[Text as submitted by the Architects] VARIVANA is 4 stars resort on the top of mountain of Koh Pha Ngan. The hotel location is 1 kilometer away from the beach area. Standing on the top floor of this hotel, the visitor can enjoy the ocean view on the west with multiple-hector coconut orchards as a foreground view. This resort is the medium that connects visitors to the sea and the surrounded natures. And it is the only luxury resort on this island that located on the mountain, away from the sea. Koh Pha Ngan is the new tourist attraction island, not as fully-occupied as Koh-Samui, most of the plots along the beach area still available. So, one of the ambitions for this hotel is prove that living quality and experience of living away from the sea is better than live right at the beach. We hope that the success of this mountain top resort can pull construction of the other projects away from the beach, and make the shoreline more natural and peaceful. Living on this mountain only take 5 minutes’ drive to the beach. The only difference will be the wind quality. The wind breeze will be less strong compared to the beach but will be much fresher because it has less salt in the particle. Then, the challenge is to make architecture of this resort that can accelerate the wind.
The architecture of this project is a combination of 12-meters-height walls and 2.5 meters cantilevered balconies, the entire exterior material is an exposing-concrete with coconut form-works. The resort building is single loaded corridor, visitors has to enter private-front porch before entering their room. This planning allows visitors to be able to open their back window and door to get full ventilation all day, without losing privacy. The walls dividing each room will also help accelerating the wind speed that blows across the building. The over-structured-cantilevered balconies functioned as space for private sun-lounging. Each of them has 2.5 meters side facing the east-west direction which is best for using as sun-lounger location, and can also allow users to enjoy ocean view and sea-wind.
Main material of this project is coconut-wood-form-work concrete. Coconut orchards is one of the major business of Koh Pha Ngan, so there is ample amount of coconut wood available. This wood has soft and easy to rot, so it’s not a preferable material to use as a structure or a facade of the architecture. But it can be used as a concrete form-work and the hairy texture of this wood will become a signature of the architecture’s surface.
The entrance space of this project has one large roof sitting on one column in the middle of the lobby platform. This reception room has no façade, only one large column in the middle of the space, but the visitors won’t lose their sense of privacy, because of the surrounded nature will be the enclosure of this space. The scale of the roof is looks as large as the surrounded mountains, to give the sense of totality, between human, nature and architecture.