Situated in natural isolation across the bay from the resort city of Nha Trang, this project permitted research into two areas of intense interest to this office.

Firstly, developing an architectural response to a site’s essential nature. And secondly, developing a fitting way to develop the site, particularly when local craftsmen are involved.

Impressive rock formations and boulders dominate the site. Instead of the original brief to develop water villas here, we proposed rock villas as the key selling point of the resort.

The interface between building and nature is seen in a variety of ways across the sitethe integration of the spa with waterfall, and the integration of reception, restaurant, and rock villas directly with the rocks themselves.

As the development of the project progressed, a method of design and construction emerged that was quite specific to this project. This was characterized by close engagement with Vietnamese craftsmen and the use of materials readily available on the site (such as rock and roof thatching).

In addition, the requirement for partial prefabrication of some buildings added another layer to the unique way this project was delivered.

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay consists of 51 units, comprising 31 beach villas, five water villas, five rock villas, five hilltop villas and five spa suite villas.

The reception building’s design is inspired by the traditional Vietnamese ‘Dinh’ or village communal house, an ideal precedent for the informal reception environment sought.

The architecture of the Dinh is reinterpreted in public buildings across the resortits timber structural details examined and simplified in both building structure and bespoke furniture.

Traditional Vietnamese carpentry eschews the use of nails, instead fixing tenon and mortise joints with timber pins.

As well as rock and timber, the palette of natural materials included very distinctive thatch roofing. From the underside, the very beautiful pattern of stems fixed to battens is exposed for the guests to see.

  • LocationNha Trang, Vietnam
  • Date2004
  • Interior designerSix Senses Creative Department