MIA Resort is located on a coastal road linking Cam Ranh and Nha Trang in Central Vietnam. Man’s control over nature had left the site abandoned when the side of the mountain was excavated to build the road, and extensive rock and debris was thrown down the sloping site. The demand for infrastructure had short-sightedly rendered the land damaged and barren.
However, the site presented an amazing development prospect as there was a private beach below the steep 35m drop from the road. Upon our first visit, we saw the site as an opportunity to return the rubble-filled area back to its natural beginnings by planting the seeds for nature to take over. Unlike most projects where architecture dominates the site taming nature, this project attempts to reverse the roles making architecture the support for nature. Mia Resort was designed as a humble sanctuary without any architectural pretensions. There are no iconic man-made buildings on site but simple structures which merge with the landscape. As trees and plants mature, views down from above show only greenery as the buildings are now completely camouflaged by vegetation.
Upon entering the resort, there is an immediate sense of relaxation as guests are greeted with a large reception space designed to frame the sea and sky. Adjacent to the hall is a café lounge with panoramic views of the private beach below accentuated by the infinity pool. A trail leads visitors past the spa which is nestled within the shadows of bamboo trees. Accommodations in the form of bungalows are placed strategically along the winding paths down to the beach allowing each and every room to have sea views. There are also pavilions of hotel rooms with large terraces and a private cantilevered VIP villa perched high above. Adjacent to the beach is the all-day dining restaurant with a large landscaped swimming pool. Palms to withstand harsh tropical storms dot the shoreline, providing shade and completing the picturesque scene of a tropical paradise.
Undertones of the damaged site’s raw beauty remain; the granite debris was retained and used extensively throughout the project not just as hard core but as walls for retaining the sloping land and forming the buildings. This natural granite can be seen as large boulders in the landscaping and even as finished interior walls. Guests will find themselves in bungalows that play on the simplicity of this granite, alongside concrete and bamboo, to create light, elegant spaces.
Architecture here complements the natural environment to form lush sanctuaries by day and evening. Mia Resort showcases how architecture, interior design and tropical landscaping can hand-in-hand create a serene setting by simply nurturing plants to slowly dominate the site. This unassuming transformation restores the natural environment using what was readily available on site; showcasing that architecture can co-exist with nature in forming an oasis.
With the success of this award-winning project, the client has appointed Transform Architecture to design the second MIA resort sited nearby.