Located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 137 Pillars House – a colonial teak homestead – has been transformed into a stunning 30-suite hotel
Located in a lush tropical residential enclave adjacent to the historical Wat Gate Khar Rham Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 137 Pillars House — now a luxurious 30-suite hotel — has been established around a colonial teak homestead built in the early 1880s in the Indo-Portuguese style, and distinguished by the more than 100 wooden columns which hold aloft its soaring ceilings.
Seeing increased development around the site and competition with luxury hotels in the region in general, the owner of 137 Pillars House realised that the true value of the project lay in preserving its historic value. Taking inspiration from the site's cultural and architectural heritage, Bangkok-based P Landscape, the design studio behind the landscape renovation, and interior design practice P49 Deesign jointly created an enclosed space highlighting the hotel's air of exclusivity, while maintaining the old-world ambience and character of the original teak house.
The transformation of the main house required devising methods to maintain its longevity. Due to the neglect of the site and frequent flooding, the structural base of the building had started to disintegrate, a problem which was compounded by Chiang Mai's high levels of both humidity and pest infestation.
The landscape architects therefore raised the original teak house on stilts to ensure the area under the house would remain clear, and allow water to permeate through gravel beds beneath. This also maintains airflow and ventilation to ease the humid conditions which had proven harmful to the property's structural integrity.
Internally, the main structure houses the gallery, library, bar, as well as main dining areas. Throughout this heritage property, the original aesthetics have been augmented with a narrative expressed through landscaping, greenery and the interior materials palette. Guests can travel back to colonial times, with exquisite Lanna architectural details.
This is an excerpt from the “An Aesthetical Journey" article from the September 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.
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