Six Senses Can Dao resort: luxury and sustainability in Vietnam

Paris architects AW2 design an exclusive resort which focuses on a natural context

by Malcolm Clark
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Paris architects AW² Architecture Workshop, who specialise in exclusive projects in the most remote but most beautiful corners of the planet, recently completed the Six Senses Can Dao resort, on one of the most beautiful and uncontaminated beaches of Vietnam. This project blends contemporary luxury with sustainable architecture and has focussed on its setting right from the initial design stages. It received Green Globe certification and has won several architecture awards including the 2011 Green GOOD DESIGN Awards.

The hotel is located on the island of Con Dao, several miles off the southern coast of Vietnam and is the latest in the line of exclusive hotels and resorts called Six senses. The beach it looks out on is a miles long strip of white sand, protected by dark rocky formations, the most important of which being the mountain known as Elephant Head which slides into the sea making the environment even more striking.

Between the beach and the mountains, behind the dunes, the experience changes completely. A river flows through it, losing itself in luxuriant tropical vegetation, a forest of mangroves appears like an oasis between the white sand and the dark mountains. These natural features give the scenery an extraordinary feeling of “getting away from it”, unique in its natural landscape and protected.

The design took great steps to preserve this privileged condition, attempting to offer the sensation of luxury “at the end of the world”, where exclusiveness and respect for nature blend into one, for an unforgettable experience. The resort is in the mangrove forest and suspended pedestrian bridges connect all the areas, providing charming views of the mountains and anticipating the surprise of the candid beach. Guests take the bridge over the river, which flows down the mountain to the sea, to go to the restaurant or to go back to their villa.

Each villa is designed as an independent wooden structure which uses the natural slope and the presence of the dunes to offer the best view of the sea and the best integration with the other built up elements of the resort. The butterfly or single pitch roofs give the complex a light feeling, opening towards the sea and creating a shaded area for its swimming pool and solarium. The main idea of the buildings´design was to keep down the use of air conditioning as far as possible, offering spacious environments and exploiting the natural ventilation. This also helps to create the image of a place where you can hide out, relax and live close to natural elements.

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    Six Senses Con Dao resort 143

    Six Senses Con Dao resort

    Con Dao / Vietnam / 2011