Avani+ in Luang Prabang sits in the heart of UNESCO World heritage city. Which is rich of local culture vibes. It is a two-floor elegant luxury hotel with 53 rooms in contemporary classic and inspired by the traditional Laos and French colonial architecture. It welcomes for travellers from around the world to visit this UNESCO World heritage site and seek for affordable luxury experience. It is surrounded with tourist attractions such as the night market, Wat Hua Xiang, Royal Palace Museum, and Phousi Hill. Which is one of the most crowded area in this city especially at night.
The most important thing is to respect the site context and Luang Prabang culture. To be harmonize with the world heritage city, friendly with city, give privacy for hotel guests without denying city. Use garden instead of fence to show friendliness to neighborhood. Preserve existing trees. Add new trees with respect to old one. Transform a small space into comfort with the just perfect beauty. Connect view in all space to create flow then form the elegance from the simple. Use less planting types to reduce maintenance and sustainability.
Design has to follow UNESCO guideline both architectural and landscape. Existing trees to be properly preserved, at the same time, conform to the context of being an UNESCO World heritage site of Luang Prabang with the unique insight and history. Once hotel is launched it has to look like it belongs to the city and blends well with Laung Prabang context. Landscape role will promote the harmonize, friendliness, privacy for hotel guests but still keep connection with the city. Buildings connect to the city while landscape will be in house garden mood. The landscape architect will be responsible for softscape to achieve same goal with an architect.
Layers of planting are used to create privacy and distance between inside and outside hotel without any fence. But it is a view for the city to create sense of welcome, friendliness between hotel, public walkway road and city by not separated from the city. Main open space is swimming pool and garden which has the open space connected to the public intersection which is the crowded area full of tourists. Moreover, this area is the main pathway for tourists to al to monks (in Laos: Tak Bat) which show the popular religion activity among tourists.) Therefor, the planting is used to be privacy screening in this area.
Constraint of hotel size, instead of separation everything visually to create privacy, we aim to create pleasant landscape which guests can enjoy simply elegant space. Big lawn is key element and there is only high shrub in necessary area to promote the relax and pleasant atmosphere even in small space. All existing trees is preserved. Some new trees are added with respect to the existing one, keeping distance, selected proper texture and color of new trees to complement architecture and swimming pool space. Minimize type of planting to keep it simple and natural according to local condition, easy to maintain create sustainability and simply elegance at the same time.
Landscape architect pays attention into details while selecting new trees in site. Consider the type, texture, size and amount of them to conform and respect with the existing trees as much as possible. Then they will be neatly located in natural setting when viewing from outside they would be perceived as this hotel blended well with Luang Prabang instead of popping out from friendly atmosphere in Luang Prabang which most color of the buildings are warm neutral color materials such as wooden, the various tones of brown brick color, the white from the building wall, and the local planting of Luang Prabang. And also architectural materials in site itself such as Champaca wood (Jumpee in Lao), light grey roof tiles and white clean wall are considered while we carefully choose type of plantings.
The main outdoor facilities is a 25-metre swimming pool and the existing 100 years Banyan trees which is almost 2-metre trunk diameter width and 20-metre tall are preserved s as the main landscape element in this area. Other existing trees are fruit trees with light colour leaves that spread all over the area such as Indian Cork (Millingtonia hortensis L.f.), Longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.), Mango, Coconut tree, and Flamebuoyant Tree (Delonix regia (Bojer ex Hook.).
Due to the above reasons, landscape architect choose only one medium-sized tree with light-colour leaves which complements with all the existing trees, conform with the building colour and make people feel comfortable in this limited space. The new plant used is Wrightia arborea (Dennst.) Mabb and randomly planted to make them look like they were originally planted and grown here. Low shrubs like Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata (L.)Jack) is used to separate each space and create privacy for each room. Moreover, Lee Gkwan Yew Vine is planted to soften planter box wall. And for the other main facilities area, big lawn are used to create the airy simply elegant atmosphere.
At the connecting space to the public road, MacArthur Palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii Nichols )is chosen to add in areas with no existing tree in order to make it harmonious with Luang Prabang context together with a mid-size shrub, Slender lady Palm (Rhapis Humllis Bl. ), in order to prevent the outsider to see the swimming pool area. The wide mass of light aroma shrubs, Fragrant Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.) is used to create more privacy distance from inside area from the outside.
At the restaurant area beside Chao Fa Ngum road, the atmosphere is created to be open and close rhythm to create the more welcoming feeling for the restaurant guests. By using plants to prevent only the pool view from being seen by the outsider, so the restaurant guests can still feel connection to city and enjoy observing the Laotian lifestyle among landscape refreshment atmosphere.
In guest rooms, there is a lovely courtyard to be a private outdoor area for guests to sit and relax which small Kankrao (Fragrea fragrans Robx.) trees is a feature tree that surrounded lovely shrubs to create a comforting atmosphere.
Building : Hotel
Unit type: 53 rooms and suites
Project area: 8,060 square meters
Design area: 2,215 square meters
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape Architect
Architect/ Interior : Scale 11 Architecture Co., Ltd.
Lighting Design: Gooodlux Design Consultancy
Structural & MEP Engineer: DCS Associates Co., Ltd.
Contractor: 1. Thansamay Co., Ltd. (Hardscape)
2. Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden (Softscape)
Project location: Setthathirath Road, Hua Xieng Village, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR 06000
Design year: 2015
Year Built: 2017