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Because the lush green valleys or trees on both sides of the road are the main ingredients that remind us of a popular tourist destination like Khao Yai in Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, an architect team from urban praxis who designed the MYS hotel, a new high-end hotel, therefore invites us to experience these atmospheres by leveraging the advantages of the original land context and designing it with the concept of ‘Into the Woods’ to make the building use harmonious with natural context and take travelers into the fresh atmosphere of the forest by designing a group of buildings that create a different atmosphere.
“I don’t want luxury to be associated with only being in an air-conditioned room. You may walk in the rain to enjoy nature, and be aware whether today is sunny or cold,” remarked the architect.
Little house in the big forest
(Group buildings to spread out horizontally)
The project is located on Thanarat Road, which is in an urban neighborhood near Khao Yai. Despite its small size, the site is surrounded by mountain vistas and nature. The architect team, therefore, wants the ambiance inside the hotel to be private and to decrease the disturbance from the outside road. “We propose to build a small number of rooms, but with a large room size. We disperse structures as much as possible, rather than building a tall building, to make everyone feel like they are in a cabin in the woods.”
If each structure is spread out horizontally, space will be wasted and there would be relatively few rooms on the property. As a result, certain dwellings must be taken and joined together to form a structure. At the same time, the design is intended to stack each villa and expose the vista to allow the landscape to be the prominent feature, rather than to make such groupings of villas feel like towering skyscrapers. When the trees that have been planted have grown, we should be able to view the hotel’s environment with a green space encircled like a genuine forest.
Due to the necessity in Nakhon Ratchasima’s municipal planning code not to create a building larger than 2,000 square meters, all villas, whether small or large, are stacked up to three stories and separated into two structures. They are positioned in front of the project area to encircle and create a green space in the center of the project. The room types in these buildings are classified as Deluxe, Cozy Suite, Garden Terrace, and Garden View, with varying atmospheres and views of the same size of 61 square meters.
Each villa is designed to seem like a modest house, with nature sprinkled throughout. Each room includes an outside courtyard for growing trees, creating a semi-Glamping vibe, and certain rooms can have an outdoor garden zone where guests can come out and relax, while yet offering all of the inside facilities of a 5-star hotel in all rooms. In addition, the designer built all hallways in the project as a single-load corridor, allowing travelers to wander through nature before arriving at their private rooms.
Cozy Suite room size 61 square meters
The atmosphere that corresponds to the slope of the mound
Between the two buildings of the 3-story rooms located the central lobby and the swimming pool raised to the sky on the second level with transparent aquarium-grade glass that is safe and becomes the first feature when visitors visit. The pool descends from the mound to meet the broad landscaping grass and links to six 106 square meter pool villas, which are alternately arranged according to the original context of the mound while facing the mountain view and the forest in the rear in private.
The landscaped courtyard in the middle also links the building space to the second floor above, connecting all sections in harmony horizontally and preparing the area for functions that may host events such as weddings or other festive events. The largest villa, the most exclusive in the project, is located at the far-right end, separated privately as a huge house for a large group of friends or family who wish to gather together.
“The middle lobby was built on the area that slopes slightly from the mound and has a foothill of debris that cannot be drilled through. So, we elevated the swimming pool to the second level and constructed a long stairway that goes back from the mound behind the Sky Pool, making it appear to be a part of the project’s mound. And because the owner wants the hotel to have an exciting and adventurous environment while yet being comfortable, we built this section to be exposed to nature by building a cantilever structure with as few pillars as possible with only 3 V-shaped pillars that are open from all directions and this pool was designed to be as transparent as possible in its connection to the earth and the sky.”
Something More: The cladding material for the structure that needs to be lifted to the second level is a particular form of artificial stone that is just 6 millimeters thin to obtain the texture of the material like a genuine stone while being thin and lightweight.
When the main functions of the building are located on the second story, some elements of the first floor can be hidden as if it were a semi-underground building, separating the service area from the guest area.
Furthermore, the designer’s architectural language reveals the function. If it is a villa, the roof will be created in the Lean-to-Roof style, whilst other common functions, such as restaurants, cafés, or the main lobby, will be designed as curved glass panels. Also, the designer uses organic lines that flow organically to make the building appear to float and be part of the large trees that are strewn around. “When these trees are old enough, it gives the feeling of being in the middle of a forest while still retaining the luxury lifestyle vibe.”
Even the interior works itself further interpret the concept of ‘Into the Woods’ in harmony with the overall concept by attempting to choose the main material from wood that gives a cozy, natural atmosphere and arranging the layout in each room to look at the garden view or landscape designed to make guests feel like sleeping in the middle of the forest and nature, as well as the common area that the designer chooses to use curved furniture forms to make the overall image of the area look airy and blend perfectly with the Sky Pool.
Sometimes the ‘luxury’ that we long for when we are going on a holiday is just the convenience or service that impresses us. The remainder consists of simply allowing the body to enjoy nature or the weather as it should be. According to the designer and the owner’s initial objective, this fulfills the luxury lifestyle experience while being close to nature, injected with a complete environment of excitement, adventure, and relaxation featured in MYS Hotel Khaoyai.
Location: Khaoyai, Pakchong, Thailand
Project Management: Manmade Interior Co., Ltd.
Construction Management: AE.Asia Co.,Ltd.
Architect Firm: Urban Praxis Co., Ltd.
Architects Team: Suchada Kasemsap, Sasiwimol Utaisup, Narumol Charoencharatkun, Attaporn Palawattanakul
Interior Designers: Apichaya Krongboonying and Kalunyoo Sipiyaruk
Lighting Designer Firm: SEAM Design
Landscape Architect: Magla Landscape Co.,Ltd.
Structural Engineer: Supol Techanakara, Thawatchai Pengsuwa, Ruethaitip Kerdperm, Pongsiri Prechapongkit
Civil Engineer: Wandee Boonsom
MEP Engineer: Thirachart Channgam
Electrical Engineer: Narongrit Thammapradit