The serene oasis is the product of an eight year collaboration with prominent Thai owners, including members of the Royal Family, to reflect Thailand’s unique cultural and natural heritage.
“Much of the impetus behind the design theme could be called cultural philanthropy,” explained Ian Carr, Principal at HBA Singapore. “Placing Thailand’s cultural heritage into Bangkok in an impressive and reinvigorated way was of utmost importance to the owners.”
“It is a breathtaking design statement redefining the meaning of tradition in Bangkok, transcending mere styles and trends with a quality and permanence typically unseen in commercial properties,” he continued.
Neighbouring Bangkok’s premium high-end shopping and entertainment complex Siam Paragon, Siam Kempinski elevates the concept of “urban oasis” to another level.
Outside, the world buzzes with excitement, yet within its walls is a world of stately serenity. Uniquely, all 303 rooms and suites face inward – away from the bustle of the city, instead overlooking a remarkable botanical garden.
In this microcosm of Thailand’s natural beauty, native species have been collected and artfully arranged as a “royal flower bouquet”.
Art in Design
The design not only distils Thailand’s lush and distinctive botanical diversity, but also the nation’s arts and culture.
HBA designers thoroughly researched the art of Thailand, identifying the finest emerging artists and spending several months scouring the country collecting and commissioning fine Thai objects d' art representative of its evolution into an international destination, and of Bangkok into an international city.
Siam Kempinski Gardens
The stunning Lobby
Glamorous Guest Rooms
HBA chose to work with emerging artists — all born after 1960 – who present dynamic, fundamental Thai elements and forms in a contemporary manner. Signature artwork, such as a three-dimensional wall mural by Khun Paramat, is prominent in every public space. The lobby is adorned with paintings by established, sought-after artist Khun Alongkorn.
“We chose to work with artists who are doing wonderful and exciting things with the traditions they have inherited. The message here is exclusively new Thai,” he said. “Redefining cultural heritage in an impressive and unique way was of utmost importance to the Siam’s owners.” The end result is one of the most impressive contemporary Thai art collections on display anywhere.
The project also employed the talents of hundreds of Thai craftspeople in rendering custom furniture, artworks and finishes. From the entry experience to the guestrooms, the level of custom work is without peer.
“By starting with all that is culturally, historically and artistically Thai, we translated the shapes, forms, icons and colours of old Thailand into a new aesthetic that accelerated the ancient to the now, in a rebirth of tradition,” said Mr Carr.
The lobby is a study in what can be achieved when space, design, material and purpose come together in harmony – punctuated with soaring vertical lines created by 15-metre columns clad in pale stone.
Its ceiling is impressively embossed in receding concentric steps, enhancing the sense of unlimited space. Floor to ceiling windows make the lushness of the manicured gardens as much part of the design as the dramatically scaled, conical bronze scones that adorn the columns.
“There is a strong affinity from space to space here; this property has no randomness to its juxtapositions,” said Mr Carr. “We wanted to create the impression of the quality and permanence of a Grand Dame hotel, so creating the feeling of a sanctuary was natural.”
The ethereal ambience extends into guestrooms, where a light, refreshing pallet soothes the spirit with a bright, resort-like feel. Furniture is handmade from local materials, including elegant and open rattans. A discretely textured fabric covers the walls, creating a chic, relaxed feel.
Thai tradition also inspires the food and beverage areas. Signature Thai restaurant Sra Bua (Lily Pond) features custom designed Thai silk panels with heavily articulated timber walls creating a feeling as calm as its name. International brassiere Europa uses local materials in surprising ways to create a smart, stylish Thai interpretation of contemporary European design. The high ceilinged Whiskey Bar is a masculine space with a dramatic marble fireplace set in wood paneled walls.
Because this urban resort blurs the lines between interior and exterior spaces, the pool area, located in the midst of the garden, was carefully considered: surrounded by a wood-framed pavilion, creating a casual lounging space, and adorned with day-bed sofas around a central bar.
Overlooking the gardens, the Lobby Lounge is set to become a smart venue for afternoon tea among Bangkok’s social set.
“Nearly every element of this design invokes or reflects back in some way onto the fabulous garden. It was a wonderful source of inspiration and what we’ve created here will stand the test of time,” added Mr Carr.
The most surprising and refreshing luxury hotel in Bangkok now sets a new standard for tradition in Thailand: not a retrospective of what has been, but an artistic foreshadowing of the next generation, broadening the appeal of Bangkok itself.
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