Soneva Kiri is an exclusive resort located on Koh Kood, an island in the Gulf of Thailand.

The resort successfully fuses exclusivity with an overall casual atmosphere. This informality is reflected in the architecture, comprising two simple vocabularies that address the beach or hillside aspects of the site.

The beach-oriented buildingsbeach villas, main restaurant and poolfeature large white overhanging tent roofs, emblematic of Soneva Kiri when viewed from the sea and air.

For buildings on the hillside sites, traditional pitched roofs are used. Owing to Koh Kood’s high rainfall, the roof angles are steep. The hillside villas are set back inconspicuously from the resort’s access roads. In the manner of traditional Thai houses, they are designed as a building compound around a timber deck.

This allows natural light and wind to circulate and large existing trees to remain undisturbed.

There are 46 villas overall, comprising one-, two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-bedroom types. Natural materials prevailplantation eucalyptus and pine for structure, bamboo for structure and cladding, and earth added to interior renders.

The main fine dining restaurant comprises cantilevered dining platforms overlooking the sea, anchored visually by a traditional pitched roof over the display kitchen. This roof offers a twist on the traditional, with its bamboo structure spiraling upwards to the apex.

The other main facilities revert to the beach-oriented language of white tent roofs.

The all-day dining restaurant, retail, and recreation facilities are arranged along an extensive single ramp over 650 feet (200 meters) long.

Such a dominant linear form could adopt a formal character. But here the resort still maintains its laid-back easiness. The ramp takes on amorphous planar shapes as it engages the main facilities, making it appear more organic, while cleverly doubling as a roof for back of house areas.

  • LocationKoh Kood, Trat, Thailand
  • Date2009
  • Interior designerSoneva Creative Department