Montazure Presents ‘Inspired Tropical Resort Design’ At TCDC In Bangkok As 200 Rai Of Pristine Rainforest On Phuket Site Earmarked For Nature Reserve
MontAzure, an exclusive mixed-use community project on Kamala Beach in Phuket, assembled a team of design specialists to reveal the latest thinking on what constitutes ‘Inspired Tropical Resort Design’ and why it matters, at the TCDC Auditorium on December 2nd, 2015.
The panelists were led by leading architect and Thai National Artist Lek Bunnag, Argentinian architecture and landscape guru Martin Palleros, whose design for Twinpalms remains the pinnacle of tropical modern luxury on Phuket, and MontAzure Managing Director and long-time Phuket resident and developer Roland Bleszynski, with designer Jeff Virangkabutra moderating.
Mr Bleszynski, who is driving a project funded by Hong Kong-based ARCH Capital Management and Philean Capital (Singapore), part of Pontiac Land Group, and local partner Narai Group (Thailand), is a passionate advocate of preserving Phuket’s remaining natural resources and he is committed to making sure MontAzure is developed into a fully integrated, community development.
As evidence of that commitment, Mr Bleszynski announced at the TCDC event that 200 rai of the project’s upper elevations – nearly half of the entire site — would be turned into a nature reserve with hiking and bike trails to preserve the precious, virgin rainforest that cloaks MontAzure’s slopes and the area’s watershed.
The total MontAzure development comprises 454 rai, valued at THB15 billion, and includes 75 upscale beachfront branded condominiums called Twinpalms Residences MontAzure, 13 exclusive private hillside estate villas or The Estates, each with commanding Andaman Sea views and sprawling over expansive grounds of around 7 rai for each villa, a branded five-star hotel, four beach clubs for public and private use, wellness and the 200 rai nature reserve.
Mr Bleszynski said: “The design forum at TCDC gives us the opportunity to share and capture the vision and inspiration behind MontAzures’ principal designers. Lek Bunnag’s iconic architecture is celebrated at the hillside villas while Martin Palleros’ strength in master planning and landscape architecture provides an elegant framework across the 454 rai site. Martin is also the designer for the Twinpalms Residences MontAzure on the beach.
Lek Bunnag spoke from the heart and with passion about how great design should take its inspiration from nature, while the architect needed to be attuned to cosmic forces and elemental influences.
“If you allow wind into the courtyard it does not reflect. Water needs to be still to reflect and create tranquility and serenity. A stillness in architecture is a way to tranquility. Light comes and captures and creates shadows. Moments of beauty. It will happen differently every time. That is the kind of beauty that I love.”
True creativity, he said, came from a child-like place of innocence and freedom. The enemy of creativity, in architecture and in all art, was the past, and becoming hidebound or restricted or walled in by what exists and has been done before.
“My life is a search for serenity and joy,” Mr Bunnag said. “Creativity is about playfulness. It doesn’t come through analytical interpretations. Feelings are the mother of reasoning. Freedom and creativity is within us all. It is already there. But we build a wall around ourselves. And we make little holes.”
Mr Bunnag recounted to a hushed room how he walked from Germany to India when he was 20, to see the world and how it was built. That pilgrimage indelibly burned vivid images of many kinds of architecture into his mind, which he still called on for inspiration to this day.
The Estates MontAzure, while very much ‘Estates of today’ with elements of modernism, would be ‘unmistakably Thai’. “This will be in two ways,” he said. “First, in elements analysed from the past, and synthesised. Second, it will be imbued with our love of Thailand.”
Mr Bleszynski said of MontAzure’s overall master plan, overseen by Martin Palleros: “It’s smart, low-rise and low-density design which maximises views and breezes and uses materials responsibly and cleverly to blend into the environment. Our site is so large it has its own ecosystem and watershed so we are acutely conscious of preserving that and making our footprint as light as we can.
“When developing on a resort island such as Phuket, with primarily foreign tourists as the main market, it is important to recognize that high-density urban architecture is not representative of Phuket’s intrinsic values, and certainly not what tourists and visitors wish to see and experience. Visitors and new residents to partly choose Phuket due to its strong connection to nature as an escape of the typical urban reality.”
Inspired Tropical Resort Design at TCDC: speakers
Mathar ‘Lek’ Bunnag is a leading Thai architect specialising in resort design. His intricate architecture design is motivated by the aim to preserve and enhance cultural heritage of each place and its people while embracing today’s comfort and beauty. His resort creations have received numerous awards and accolades internationally. Some of Lek’s most celebrated works are the Oberoi Mauritius, Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia and in Thailand, the Barai, Hua Hin; Phulay Bay, A Ritz Carlton Reserve, Krabi and Four Seasons Resort Chiengmai. He is a designated National Artist of Thailand in the field of Architecture and was selected to represent Thailand at the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale as the curator and designer of Thailand Pavilion 2014. He is the architect of The Estates, 3-5 bedroom villas on the slopes of MontAzure, each on up to seven rai of lush gardens and original forest, which will comprise phase two of the project when launched in the first quarter of next year.
Mr Palleros is the designer of Twinpalms resort at Surin, which has continued to set standards for chic good taste and effortless cutting-edge design over almost a decade, with Catch and Bimi beach clubs and the new Palm Seafood standalone alfresco relaxed fine dining restaurant. He is also master planner of MontAzure and architect and landscaper for Twinpalms Residences.
Mr Bleszynski has a background in architectural and engineering design, environmental sustainable building systems and materials, project and construction management, commercial contracts and quality control. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering specializing in Structures and Materials, Building Science and Real Estate Development and is deeply involved in guiding MontAzure’s day to day operations.
Twinpalms Residences MontAzure will comprise of 75 luxury condominiums, with 100 metres of absolute beach frontage, located between Millionaire’s Mile and the Amanpuri headland. It will be operated and managed by Twinpalms when it is completed in 2018. The project offers one and two-bedroom units with penthouses having access to a private roof top and pool with prices ranging from THB8 million to THB93 million. Investors are invited to join in the management pool and benefits of a well-managed hospitality operation with attractive yields and owner usage up to 45 nights per year. Facilities include a residents’ lobby, beach front restaurant and bar, gym/yoga studio, pool bar, spa pavilions, library and lounge, outdoor event spaces and on-site management office.