Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui - BENSLEY

Koh Samui, Thailand

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

A tropical resort built without felling a single coconut tree.

The heart of the process when designing the Four Seasons Koh Samui was that of Minimal Intervention. It followed a similar model to Capella Ubud about a decade ago. We were handed the stewardship of this precious site, a seaside hill with abundant greenery and fauna.

In Samui similar hillsides have been stripped of their trees to accommodate hotels and developments; what is forgotten in doing this is that the earth cannot stay strong without roots to hold it, causing immense landslides. At the Four Seasons Koh Samui we didnā€™t cut down a single tree, instead building around them: literally, as some trees pop up through the restaurant, villa decks and even the interiors – to the enchantment of guests.

The verdant Four Seasons Koh Samui was an environmental triumph for us. 856 coconut trees presented themselves to us the first time I went to the seaside location, and 856 coconut trees still stood some five years later when we opened the hotel!

I have learnt that when we are given a beautifully natural site, minimal intervention on our part as architects always works best.