Created by Vasu Virajsilp and Boonlert Deeyuen, founders of Bangkok-based VaSLab Architects, Casa de La Flora is a vision of Brutalism, its linear planes evocative of a Le Corbusier edifice. Collaborating closely with owner Sompong Dowpiset, VaSLab have produced a hideaway tremendously effective in its unity of nature with sophisticated design. With the overall form of each building representing bold but calm characteristics, the architects were successful in eschewing traditional notions of beachfront hospitality, instead choosing to craft a space as striking as it is humble. Struck by the 2004 Tsunami, the preservation of the recovering Khao Lak coastline reined supreme in the development of the hotel’s progressive eco-credentials. Solar cell pads are fully, yet unobtrusively integrated into the resort’s design, while elsewhere rainwater is collected and used as a water reserve.
Responding to the organic nature of the immediate vicinity, dialogue is created between the resort and its enchanting backdrop, accomplished by opening-up the space through partially uncovered public areas and the invitation of indigenous plant life into the fore. Despite this exposure to the elements, privacy is paramount. With just 36 villas, ranging from the 2-bedroom Beachfront Grand Pool Villa to the Casa Presidential Suite anchoring the main building, the hotel is flawlessly placed for those seeking the utmost solitude. Most villas are buttressed by topiary conceived by landscape designers T.R.O.P, while all feature a private pool and secluded patios or balconies.
An integral ingredient to VaSLab’s aesthetic formula, concrete is omnipresent throughout; its dominance handled with precision and care. Angular but never piercing, each monolithic villa fosters the architects’ objective to obscure any barriers between guests and their surrounding location. “It was our aim to allow guests to experience the environment from inside out,” says Virajsilp of the villas’ glass facades, which widen the perspective frames when looking outward to the sea. Natural materials such as teakwood temper the minimalist interiors, augmented by monochromatic schemes and lighting designed by APLD. In the bathrooms meanwhile, beige Italian quartz sets the stage for ample bathtubs offering an alternative to outdoor rains showers.
Playing with a long and compressed space, VasLab’s skilfully constructed foyer allows guests to surrender to the open sky behind the lobby walls. The peaceful rooftop terrace of La Arunya restaurant offers extensive ocean views and a similar atmosphere is found in the light-filled library where the abundant greenery of the outdoor gardens are in view. Here, guests can absorb the rare sense of peace of mind offered by Casa de La Flora, a thoroughly sophisticated getaway for the ultimate in solace and seclusion.