PHUKET: It is interesting every year to see the new season’s designer-wear on the runways of Milan, New York, London and other haute couture centers. Creative designers show off their very latest fashions to the world on those runways and instantaneously these new designs are considered the hottest fashion trends.
Designing clothes is of course very different from designing a house because the former are nearly always a designer’s dream design, but when it comes to the latter, an architect’s design has to match current market demand and what will actually sell.
These factors are important to developers because many skills and abilities are required to be successful, with probably the most important being the ability to ascertain what buyers are looking for and produce the right product.
Traditional Thai pavilion villas with pitched roofs were all the rage a couple of years ago and many developers who designed this type of residence to meet the strong demand were very successful.
However, over time, demand for pavilion villas started wavering to be replaced by a more modern and practical design.
As Phuket has a months-long rainy season, pavilion villas are actually not very practical because these pavilions could separate young children from their parents. It is also not much fun getting up in the middle of the night and walking through the garden to check on the children.
There has been an increased demand for modern design houses with flat roofs, glass windows, panels and doors, steel beams and bright colors, with all these elements being a clear shift away from the traditional wood designs synonymous with Thai architecture.
‘Less is more’ – the very famous phrase of minimalists – is reducing design to the most essential elements. This seems to be the trend now and is what buyers are looking for. Gone is the traditional classic design, and “in” is modern design. This is not just for home-buyers below 40 years of age, but seems to also apply to clients in the 40-60 age bracket.
However, very few new villa projects launched in Phuket last year offered modern design, so there are very few properties that fit the ‘modern design’ ticket.
Clearly, Phuket’s developers should be more innovative and should try to fill the demand gap for such properties. We hope that developers will follow the creative route and design modern-looking and functional homes. The demand for such homes is in the northwest of the island and we see that it will only increase in the foreseeable future.
In fact the cost of building a modern villa is lower than building a traditional Thai pitched-roof villa. It is also a lot faster to build a modern villa than a traditional classic villa, and developers can also benefit from this.
Amy Koh is the sales manager of Engel & Voelkers Phuket. To contact Amy or for more information, visit www.engelvoelkers.com/en/phuket
— Amy Koh