Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 27 Summer 2010 Contents INSITE SUMMER 2010 95
architect UP CLOSE
“We’re about always tuning in
to where we are and trying to
respond to the environment”
ABOVE The guest villas at Kanchanaburi, Thailand, were created as individual pavilions
in the gardens, designed to harmonise with natural surrounds. OPPOSITEAnother of Tierra’s
projects, Villa Mayavee in Phuket, has an undeniably peaceful aspect.
f there’s one word that captures the essence of Tierra Design,
it’s serenity. Delectable settings in Thailand – and a nationally
awarded one in India – have something to do with it, but that’s
not the whole story. The sense of peace radiating from Tierra’s
small resorts and residences comes from sensitive, holistic design.
It’s not just about buildings. Considerations of nature,
environment, materials and context all contribute. “We try always
to create an experience,” says founder Martin Palleros, who brings a
gentle energy to his design. “The success of our projects relies on that
strong integration between architecture and landscape.”
As a young architecture graduate from Buenos Aires, Martin went
to Florida to complete his Master’s degree. His professor encouraged
him to shift his focus to landscape architecture. Being devoutly
urban, he resisted, “but he made me see what landscape architecture
was really about; not just trees and plants, but defining spaces”.
Martin went on to work as a landscape architect in the United
States and Asia before starting his own landscape architecture
business, Tierra Design, in Singapore in 1992. The business moved to
Perth in 1999 (it also has offices in Bangkok and Phuket) and retains
an international client base.
Tierra teams up with architects such as Kerry Hill – who
also operates in both Perth and Asia – for dedicated landscape
architecture work. They combined recently to create the Aman
Hotel New Delhi in India, winning a commendation for international
architecture in the National Architecture Awards. However, the
majority of Tierra’s projects are multi-faceted, combining architecture,
landscape and interiors. Several architectural awards bestowed in Asia
reflect the success of the approach.
Tierra’s WA designers base themselves on site for all projects,
including those in Asia. WA’s proximity to Asia makes this cross-
continental jaunting possible, and opens up the design possibilities
for the global-minded business. Asian clients are, according to
Martin, very comfortable giving the designers creative space to
develop ideas. West Australians tend to be more reticent, reserving
their enthusiasm for something they’ve already seen.
These differences in outlook, plus environmental variations, make
for a textured working experience. But the overarching principles
remain the same, whether the project is a private retreat on the
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