The Okura Prestige is the embodiment of cultural tradition and modern expression. Japanese and Thai cultures are expressed through honest inferential detailing in equal measure evoking a mutual sense of warmth and humility.
PIA was honoured to be the first Thai design firm to play such a significant role in collaborating with this distinctively Japanese hotel brand. When PIA joined the project after the building was constructed, they were allotted just one year to design and decorate the entire hotel. Rising to the challenge, they dedicated half of their designers to this project. For this reason alone, The Okura Prestige can be considered to be one of their greatest achievements over the last twenty years.
In its first-ever property in Thailand, Okura wished to embody a melding of traditional Japanese sensibility with innovative contemporary design. The modern high-rise building’s curvilinear glass façade presents a strong exterior feature requiring equally powerful interior statements while maintaining a warm and serene ambience.
At the ground-level entry, richly veined dark brown Emperador marble flooring is played up vertically with bolts of bright copper mesh woven through dark metal frames. The mesh, sometimes appearing lantern-like when combined with shadow-play lighting, becomes a design signature to indicate hotel property in this mixed-use building. In the atrium, this mesh is used to obscure the escalators’ mundane appearance and offer guests some privacy as they make a grand entrance at the ballroom on the 4th floor.
In the triple-height lobby on the 23rd floor, the woven mesh and dark brown marble flooring figure again to great effect. To balance the space of exaggerated scale, two identical 20 metre long tables, serving as a reception and bar counter respectively, make a bold statement. Covered in shagreen dyed an earthy grey, the soothing colour and pebbly texture provides a marked contrast to surrounding metal and stone surfaces. Large wall spaces throughout the premises are covered with grooved matte painted panels for a rich, textured finish. A series of woven bamboo craft by local artists displayed in the reception area marks the importance of this versatile grass in both Thai and Japanese cultures.
Although Japanese inspired décor can be seen in public areas, PIA’s ability to update Japanese lifestyle preferences is best illustrated in the guest rooms. Natural fibres and woods in an atonal chromatic scheme are applied with dark bronze detailing for visual interest. At the entrance, guests are greeted by a cast bronze sculpture of a bird perched within a tree trunk. In the room swathed in creamy light brown shades, crisp white linens stand out and are softly echoed in shape and shade by the stylised white Tansu chest opposite the bed. The quintessential Japanese bathroom layout of a separate toilet room allows for the bathroom, walled in by perpendicular wooden sliding doors which when withdrawn, to open up the entire room in an uninterrupted expanse. By using
designs and materials favoured by the Japanese, a cocoon of Zenlike minimalist calm is created right in the heart of Bangkok.
The results, capture the essence of the brand’s personality and nuances that define the Okura guest experience in Thailand.
Project: The Okura Prestige Bangkok
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Design Studio: PIA Interior