Thai architect Duangrit Bunnag has built a reputation for bold, minimalist projects, distinguishing himself within Thailand’s ever-expanding hotel scene and beyond. From the 28th-floor office of his company, DBALP, on Bangkok’s Siam Square, he spearheads influential projects like the Naka Phuket, which sees him slotting simplistic spaces into a complex natural environment overlooking Thailand’s idyllic Kamala Bay. The design of the 94-room resort is site-specific, directly addressing the nuances of the terrain where nearly 100 rectangular villas composed of floor-to-ceiling glass walls protrude from the lush hillside.
Q: What is the one thing you always travel with?
A pair of really good headphones.
Q: Who or what inspired you to become an architect?
My uncle, who was a really great Thai architect. His passion for the profession and craftsmanship always inspired me. That, and the smell of drafting ink and paper in his office in the late 1970s. Never had I ever felt such authenticity in a space.
Q: What is inspiring you at the moment?
People in front of me. Anyone I’m having a conversation with at that particular moment.
Q: What are your favorite “secret” places to visit?
I always love Bangkok. Most of my secret places concern food, especially the ones on the streets with no name. London is my second favorite city, a place that I like to call home since I had been living there in the past. Still, it’s too bad that I’m not there as often as I wish I could be.
Q: Describe an unforgettable, original experience you had while traveling.
Last year I went to Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada. It blew me away. It felt like I was living in another culture, another terrain, another world. It was seven days in the desert you couldn’t possibly dream of.