Project Of The Week – Kanuhura Resort, Maldives
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire series features the dream-like Kanuhura Resort, an island retreat situated in Lhaviyani Atoll, the Maldives, a true paradise for free-spirited travellers.
Inspired by the concept of ‘gypsy jet-setters’ or ‘gypsetters’ a term coined by Muza Lab – the project focused on pulling inspiration from these two concepts. Combining the free-spirited lifestyle of ‘gypsies’ with the decadence and the spontaneity of ‘the jet set-life.’
“We found inspiration in the legends, culture and natural world of the islands – their stories, colours and sculptural forms. By bringing these influences into the experience of Kanuhura, we have created a sense of free-spirited timelessness and well being where guests can escape from their normal lives and find a place to create their own special memories with family and friends.” Inge Moore
Muza Lab completely redesigned and reimagined the private island resort breathing new life and spirit into the holiday retreat.
“The concept of luxury is changing,” says Moore. “Luxury is now about what you get to feel inside rather than what you have to show off. As designers, this means it’s our thought process that sparks these feelings, and that really excites me. So with Kanuhura, we loved translating the values that bring happiness to sophisticated, well-travelled ‘gypsetters’ into experiences designed to elevate their sophisticated, free-spirited souls.”
SBID had the opportunity to speak with Inge Moore, Founder of Muza Lab about this spectacular project.
Company: Muza Lab
Project: Kanuhura Resort, Maldives
Project Location: The Maldives
What was the client’s brief?
We were presented with the opportunity to redesign every existing area of Kanuhura Maldives as well as to introduce new spaces, working from the big picture though to every minor detail, from creating larger guestrooms and renovating the F&B outlets, to amenities such as crockery, picnic baskets and uniform collections for the staff.
What inspired the design of the project?
We wanted to create something different from the usual luxury hotel offering in the Maldives, something that was bohemian, colourful and laid-back. Our inspiration for this was the word “gypset” – describing a lifestyle that combines the unconventionality of the gypsy with the sophistication and speed of the jetsetter.
We always like to tell stories through our design and, in this case, we were spoilt for choice! Extraordinary legends, fascinating cultural traditions and the stunning natural world of the islands gave us so many ideas that we could weave together, taking their forms and palette into different spaces and bringing them to life with an authentic sense of place.
The inspiration for the arrival area, for example, is the black and white sarong of the local Boduberu performers who showcase tales of heroism, satire and romance. The island kitchen A Mano, which translates as “touched by the hand”, embraces all that is handmade and natural, with lime washed timbers, local stones, woven fabrics and eclectic handmade ceramics. In Bottega Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, fiery reds and corals mingle with sandy pinks, yellows and bright blues in a celebration of the colours of the Indian Ocean.
With the guestrooms & suites, we wanted to showcase the phenomenal panoramas, whilst bringing elements of the landscape into the design through material and colour choice. The Palm Houses take their palette from the surrounding palm trees and their position on the beach means that they benefit from uninterrupted views towards the ocean. The Shell Houses are raised over the Indian Ocean with exteriors inspired by the traditional local dwellings. Each of their outdoor courtyards has a bath so that guests can bathe under the stars whilst the terraces feature nets with large fluffy cushions suspended over the turquoise water, allowing sophisticated castaways a very private and luxurious connection with nature.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
As the resort is so remote, the logistics of getting all the materials and products we needed on site was probably the toughest hurdle. We also had to bear the humid climate in mind when making each design choice. Everything used needed to be hard-wearing to combat the sun, sea and tropical rain, yet also beautiful. Striking the balance between the two was imperative to create a luxury oasis that could stand the test of time.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
The best thing about the project was actually the same as what we found hardest – the location. It was such a fabulous place to work and whilst it could be a hassle, it was worth it.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
SBID International Design Awards are widely considered to be one of the top schemes in the industry. It is important for us to compete against leading studios worldwide and the calibre of projects entered is always high.
Questions answered by Inge Moore, Founder of Muza Lab
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If you missed last week’s Project of the Week with Studio Proof for the NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Click Here
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We hope you feel inspired! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire