Posted in Projects on 9 November, 2017

SPACE editor Can Faik visited the Four Seasons Private Island, Voavah, in the heavenly Maldives. This is what he thought of the secluded and design-driven resort…

I’ve been very fortunate to travel and visit many luxury hotels all over the world, but when I was invited to visit Voavah, Four Seasons very own private island in the Maldives how could I possibly say no?

In conceptualising the design of the Four Seasons Private Island Voavah, Avalon Collective’s team of designers ventured into the natural beauty of Voavah and the Asian countries surrounding the island to create a perfect private haven that focuses on preserving the islands existing foliage. Postulated by head designer Cedric Jaccard, the design of the island has intrigued many, mainly because the villas built on the island feel like an extension of the land, casually growing from the island into beautiful accommodations for those craving simplicity, privacy and a retreat into nature. A common theme of ‘structures that invite the outside in’ came about as a result of the attention paid to the conservation of the island’s verdure.

In today’s declining global condition, it is fundamental to conserve what remains, and to rehabilitate what has been lost. It is through this ideology that the design of the Four Seasons Voavah was born. Beginning with the shallow ‘swimming pool’ lagoon on the western front of the island, the rest of the design was formed as a ‘natural extension’ of the land. In order to emphasise the beauty of the island, the use of grandiose interior elements were opted out in preference of materials that could bring the islands’ guests back to the basics of life. Wood, linen, rattan and organic fabrics are woven throughout the island, not imposing on Mother Nature’s majesty.

The Beach House is located at the centre of the island, lending itself as a communal space for guests to spend their days together. Completely open on three sides of the building, a beautiful sea breeze and the sound of crashing waves can be enjoyed all day, giving guests an ever-present sense of outdoor living. The house, which is accented with a thoughtfully curated collection of artefacts from around Asia and beyond, alludes to an allegorical wanderer-gatherer who has specially chosen each item for his home, giving the The Beach House a down-to-earth and intimate aura. The unassuming elegance of The Beach House is brought about by the combination of raw materials that make up its interiors. The myriad of textures found in The Beach House create shadows and contrasts throughout the house as the sun dances through the day. Thick woven carpets, lounge chairs swathed in linen and a heavy influence of wood all help to accentuate the essence of the Earth’s striking beauty.

The Three-bedroom Beach Villa was built close to the edge of the island, leaving the foliage of the land mostly unsullied, giving guests the opportunity to explore and be in touch with the surrounding landscape. The three structures that characterise the Master Villa are connected by a long swimming pool, imparting a communal atmosphere and amplifying the boundaries between the outside and in. The Master Bedroom is surrounded by water on three sides, with floor-to-ceiling windows so that guests can fully appreciate the surrounding coastline. Throughout the Master Villa, close emphasis has been placed on animating the senses: braided rope carpet and soft mesh netting on the bed frames set an intimate mood, while the sea breeze and panoramic ocean view allow for a meditative state of mind. The Master Bathroom features a free-form bathtub that overlooks a stunning view of the sea when the sliding glass partitions are opened. Eclectic details such as deep ceramic sinks, rope handles on drawers and antique cupboards come together to evoke a sense of home-like sentiment.

The Two-bedroom Water Villa was built upon the beautiful reefs that surround Voavah. Taking a few steps from the deck will lead guests straight into some of the clearest waters in the area for snorkelling and turtle sightings. The Water Villa features lattice-backed rattan armchairs, plush sofas, cushions and deck chairs dressed mainly in neutral earthy tones with a splash of teal and orange to empathise with the vibrant colours found in the abundant surrounding reef.

By translating Voavah’s outside surroundings to the interior design of the villas, the team at Avalon Collective have succeeded in creating a getaway residence that celebrates the islands natural foliage and wildlife instead of suffocating it. Whether guests come to relax or explore, party or escape, the interior design has been carefully fashioned to create an exclusive and intimate experience for any guest, while also advocating the conservation of this beautiful UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

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