Paul Raff Studio celebrates groundbreaking of slick residential property on Phuket
Without the customary hard hats and warm rain jackets, a tropical style groundbreaking ceremony took place at sunset on 17th March with principals and guests present. Situated in South Patong, on the island of Phuket, Thailand, one of Asia’s premier tourist destinations, Bluepoint Condominiums is a luxury multi-unit development employing state-of-the-art sustainable strategies designed by Paul Raff Studio.
Norwegian owners, KjeStl Horgen Øiseth and Arnfinn Engeset, took great delight in pouring the first concrete mix into the footings, officially initiating the construction of the luxurious and ecologically designed project. In his welcome speech, a proud Øiseth said: “The road to breaking ground has been a challenging one. We have had setbacks including both economic and environmental disasters; we are grateful that we have made it through.”
Paul Raff Studio won a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s honours of excellence for Innovations In Architecture for designing Bluepoint’s Louver Façade System. The design is borne from a simple idea of maximising landscape views while maintaining privacy for residents. “The louvered façades design preserves sea views while providing visual privacy, but also shades the sun. This significantly reduces energy consumption and carbon footprint,” explained lead architect Paul Raff.
The louvers are from a composite product primarily made of waste sawdust from the timber industry. This system reduces heat-gain and associated energy usage by more than 60%. The light gauge steel support structure facilitates rapid, cost-effective and locally executed construction. The louvers also perform an artistic function: they visually resonate with the landscape a rhythmic, spatial game of 'hide and seek' between inside and outside.
During his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony, Raff reiterated the importance of embracing ‘greener’ designs. “Our strategies for such an unusual ecologically sustainable project include not building on a virgin site, not destroying mature trees, and actually producing more indigenous planting at the end of this project than existed at the beginning.”
“We are also layering roof tops with plants because near the equator the greatest energy consumption and carbon footprint arise from keeping buildings cool. If you have local indigenous species on your roof, not only are you supporting local flora and fauna, you are also shading the building, creating an effective building envelope and improving climatic control.”