This is a project by Bensley Design Studios and it is located at Touching Nai Yang Beach, Phuket, Thailand. Project's program: Resort. There are fifteen images for Indigo Pearl.
A unique new resort in Phuket Thailand,
The site of Indigo Pearl was a tin mine in the 1930's and the owning family is 3rd generation miners. Many people don't know that Phukets original name was Tongkah and the first organization in Phuket was the Tongkah Tin Syndicate, which is the name of our bar. In fact, we built the entire resort on the history of their tin mine, which was a gamble, but it is the true history of the place, not contrived. I think it is important to bring layers and layers of knowledge to a resort, when we can, not just palm trees and pina coladas.
We created what I call an Industrial Chic look to the resort. Most of the seven of the food and beverage outlets have a strong industrial theme. Our most formal grill room is called Rivet, the above bar is Rebar. Rivet has steel floors and columns, steel furniture, french 1940's factory lamps, leather "cone of silence" love seats, glass doors on 4 sides and a 7 meter high architectural ceiling. We built right after the tsunami struck phuket, so we reused much of the debris that was washed back up to shore. As a result almost no new wood was used.
The best thing about the resort is that it is not SAFE, it far from it, it is artistic, expressive, not afraid of colour and dynamic in that the collection of sculpture is changing all the time, as one piece of sculpture from the Indigo ArtPark sells it is replaced by the same artist with two pieces.
We worked with an Australian artist, John Underwood and his 100+ person atelier to develop and produce many of the unique characteristics of Indigo Pearl. The top hung garage door like dividers in the rooms, the steel columns and floors, and the extensive collection of sculpture throughout is the handiwork of Underwood. We have been working together for much of 10 years now on many projects from the Maldives to the tented camp in Chieng Rai to the Hotel de la Paix in Siem Reap. Our first project started from a box of tissues made of woven pandan leaves that I keep on desk in my studio. I remember John telling me that he could do anything with metal, and I pointed to the tissue box and asked if he could weave metal like that. At that point the DNA for all of his good work at the Marriott Phuket was born as was the start of a great relationship. We bounce ideas off of each other all the time, and often build on each others thoughts, with the main idea being that there is no bad idea.
One of our best ideas is the Indigo ArtPark. As with all of the resorts and hotels that we design we strive to provide layers and layers on interest. Guests should be able to enjoy the exploration of resort environments and not see all at one go. The idea of the Indigo ArtPark is to provide a vibrant canvas for artists to display and sell their craft. As Indigo Pearl has ample rambling grounds and a very artistic and eclectic built environment a collection of ever changing artwork will be a great draw for guest. Underwood has started the ball rolling with his wonderfully delightful series of 12 found objects sculptures. We are now working with the Bangkok Sculpture Museum to consign artwork to enlarge the ArtParks offerings for sale.
To have a small artists atelier on site where guests could engage in the making of sculpture could be a great draw. And once this is well established as a significant ArtPark to visit then we can confidently sell the idea to visit it outside of Indigo Pearl.