Istana is a Sanskrit word meaning palace and at the time of undertaking this project Gfab were also creating “The Istana” in Uluwatu Bali. Istana Naithon however, was something altogether different.
Presented with a breathtaking site on Phuket’s north west coast in Naithon, Gfab were asked to consider this word when creating a group of properties that would come under a central management offering the very highest levels of service etc.
In response to the fantastic jungle like, hillside site and what amounts to unique views from every site, we created 19 individual residences (palaces!) on sites ranging from 1600m2 to 3250m2. The buildings are treated to a common formal language and attempt to maximize the complex topography they are sited upon. Mature trees are maintained wherever possible and emerge from the buildings as their layout twists and turns around them and down the hillside.
Each building makes extensive use of passive cooling techniques and uses water features to maximize airflow and ambient cooling, whilst being constructed from materials of the highest quality, all hallmarks of our approach to creating an architecture for the tropics.
Ultimately the project fell victim to the 2008 financial crisis and despite winning numerous accolades for its design, including The Google Bloomberg “Best architecture Multiple residence (world)" award remains partially completed and mired in legal issues.