Nestled in a cascading, west facing ravine with a dramatic slab of rock defining the northern edge and a stunning outlook over the azure blue of the Andaman Sea to the south, our commission; to do this demanding but ultimately spectacular site justice, was both daunting and exciting.
The defining elements are the rock and the view. They dominate at every juncture. They resonate on first approach, through the migration from public to private space, in the living and in the family areas, in the gardens, in the bedrooms; and they continue to command respect down the tropical jungle steps that arrive at a secluded rock platform, flanked by the same seam that welcomed you 60m above. Constant reference to these elements instills a feeling of solidity that contrasts with the openness of the house, reinforcing the dynamism and vibrancy that pays homage to the magic of the location.
The home grows out from the rock; the bedroom element rests between it and the wing that strikes the perpendicular, rising vertically from the slope. This composition defines the open living and dining space that is simply a transition between two garden areas. It is intimate but open and the uninterrupted clear span creates a bridge under which the conventions defining indoor space disappear.
Cantilevered over a massage sala, the swimming pool completes the composition. It is the focal point that draws the eye to the view and instills a calmness that provides balance with the energy of the architecture.
The provision and allocation of living space in the house is carefully distributed over the three main levels of accommodation.
At the main entrance or Entertainment Level, the principal open living and dining space forms the core of the entertainment function. The terraces, swimming pool, dining sala and barbeque area all refer and rely on this main space and together, complete the composition. Supporting this function are the kitchen, storage, laundry and staff areas.
Above the Entertainment Level is the main family Bedroom Level. The master suite is accompanied by a further three bedrooms, all of which, including their bathrooms, command uninterrupted ocean views.
Sliding doors can be opened front and back to encourage the monsoon breezes to cool the rooms.
Below the Entertainment Level, two further bedrooms, a private spa and a large games and family room complete the home on the Guest and Spa Level.
As a vacation residence, the Villa Amanzi can be booked for $2,000 to $4,500 per day, depending on the season.