DIN Studio on letting nature lead the way at Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia

With sustainability being at the heart of its operations, luxe resort Six Senses Krabey Island decided to work with a small studio that truly understands nature.

Located on a private island marked by deep blue waters and the lush canopy of trees is the luxury boutique hotel Six Senses Krabey Island, which consists of pool villas spanning across the island for total seclusion and serenity.

Kooper had a talk with Pin Jitpratuk and Pitikorn Yoswattana, partners and founders of Dimensional Interpretation or DIN studio, which did all the interior design at the resort –from the villas, the restaurants, the spa to the common area, all of which were carefully designed in a tasteful blend of a local feel, valuable Cambodian antiques and sustainable design.

Pitikorn Yoswattana & Pin Jitpratuk, Founders of DIN Studio

After being engaged to work in this project, the first thing both Pin and Pitikorn set out to do was to conduct a thorough research about Cambodia on nearly every aspect – from house design, cuisine, art and culture, architecture to what people do for a living and their various lifestyles. From the raw information collected, they then ‘extracted’ a concept that tactfully expresses the Cambodian tradition in a way that is perfectly compatible with the function of each area of the resort.

“We undertook the entire interior design of the resort intending to strike a perfect balance between local identities and respect for nature.”

Well-appointed and secluded villas, designed with natural materials in earth tone, with sweeping views of the jungle and the ocean

Living on soil, Eating from sea

DIN Studio told us the design of the pool villas lying scattered across the island was inspired by traditional houses of mainland Cambodians. The idea came from an in-depth study of the materials used in making the walls of local houses, which trees and plants were closely tied to their lives, etc. Meanwhile, common area facilities including the lobby and the restaurants were inspired by the way of life in fishing villages. From the research, the designers learned that the Cambodians are highly reliant on freshwater for their livelihood, as evidenced by ancient cave paintings depicting people, houses, and fish swimming at the top. “That painting was also an inspiration behind the decorative fish on the bar’s ceiling,” explained Pin with a smile. Pitikorn added, “When we incorporate cultural or local elements in the design, the hotel has a compelling and relatable story to tell. It’s how we pay homage or respect to space through design. Guests will naturally get a sense of how the hotel is different from other places they’ve been to before.”

Sunset Bar at Six Senses Krabey Island

Dharma, Nature, Design

DIN Studio’s philosophy of design is to value the natural essence of materials. Our design is never flashy or jaw-dropping; ours is simple and easy-going, a result of understanding the true nature of things. As summarized by Pin, “The more we study dharma, the more we see things as they really are. We start to rid ourselves of things that are unimportant or unnecessary. This has a profound effect on my thought process and work style. I’ve come to enjoy walks in the woods, sounds of the wind and appreciate natural beauty at a deeper level.”

Bespoke bamboo sculptures designed by Korakot Aromdee at Six Senses Sky Lobby

Due to its location in a lush jungle, sustainability is at the heart of the design of the entire resort. All materials used in the construction of Six Senses Krabey Island are eco-friendly. The wood either came from planted trees or was 100% reclaimed wood. Pitikorn added that the rubber carpets used are all certified as being made from recycled materials, with no chemical residues or toxic chemicals used in manufacturing. “Timber wall panels were taken from local houses, whereas pillowcases were hand-woven from local fabrics. Every material used has a certificate and is fully traceable.”  

“Sustainability has long been a top priority at Six Senses. This hotel group is committed to working towards zero-waste operations. And we admire them for this.”

Six Senses Spa Treatment Room

In addition to the selection of materials, in terms of infrastructure, Six Senses Krabey Island has set aside an area specifically for solar panels for power. The resort also produces its own drinking water in glass bottles rather than plastic ones. The property also runs an Earth Lab which tends an organic farm and maintains a coral propagation program. “It is indeed a model hotel for sustainability. Their idea opened our eyes to the importance of material selection. Previously, we didn’t pay much attention to it, but now we select materials with reason. This makes us realize the importance of the natural world around us more.”

Six Senses Spa Reception

“As designers, if there’s something we can do to make the world a better place, why shouldn’t we do it?” And just like that, DIN Studio ended the conversation with an honest question that needs no answer.

More information about DIN Studio: dinstudio.co
Image courtesy of Six Senses Krabey Island

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