In this article from December 2018, Philip Stevens of designboom breaks down the creations built by Ab Rogers and his team in The Fields. Note: in a nod to designboom’s signature style, we’ve maintained their disdain for capital letters in this re-posted version of the article.
from december 13-16, 2018, the hills west of pattaya on the gulf of thailand hosted a carbon neutral four-day celebration of the arts. this year’s edition of ‘wonderfruit’, which designboom previewed in october, features a series of sustainable structures by ab rogers design. these interventions celebrate the region’s indigenous craft, using local materials and a family of red finishes to complement the area’s lush greenery.
‘the masterplanning for the site has been evolved to hold dialog with its context — the landscape and its adjacencies,’ explains ab rogers design. ‘its forms have been derived from a collection of sensual radiating circles that connect the different activities in sympathy with to the fact that sound does not move in lines but circles and as a metaphor for sustainability, which underpins every element of the brief.’
the masterplan for wonderfruit 2018 comprises three primary aspects: the eco pavilion, the theatre of feasts, and the bath house. described as a temporary structure that can appear and disappear at will, the eco pavilion consists of 124 hand-made, hand-painted cotton umbrellas in shades of red, pink, and orange sheltering a man-made crater. the structure is capable of hosting a range of programs, from lectures and events, with the audience sheltered in the shade of the umbrellas.
meanwhile, the theatre of feasts is a permanent structure designed around the ritual of eating. fully open to the elements, its roof is woven from palm leaves to keep diners cool. a hole in the center acts like a sundial, maintaining connection to the wider site and the shifting light of the day passing outside. inside, an uninterrupted circular table curls its way around the perimeter of the tent, allowing 275 people to dine together under the giant bamboo dome.
in the center of this ring of tables is a kitchen made from stained red bamboo, which establishes a performative relationship between the chefs, the diners, and structure that contains them. under foot a dusty orange pebble floor creates a tangible sense of arrival, of crossing a threshold into a warm, vibrant and intimate social space. this giant tent is concealed by re-used fabrics.
nearby, the bath house has been conceived as an oasis of calm, with dedicated environments that support drinking, bathing, performing, relaxation, massage, and contemplation. made up of a connected network of pontoons and floating pavilions, inspired by thai fishing villages, it offers an opportunity for quiet reflection, taking visitors on a journey through the power of water via various nurturing bathing rituals. each structure one has been designed to filter light out or let in an optimal amount light, depending on the treatment it hosts.
Check out the original article, including lots more gorgeous pictures of these amazing creations, here.