Lima Duva Resort is a new phase of Lima Bella, located on Aow Praw, Koh Samed (Samed island), Thailand. Koh Samed is a popular destination among modern couples who seek a place for romance. There is a catchphrase for Thai people when talking about Koh Samed “Pai Samed Sed Took Raii,” meaning “go to Samed and get laid.” It is skeptical for others who have no clue about this island as it is the island with a beautiful beach similar to Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, or Koh Samui.
The design process begins with questioning the history of the island. The first thing attention to the tourists when arriving on the island is a sculpture of a lady giant, and there is a mermaid sculpture on the other beach. They are like the icon of Koh Samed. Both are the characters in a poetic tale titled “Phra Aphai Mani,” written by Sunthon Phu, a revered Thai poet in the 19th century. The literature is well known in Thailand and also one of the memorable lessons for most Thai students. The author used Koh Samed as the setting for a passionate chapter where “Phra Aphai Mani” tried to escape from the lady giant who loves him while saying that a human could not live with an inhuman. His escape succeeded with the help of a mermaid, but finally, when they both arrived Koh Samed, they were in love and gave birth to a baby boy, even if the mermaid is also inhuman.
There could be a sense of romance on the island that leads to love and romance activities. The literature may also support the notion of this island as a place for love and romance. No matter whatever could be a real cause, most of the tourists in the past until the present have been thinking of this island in such an aspect.
The design process of developing the idea brings about a place that can serve couples and their activities, while not alienating the family guests. In the planning stage, instead of laying functions in a basic linear diagram like toilet, bed, and terrace as usual. The designer’s idea is to rearrange all functions and put them in a loop diagram. The terrace is moved towards the room’s side to isolate each room while minimizing noise or disturbance to the adjacent room. The couples can have their romantic activities, both indoor and semi-outdoor, as a loop. By this planning, every unit is like private villas composing in the form of a building.
The design concept plays with passersby’s curiosity. The buildings are conceived of in a way that people hardly perceive what the inside is. The lobby serves as the main entrance covered with a white box enclosing the existing tree. The box acts as a screen of tree shade, which changes throughout the day. At the same time, this box’s simple plane can be used as a projector screen for films and other media projection happening inside the courtyard, whereas the courtyard acts as the seating area. Inside the box is painted in black, letting the tree become a hero. The white box’s height level is rather low. So, the guests have to bend down slightly to get inside and be surprised by the space inside, then finally bend down again to leave it for entering the inner area.
The layout of guestroom buildings is in L-shape, enclosing the main pool while broadening the corner to a large lawn, which is to serve the guests who come from the first phase. The common area, like a restaurant, is on the other side. On the rooftop is the terrace for guest activities. The resort’s overall plan seems like the buildings arranged in U-shape to support events and activities organized in the inner space.
The resort was designed from the idea that the guests will discover and be surprised from time to time while doing the activities at different times. All ground floor units have access to the pool. The gradient color of the pool tiles gradually becomes darker when it gets closer to the guestrooms, where the Jacuzzi area is located to create visual privacy. Between the guestrooms is the space available for two persons whose dimension could be enough only if one sits on another’s lap. The guestrooms can be added or reduced the bed as required while on the wall shows the poem called “miraculous poem,” which narrates the scene when “Phra Aphai Mani” and the mermaid are making love. Ventilation blocks are used along the corridors to bring in the sunlight in a pattern that varies throughout the day, creating different impressions when walking back and forth.
DESIGN : 2012 / COMPLETION : 2015
ARCHITECT : IDIN ARCHITECTS
INTERIOR DESIGNER : IDIN ARCHITECTS
PHOTOGRAPHER : SPACESHIFT STUDIO
AREA : 2,100 SQ.M.