Architects: Kengo Kuma & Associates
- Year: 2020
Text description provided by the architects. It is fitting that Aman’s new retail concept should begin its journey at Amanpuri – the very first Aman property to open its doors on Phuket’s Andaman coastline 32 years ago. At the striking new Retail Pavilion, designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, guests can browse and purchase an impeccably curated selection of items, exclusive to Aman, through unique collaborations with renowned local and international artists and designers.
As well as designer swimwear, men’s and women’s resort-, active- and leisure-wear, and accessories ranging from cashmere scarves to sunglasses, the boutique offers both contemporary and fine jewellery from local Thai artists, Aman Skincare products, covetable handicraft items, homeware, and limited-edition furniture.
Enhancing and expanding its retail offering is a natural step for Aman as the brand has a long history of creating and commissioning one-of-a-kind pieces for its resorts, and is in the process of developing its own thoughtfully designed line of clothing and accessories.
Each of the brand’s properties are utterly unique in terms of setting, architecture, décor and furnishings, with design motifs influenced by its destination. Ever sensitive to the environment – both natural and cultural – Aman has developed special relationships with artisans, artists and designers in every corner of the globe over the years, and it is these relationships that make the new Retail Pavilion at Amanpuri so original. Locally curated products are the finest examples of their kind, for example Lotus Arts de Vivre’s exquisite jewellery inspired by Asian mythology, and Alexander Lamont’s remarkable sculpted homeware, including gold-lined bronze trays and boxes made from parchment.
The new pavilion is a masterpiece of design, and its steeply pitched roof, is in keeping with Amanpuri’s inspiration – the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya. Reminiscent of the resort’s iconic stairway to Pansea Beach, a broad flight of steps leads down to the spacious boutique floor, subtly divided into different retail spaces around a central lounge area. Here guests can pause for refreshment while relaxing on limited edition furniture pieces, also designed by Kengo Kuma.
A respected architect, Kengo Kuma shares the Aman philosophy, stating famously that “architecture is a frame for nature.” In his seminal 2008 work Anti-Object: The Dissolution and Disintegration of Architecture, he calls for an architecture of relations, respecting surroundings instead of dominating them.
Completely in tune with Aman’s design ethos, he was the ideal designer to create striking vessels for Aman Skincare – Aman’s all-natural skincare range - and now too for Aman’s first major retail space enabling guests to take a piece of the Aman lifestyle home. A key feature of the Retail Pavilion is its central axis ‘Living Area’, with its limited-edition furniture pieces designed by Kengo Kuma. The focus piece is the limited edition Kigumi Table, with just 10 available. Crafted in Germany, each is engraved with its edition number and Kengo Kuma’s signature.