Bear House is private vacation home situated on Cha-Am Beach, a famous seaside resort town in central Thailand, three hours’ drive from Bangkok. Designed by Thailand-based architecture studio Onion Co., Ltd, the brief called for a renovation of a three-storey building of eight meters wide and twenty-eight meters long, utilizing an area of 4,090 square feet (380 square meters), turning it into a second home of the Sahawat family. When the interior construction started, in December 2011, the boy of the family was two years old. A baby was expected. In April 2012, Bear House was happily finished.
Bear House belongs to the Thai Be@rbrick collectors. Sittawat Sahawat and Nipapat Sahawat are siblings who are fascinated by various sizes and styles of Be@rbrick toys, produced by the Japanese company Medicom Toy Incorporated. Be@rbrick is an anthropomorphised bear with a simplified form and pot belly. Each plastic figure features nine parts, namely head, torso, hips, arms, hands and legs. It has flexible joints and a swiveled head. Many artists have created decorative patterns for the standard mould such as the British fashion designer Vivian Westwood and Stash who is considered one of New York’s graffiti legends. In the Sahawat family’s collection, the major figures are BAPE camouflage print. They are twenty-eight centimeters high and referred to as 400% Be@rbricks as its actual size, or a 100% Be@rbrick, is seven centimeters high.
Size matters in Bear House. The design process does not start from the house itself but the Be@rbricks display cabinet. It is thought of as a house of seventeen 400% Be@rbricks. It is composed of steps, ladders and voids that fit the scale of twenty-eight centimeters tall figures. It occupies a whole wall of the dining room, linking the house’s entry to the living area which is three stories high. The cabinet is a central piece and a model of the house. It is made of light colored oak wooden panels resembling the other main surfaces of the house. Bear House is a bigger version of Be@rbricks’ display cabinet.
Miniature fixtures and oversize furniture are the features of Bear House. Lamps and pillows are oversize so that the inhabitants may feel smaller than they actually are. The house has four sizes of doorknobs, customized for different size of doors. They are sometimes too big for a child’s hand and too small for an adult’s hand. The ladder that seems too high is one of the living area’s decorative elements. It leads the gaze high up to square skylights, oversize voids, and windows of different scale. Every room on the upper floors overlook the hall of the living area.
An enlarged Be@rbrick’s ladder is placed in the master bedroom. It connects a space between the king size bed and a single day bed in an elevated hole. There are two views from this day bed. Next to the hole is the three stories hall overlooking the living area. The opposite side across the room is the sea view. In front of the master bedroom stands a 1000% Be@rbrick of seventy centimeters high, painted in a pattern of police uniform. It is a special collaboration between French label Paul&Joe and Medicom Toy. This 1000% Be@rbrick can be seen from the living area on the second floor, the bedroom on the second floor, and the landing that links the stair and the ramp towards the master bedroom.
Bear House is bright and humorous. Its living room and swimming pool are the front part of the house. The whole space is colored by young Thai graffiti artists well known as MMFK and P7. In the living room, behind the oversize sofa, MMFK paints a one-eye monster, dressed up as a sailor, whereas P7 paints a blue bear head with striped eyebrows. Next to the swimming pool, on the wall of eleven metres long, MMFK illustrates the cartoon representation of a bear devouring his iconic one-eye monster. P7 drew a black bear head with the word ‘surf’ on its forehead. These illustrations are customized only for Bear House.
Photos: Courtesy of Onion Co., Ltd
Prime Nature Residence has been designed by the Department of Architecture in Samutprakarn, Thailand. The owner’s brief for his residence seems at first rather simple – his bedroom on the ground floor, another bedroom for his mother and sister on the second floor, a large interior living space, and an outdoor terrace for the mother who enjoys outdoor leisure. However, a great challenge comes with the site location. The plot is situated at a busy 3-street intersection in an up-scale residential estate that forbids the use of any kinds of fences. This constraint poses serious questions on privacy of the residents living on ground level as well as the problem of trespassing car headlights at night.
In order to cope with the site limitations, a conventional linear fence is broken into series of smaller vertical planes. These planes are projected onto a grid at varying distances from the house thus blocking out intruding views and simultaneously permitting ventilation into the outdoor area. The planes continue horizontally above the entire terrace creating a well-defined semi-outdoor living space.
The planes are made from two materials: metal lattice screens and sheer canvas panels which both allow partial vision from looking through them. Lattice panels and swaying trees cast delicate and moving shadow patterns on terrace floor, building elevations and canvas planes. A large shallow pond further adds intricacy of reflective shadow to the scene.
At night, periphery trees catch trespassing car headlights and cast their shadows on deliberately-placed canvas planes. The shadow images appearing on series of canvases fade in and out and move from one side to another depending on direction and speed of passing vehicles, reminding us of some black and white animations on movie screens.
What resulted from this are an al fresco space that is in constant flux during days and nights – a space where its qualities are defined autonomously by external forces; the wind, the sunlight, and the car lights.
