art4d Caught up with Gary Fell of GFAB ARCHITECTS to learn how a bridging of structure and landscape was achieved within the recently unveiled Villa 24 of SAMUJANA Villas on Samui’s rock outcrops.
Blurring architecture and landscape is a reoccurring theme within your work and, in this situation, you had quite the landscape to work with. Could you introduce some of the ways in which the surroundings find their way into the building?
Gary Fell: To a large extent Samujana was, due to its long gestation, the test bed for this approach, which we have subsequently developed in other projects as well. Initially we were faced with a landscape comprising the wonderful rock outcrops that are prevalent across Samui, which we wanted to use within the villas themselves and make part of the individual composition(s). This lead, very naturally, to the basic idea of “living within a landscape.” I had employed garden roofs whilst working in a previous practice and felt it was apposite here at Samujana, where there was a need to maintain views from all plots. Thus, we allowed each of the buildings to essentially follow the topography of their individual sites – as a result, the garden outside a bedroom might be the roof of another bedroom (of the same house), and circulation between rooms quite naturally became a movement through a landscape, often punctuated by landscaped courts and similar.
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