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  • Writer's pictureHin Fah

Rammed Earth Villa on Koh Samui, Thailand

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

We decided to develop a design to be ‘of’ the earth it was located on, rather than ‘on’ it, using the soil itself as the primary construction material for rammed earth load-bearing walls. The result is a masterful juxtaposition of contemporary design and traditional construction, an ode to the simple and honest construction methods.

Like in vernacular architecture, the villa responds directly to the aesthetic and environmental context of the site, with basic and even primitive volumes that rise with materials from the region, gaining color and texture right from the landscape, sparking a conversation between architecture and nature.

The villa’s copper roof meets the important requirements of state-of-the-art building design, which demands recyclable and sustainable materials. Copper, and copper alloys provide performance, durability (100+ years), a range of colors, forms and textures, all in a natural, 100% recyclable material.

Humble, yet authentic, honest and unpretentious natural materials such as rammed earth walls, limestone floors and wood ceilings are woven inside and out in a sophisticated play of interlocking interior and exterior living spaces.

Visitors are led through the semi-outdoor space upon entry, which works as a transition space before getting into the indoor-living area. All of its sliding doors can be opened widely at once which helps to merge indoor and outdoor space together and also helps with the free flow of air ventilation and the spatial flow ensures continuity through to the terrace and the swimming pool outside. The guest bedrooms overlook a courtyard brought to life by designing native plant gardens and creating naturalistic water features.

The kitchen is tucked to the side of the main living area and is open to the same abundant natural light and breezes. “We wanted to create an experience that was very inclusive of people across all spectrums; the youngest grandchild and the most seasoned travelers were all considered. We were very intent on making spaces for all personality types as well, reserving specific zones for meditation, as well as areas for shared activities and interaction.”

The scale of the home is decidedly “cozy” and visually calm with a minimalist approach to materials and detailing, allowing the focus to be on art and nature, meeting our goal of creating a home of simple sophisticated elegance without being boastful.

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