The 5,166 square foot (480 square meters) project welcomes the constraints of site and program as a framework to which molds the Shadow House into a living place filled with playful and imaginative shadow and reflection, and into architecture unique for its location and for its owner.
Photographs: Wison Tungthunya
Created as a sanctuary for the senses, this luxurious resort style villa, spotted on Sotheby’s, is situated in Laguna, Phuket. The villa is set within a lush tropical garden and is comprised of 2,716 square feet of living space with three large bedrooms, each with en-suite bathroom, two kitchens for ease when entertaining and a beautiful dining sala. The highlight of this villa is the 14.5 meter long private infinity pool with integrated jet that stretches into the lagoon, allowing a spectacular view. The villa also includes a large separate guest house with en suite bathroom and spacious air-conditioned entertaining sala with stunning views over the lagoon.
This unique villa is situated in the heart of Banyan Tree Phuket and is being sold with a fixed rental return option plus owner’s complimentary usage of 60 days a year. This fabulous villa is listed for sale at $3.88 million, from here.
Villa Belle is a spacious and luxurious three bedroom villa, set in lush sloping tropical surroundings on a hillside overlooking the captivating bays of Choeng Mon and Plai Laem in Koh Sumai, Thailand. Designed to encompass wide panoramic vistas, Villa Belle enjoys these exquisite backdrops from any platform. This impressive villa features slate walls and ornamental ponds fringed with traditional Asian carvings, leading guests to the uniquely designed wrought iron main entrance. Arranged over two levels, the home is comprised of three spacious luxurious bedrooms, an open plan lavish living area including gourmet kitchen, banquet dining and sumptuous lounge.
Once inside, the impressive vaulted ceilings exude wow factor, in this uniquely designed open plan living space, flanked by floor to ceiling disappearing walls of glass. The villa has been exquisitely furnished throughout in an elegant contemporary Asian style, fused with antique accessories of the Orient, reflecting a luxury tropical island life style. Soft colors of white and cobalt blue blend with the beautiful coastal surroundings mingled with soft black accents creating an interior designers dream villa, with impeccable attention to design detail.
Blurring the divisions between indoor and outdoor living, the wrap around expansive wood terrace unfolds to feature an 8 meters Balinese style infinity edge swimming pool, large outdoor lounge sofa seating, with BBQ deck for that ultimate alfresco dining experience.
Villa Belle offers cool and contemporary accommodation in a breathtaking location, with rates ranging from $400 – $975 per night, from here.
The Sarojin is a secluded boutique resort which provides elegant and luxurious accommodations, an award-winning spa, and gourmet cuisine in lush southern Thailand. The resort is charmingly ensconced in 10 acres of spacious and lush tropical gardens, with a salt-water estuary that lies within the grounds and a gentle fresh water streams trickle through the gardens. Upon arrival, you will immediately feel at peace, as though everything has suddenly fallen into place. The 55 spacious, contemporary guest residences are all designed in harmony with the environment, with sundecks, couples’ baths, plunge pools, and relaxation pools. All have private garden terrace entrances and private access to a calm, secluded white beach facing the Andaman Sea.
Dine alongside the Sarojin’s ancient Ficus tree, considered the spiritual heart of this Thai resort, and watch the sun reflect off the lotus pond. For a truly exceptional culinary experience, have a private dinner on the beach or alongside a candlelit waterfall. Meditate and reflect at the Pathways spa, known for its ancient therapies and modern amenities. If you are seeking greater adventure, the Sarojin is surrounded by southern Thailand’s national parks, where you can take a canoe safari, elephant trek, or view some of the world’s oldest primary forest.
Nightly rates for this pristine resort start at $213, from here.
Casa de La Flora is a beautiful luxury resort comprised of 36 cube-shaped villas situated in Khao Lak, bringing a modern edge to the palm tree beach of Phang Nga, a southern province in Thailand. Designed by VaSLab Architecture, this beachfront resort was aimed to serve as a new high profile but yet humble hotel destination. The brief was to design a unique resort that consists of a series of pool villas with maximum ocean views. The owner challenged the architect to create a bold look in the architecture yet create warmth and incorporate nature throughout. The architects merge flora into their design where each concrete versus wood villa reflects as a flora form, emerging from the ground and blooms to reach the daylight. Deviated walls and tilted roofs are characterized throughout the villas, where these tapered elements not only recall the act of arising flora, but they widen the rooms’ perspective from when looking outward to the sea.
Here is a description of the project from the architect, “the continuity of these lines can be seen also in interior space and at interior elements such as built-in beds, coffee tables, and built-in cabinets. Custom-made furniture designed by Anon Pairot Design Studio carries this thematic design as some of them represent the organic form of a flora. The same as landscape and hardscape work from a talented designer T.R.O.P., who extends the lines of architecture into a set of charming path ways, pavement blocks, green walls, etc. These additions act as the architecture’s root, stem, and branches. APLD, the lighting designer, abstractly sets the resort’s lighting to provoke the main architectural elements; deviated walls, tilted roofs, as if the villa cubes are arising above the ground.
