Phra Nakhon Si Ayuthaya, Thailand, ONION architects’ recently completed Sala Ayutthaya Hotel combines local craftsmanship, modern-day architecture and culturally-inspired detailing to create a unique getaway along the picturesque banks of the Chao Phraya River. Upon arrival, the hotel welcomes guests through a large iron door which leads to a rich reception area complete with dark walls, wood ceilings, and soft glittering lighting. Just off the reception lies a small art gallery and off that, an undulating brick corridor, which is accessed through two heavy antique doors. Serving as conduit to the remainder of the hotel’s accommodations, the passage combines contemporary forms with timeworn brick craft to provide a dynamic environment where shadow and light ebb and flow throughout the day.
One of the first exits off the brick-line corridor, is a contrasting white courtyard which serves three of the hotel’s 12 unique guest rooms. Here, the tiered pool design takes inspiration from the 9th century Chand Baori Step Well in Rajasthan, India and serves double duty as a method of flood control come monsoon season. The architects repeated this stepped motif throughout the hotel in both functional and decorative form – using it to frame seating nooks and applying it to pillow patterns. Other, more locally sourced motifs can be found in wooden headboards, carved with leaping tigers – a Thai symbol for strength, and in bathrooms and bedposts that hint at traditional Thai ornamentation.
The Bangkok-based architects at ONION describe themselves as “sweet people who can sometimes bring tears to your eyes.” Clearly they mean the good sort, as the firm’s founding members Arisara Chaktranon and Siriyot Chaiamnuay roll out projects that speak to the future of architecture and design – where historical/regional architectural knowledge and aesthetics are valued and incorporated in a forward looking way.
shop THE LOOK
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP
1. GEOMETRIC SCULPTURES – Poly Bookends – Egg Collective
2. FLOWERS – Porcelain Lotus for wall table or ceiling – Dshop
3. LIGHTS – Pharos Modern Pendant – Niche Modern
4. BRICKS – Hand Made Terracotta Tile – Exquisite Ceramics
5. CANDLESTICK – Iktinos Marmaron Spiros Soulis Designs Candlesticks – Barneys
6. DOOR KNOCKERS – Pendulum Door Knocker – Dshop
7. DAYBED – Divan Princess Bed – Calypso St. Barth
8. TABLE – Cube Seamless Brass Side Table – Birgit Israel
9. CHANDELIER – Cloud 37 – Apparatus
10. TABLE – Mondo Table – il laboratorio dell’imperfetto
11. BED – Maxalto Alcova Bed – B&B Italia