design et al are pleased to announce shortlist success for Keemala in the International Hotel & Property Awards 2015. Competing for the Hotel under 50 Rooms Award (Asia-Pacific), Keemala is an ethereal wonderland comprising 38 distinctively designed pool villas set in the rainforest in Phuket, Thailand.
Inspired by the location’s natural surroundings and to innovate a unique hotel design for Thailand, the design reflects the tales of 4 fictitious tribes that united to form a village called Keemala. The villas, public areas, bridge, path and sculptures are inspired from nature e.g. forms of flowers, bird’s nests and symbolising the items of the local people’s way of life e.g. fishing tools, animal skins/textures (synthetic) and a humble chicken coup. Fixtures and furniture are being in the most part sourced from within communities in Thailand and hand made using local and traditional methods. Wherever possible the design is environmentally sustainable and the construction complements the surrounding ecosystem rather than demolish and create a man made surrounding.
The majority of the building materials are natural products, and resources found on site have been recycled. Materials also use artificial products that have natural forms (or partly made of natural product). The ‘Clay Pool Cottages’ reflect the earth clan who were farmers. Clay, straw and ceramics feature. The wanderer tribe excelled in hunting and trading, and inspired the ‘Tent Pool Cottages’.
The ‘Tree Pool Houses’ represent the sky clan who chose to live suspended from the trees. This accommodation category uses building techniques to give the impression that the tree houses are hanging from the trees; some furniture inside the cocoons is hung from the ceiling. The nest community inspired the design of the ‘Bird’s Nest Pool Villas’. This group enjoyed an opulent way of life.
One of the project’s key aspects is the lobby. The inspiration of the lobby is from the poppy plant of the northern communities of Thailand and indeed the Golden Triangle. As this will be the guest’s first sight on arrival particular attention was paid to the atmosphere, with soft furnishings, lots of natural daylight and both rainforest and sea views to welcome and relax guests.