Its glass-fronted villas have clean interiors featuring concrete surfaces, natural stone walls, and wooden floors/ ceilings. Ten units stand directly to the beach, with maximum sea views, and all come with private pools, 24-hour butler service and the latest in-room entertainment. Eco-friendly credentials come in the form of an ozone (low-chemical) purification system for the swimming pools and waste-water and rain water recycling.”
Interested in staying at this fabulous resort? Rates range from $315 – $2233 per night, from here.
Discovered on Sotheby’s International Realty, this magnificent architectural masterpiece is nestled on a beautiful four acre property, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand in the foothills of the Himalayas. The entire residence and surroundings have been designed by renowned architect Bill Bensley to provide the ultimate in luxury living, creating an environment rich with modern comforts yet complementing Northern Thailand’s rustic natural beauty and charming traditions. The property is comprised of seven main structures including living, dining, master bedroom suite, studio and three private guest pavilions, as well as three additional salas.
Each pavilion is built from reclaimed and recycled teak wood, and has been conceived and designed as a personal sanctuary, with each room recalling the grace of traditional Lanna style. Unique vaulted ceilings, entire walls of windows and subtle tones create a blend of natural light and free-flowing space, while decorative doors and shutters recall the splendor of the Lanna era. Teakwood floors and large area rugs ground the interior design, hearkening back to an era of grace and elegance.
Designed in harmony with nature, the residence is enclosed within its own beautifully landscaped grounds. Conceived as an extension of the visual language of each villa, the gardens enfold from the villa and its private pool in a landscape rich with natural streams, boulders, and a diverse array of tropical flora and plant life, sculptures and lit pathways.
This enchanting property spotted on Sotheby’s International Realty is spread out over two and a half acres of oceanfront land in Koh Samui, Thailand. The home offers magnificent uninterrupted ocean views across a Balinese stone tiled infinity pool and 150 meters of secluded beachfront. The expansive grounds are filled with vibrantly colored tropical plants and ancient trees which provide shade over the smooth Kanchanaburi stone pathways to the various living and sleeping pavilions. The entire estate consists of eight bedrooms (including staff quarters), three kitchens, three living rooms, three screening rooms, a beach yoga sala and a staff office.
The villa is a rich blend of influences that combines natural elegance with comfort and striking antiquity, with original materials sourced from locations as diverse as China, Myanmar, Bali and Southern Thailand. The carefully crafted rooms are actually built into the land, but fold open to catch the sea breezes and draw in the astonishing views. Inside, antique Chinese doors and windows, reclaimed teak wood floors, and intricate, carved wood walls transport you back in time.
This luxurious beachfront villa is listed for sale at $6,761,105 from here.
The Naka Island, Puket is a luxury resort nestled amongst stunning beaches, lush coconut groves, with never-ending views of the emerald-green Phang Nga Bay and idyllic landscapes of the Phuket coastline. The Naka Island is only accessible by private speedboat, making it a uniquely private and intimate retreat. The resort preaches holistic wellness in its food, activities and landscaping. Every moment here is unforgettable, whether you are luxuriating in the spa, relaxing by the pool, dining on exceptional cuisine at the seaside restaurants, or unwinding in the Z Bar. Simply laze on the inviting beaches for a memorable experience.
There are 67 magnificently appointed villas, offering minimal tropical design with furnishings of Thai decor, plunge pools and spectacular views over Phang Nga Bay and Phuket. Spa Naka is earning a huge reputation thanks to an eclectic mix of therapies performed by expert therapists using exclusive Comfort Zone products from Italy, or local Thai Products. Best of all, access to the spa facility is complimentary for all guests. Retreat to a haven of sophistication and sublime comfort in an evocative setting.
Rates for this tropical paradise start at $285 per night, from here.
Escape to the secluded retreat of Aleenta Resort & Spa in Phuket, Thailand, set on a sandy white beach facing the crystal clear Andaman Sea. Stunning lofts, suites and villas, innovative Thai cuisine and a rejuvenating spa are the perfect ingredients for a stay in paradise. There are 15 private Beachfront Villas and Ocean View Residences and 15 Pool Suites and Pool Villas, all within steps of the ocean and all the stunning views of the Andaman Sea.
‘Outside living-in’ is the concept at Aleenta Resort. Suites have retractable glass walls, lofts benefit from stunning sea views and villas provide outdoor living areas. Most accommodation has its own private pool. Simple, clean lines and natural materials enhance the idyllic ambiance, which can only be heightened by an aromatic herbal body treatment in the spa.
Dream away the day by the pool or try some of the many activities available at Aleenta Resort & Spa Phuket from Yoga, Tai Chi and Thai Boxing to cooking classes and meditation. Visit the nearby turtle sanctuary or charter a boat to experience island hopping or deep-sea fishing.
Rates for this luxury hideaway start at $279 per night from here.