural event from the Nautical Club of Samos and Aegean Athletic Club of Chios. A full calendar of events is planned for 2012, including the prestigious Navy Cup.
Dhaka-based Rafiq Azam of Shatotto received the ‘Residential Building of the Year Award’ (multiple occupancy), for SA Residence project, at the 2012 Emirates Glass LEAF Awards, which took place during this year’s London Design Festival.
The human form has two parts – body as the shell and thoughts as the soul. Architecture is similar, with the building envelope as the shell and nature as the soul.
The building envelope of this three-storey contemporary Bangladesh residence is a pure square, constructed of a single material, cast-concrete. The sphere, the universal celestial form, in this case is transformed to its terrestrial expression in the shape of a square.
Considering the socio-economic conditions of Dhaka, the architectural vocabulary is kept simple, with traditional spaces like the courtyard, pond, ghat (steps to water) and ample green to merge together urban and rural typologies in this urban context.
Multistory buildings surround the site, so an introverted design strategy was adopted, placing a water-court as a swimming pool in the middle of the house to ensure privacy. It is the interrelationship between form and void which is at the heart of 18th-century mystic minstrel Lalon’s philosophy: “If one thing is not there inside the body, then it is not outside the body either,” which was the underlying inspiration for this building. The open quad at the centre depicts nothingness.
The south and southeast faces have been designed to bring in cool breeze during the hot, humid summer and the warmth of the sun during the winter. The central water court acts as a natural exhaust system, allowing hot air to escape and making the middle court a cool sanctuary.
A small boat waits by the ghat , green and light with its silence – and the space becomes a natural habitat within a man-made dwelling, with layers of understanding to unfold nothingness.
House Roces is a steel and glass structure. Perpendicular to the road, the elongated volume contrasts with the verticality of the trees. The glass box allows a panoramic view from each living space, and provides the experience of luxury living in a primal surrounding and maximum day lighting in a shady forest.
When the dwelling was being traced out, the floor height of 4.4m appeared to be difficult to capture. Two levels were formed, with bedrooms on each, joined by an inclined plane and a floating zinc stair. The high steel window frames with glass are the basic principle of the steel load bearing construction. This consists of a grid integrating the steel columns into the glass façade.
The wind bracing in the head of the contemporary Belgium property provides a certain privacy from the street, while the other stabilisers are hidden in the space divider between cloakroom and dining room, and between the bathroom and the children’s bedroom. The house is positively captured between space and construction and expresses transparency and corporality at the same time. The walls are a refined connection between constructive window elements that are as able as load bearing masonry to delineate space.
The interior floor covering of Basaltino or Roman lava rock extends the coolness of the glass in the interior spaces, while the concrete terrace elements contribute to the visual rhythm. Comparable to the way the enormous pivoting glass surfaces play with the transition from house to garden, the 53m-long afrormosia wooden wall with a ceiling-height double entrance door acts as a mediator between the cool steel construction and the vast forest.