A surreal beach house on the Thai coast

Iniala Beach House stamps out its presence on the quiet Natai Beach in the Phang Nga Province of Thailand. Ten outstanding designers, commissioned by owner Mark Weingard, worked on the complex including Brazilian designers Fernando & Humberto Campana, Spanish architects A-cero and designer Jaime Hayon, and Thai master craftsman Eggarat Wongcharit.

The beach house comprises three villas, a standalone penthouse, a Kids Hotel, and a fine dining restaurant. Each of the arresting structures play on traditional Thai style: the Collector’s Villa is designed as a reinterpretation of local architecture, with deep roof eaves and entirely clad in wood, while Villa Bianca’s curved teak roof by British architect Graham Lamb reimagines the healing hands motif.

Inside, the spaces are punctuated with visually arresting elements. The Golden Bell Spa, inspired by a temple in northern Thailand, is located in a stunning golden dome where Buddhist teachings translated in English come alive on the walls. In the Collector’s Villa, the Campana brothers, inspired by the famous Wat Arun temple, created a beautiful central courtyard with pillars clad in broken Thai ceramics. Villa Siam is a maximalist fantasy by Wongcharit where beds and sofas are suspended from the ceiling by sinuous wicker bamboo. All of these spaces are augmented by contemporary artworks by some of South-East Asia’s top artists.

Iniala’s Kids Hotel provides an inclusive space for creative play, designed by a former Sadler’s Wells creative director-set designer. Imaginatively appointed play areas include a theater and a costume shop, while a bedroom is disguised as a treehouse. All of the houses open directly onto the beach, with numerous pools and outdoor spaces embracing the sea-foam green and sky-blue colors of the Andaman Sea.

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019