Fantasy Island pix
Sheila Kim-Jamet -- Interior Design, 5/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
The 13-acre resort's 43 guest bungalows, set on the North Malé Atoll in the Maldives.
The balau wood walkway to the Aquum Spa, home of the world's first underwater treatment room.
A bungalow's balau floor and ceiling. The whirlpool and indoor-outdoor plunge pool at a deluxe beach bungalow.
|Judging by the scope of this project, you'd never guess that C&C Studio has only four staff members—which qualified it for the IIDA's Will Ching Design Competition. The Singapore firm was responsible for all the interiors at Huvafen Fushi resort, a luxury getaway spread over 13 acres on the North Malé Atoll in the Maldives.
Each of the 43 beachfront and waterfront guest bungalows is reached by a walkway of balau, an Asian hardwood also used for the bungalows' floors and ceilings. Guest quarters are thoughtfully appointed with the finest linens, bath fixtures and fittings, and electronics. Public spaces—four restaurants and a bar—received equal consideration. The resort's Aquum Spa even got the world's first underwater treatment room. Principal Carl Ettensperger surfaces to give us the full story.
What challenges did you face?
The time schedule, which was under a year, was the biggest one. Also, convincing the client that, to attract the best guests, you have to provide them with service and design they don't already have at home.
The beauty of the night sky and the clarity of the North Malé Atoll. We're fascinated with water.
Where do these inspirations make themselves evident?
The sea is relaxing, welcoming, and attractive, the perfect surrounding for a massage in the underwater spa room. We went to great lengths to make sure the natural habitat of the lagoon was disturbed as little as possible—the aquatic life appears to like watching the massages. Also, the Maldives can get hot, which made it natural to appoint some deluxe bungalows with a daybed surrounded by a private pool. The main pool uses 300 fiber-optic lights to appear as starry as a nighttime sky, and the roof of Celsius restaurant is like a wave.
How did you select materials and colors?
Everything is neutral and natural, with a play on blues and greens for the sea. I used lots of granite and local sand.
What unique touches distinguish the bungalows?
They're as open-air and user-friendly as possible. All the high-tech gadgets—plasma TV, stereo—as well as the fans, curtains, and lights are operated by a single remote.
The resort seems perfect for romance.
It was discussed, but it wasn't a major focus. I was thinking more of the guest who comes here to decompress, seek solitude, and reflect. I design what I feel is most appropriate for the location and function. What will stir emotions.