Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 27 Summer 2010 Contents INSITE SUMMER 2010 97
architect UP CLOSE
related to that space, as well as the open-sided lobby. It was all about
creating an oasis, a visual connection with the beach and garden.”
The brief was to design a traditional Thai hotel, so Tierra’s
challenge was to bring a fresh, subtle slant to proceedings.
“We wanted to bring in some elements of Thai architecture by
reinterpreting rather than copying them directly,” says Martin.
For the 76-room resort, they used traditional materials such
as timber, plus steel and stone for added texture and clean lines.
Referencing Thai style made their Swedish client happy, and
adopting a particularly Thai sense of space and enclosure (or
openness) meant they could achieve something many resorts don’t:
a sense of connection between the hotel and the external world.
That’s the principle underpinning Tierra’s unified approach to
design. Creating a meaningful flow between the landscape and the
built envi ron ment, with effective communal spaces, is the essence of
it. According to Tierra’s principal architect Steven Postmus, there’s
great potential for wider adoption of this approach.
“A lot of hotels tend to be private domains,” says Steven. “For
the Twinpalms project, we had the opportunity to extend the hotel
out into the environment, so when you drive past you don’t feel as
though it’s behind a barricaded wall.
“I think that sort of approach easily lends itself to projects that
are wider than the footprint of a building,” he says. “The typology
is shifting. When people are thinking about settlements for mining
communities, for example, they’re trying to make them more
attractive. Some suburbs are starting to think in a more holistic way,
rather than divvying land into lots and letting everyone have a go.”
Wherever Tierra are in the world, they’re not just thinking
cohesive, they’re also thinking local. “Many people go to Bali and
come back saying they want something tropical for their home in
WA. People want to bring things here and transplant them, but it
loses meaning when you do that.”
The good news is that in Tierra’s hands, forgoing the tropical
doesn’t mean losing the serenity. “We’re about always tuning in
to where we are and trying to respond to the environment,” says
Martin. “When you walk into a space and get a sense of peace, that’s
when you realise everything is in the right place.” I
Tierra Design (08) 9389 7933, tierradesign.com.
CREATING AN EXPERIENCE
Martin reveals the secrets behind Tierra’s design style
Best projects? The most su ccessful projects are the o nes that integrate
everything from the start. A lot of what we do is quite intuitive. It’s easy to
focus o n the building; what’s ha rde r is to create an ex perien ce. I think the
en ergy you put into a pro ject always gets reflected.
Material of choice? In Thailan d, they love building out of con crete
because it uses the skill set of the locals. On site, it’s like a bigger version
of basket weaving. A group of ladies will sit under a big tent, chatting
an d ben ding rei nfo rcing bars. Unlike Western A ustralia, it’s cheap to build
from concrete in Thailand. And when you use concrete to build rooms, you
can put garden s o n the roof quite readily.
Asian ve rsus WA projects? There are so me common alities in terms of
appro ach, but the envi ron men ts are quite differen t. In A sia, the tro pical
lan dscape can be the primar y focus in no n- urban en viro nmen ts, with built
inter ven tio n s secon dary. Western Au stralia is so varied in environ ment, but
the landscape can be less obvious. It’s about designing for where you are and
u sing local materials, rather that trying to impo rt something.
CLOCKWISE from above A residential project by Tierra, the Baan Yamu development in Phuket, used
gardens and water features to create a resort-style feel; the pavilions in the Kanchanaburi project allow
ins ide and out to merge; Tierra is as adept at bri nging calming atmos pheres to interiors as exteriors ; the
design at Villa Mayavee was briefed as a relaxing getaway where guests could be entertained.
Links Archive Insite 26 Spring 2010 Insite 28 Autumn 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page