Kamala Beach Renovation

Location Kamala Beach, Kratu, Phuket
Year 2006

Thailand was one of the hardest hit countries by Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami in 2004. It happened on Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 07.58 a.m. local time at the epicenter, with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale. The Tsunami attacked the west coast of Phuket Island, flooding and causing damage to almost all the major beaches including the Kamala beach that is one of the most attractive places in Phuket. Because of three reasons; the physical characteristic is diverse, the neighborhood is mostly Muslim, and this area has lots of natural resources, so our design concept is to reflect the uniqueness of the combination of natural beauty and existing Muslim culture, like the pearl of the Andaman that is the image of Phuket. We tried our best to maintain the ecological environment as much as possible by organizing the area worthily to enhance Kamala's potential, so it can turn to a tourist destination with international standard of early warning system.

From the physical characteristic of Kamala beach, it is a 2-kilometer-long beach that is famous for both beautiful nature and tranquility. There are 3 natural canals that lead to the bay. This existing area had many kinds of land-use, such as temple, schools, park, police station, hotels, guesthouses, retail shops, residential, etc. Tourists mostly visit this beach to relax with a peaceful nature and some of them come to play water sport.

Due to problems of controlling the Land use and being a land ownership along the beach, they made development of this area was limited and the area was also very diverse. However, the uniqueness of Muslim communities was emerged in the various elements; such as the octagonal plaza, signs, lights, benches, etc, by using Islamic patterns to blend to the local living of the communities and to make here differ from other attractive places in order to push this place as a specific characteristic of Kamala beach.

Even though the gigantic wave destroyed almost everything, it could mean a rearrangement and nature rebuild as well. This disaster has become an important lesson that the Kamala communities have to adjust and revitalize. Our scope of work consists of renovation the beach area and construction the Kamala Tsunami Monument as a memorial to commemorate the time of Tsunami which devastated part of the west coast of the island in 2004.

This public park is close to the middle of Kamala beach. A commemorative pavilion at the end of the park and the main axis were set the straight direction to the epicenter that originated in Sumatra, Indonesia. The main feature of the park is the metal sculpture titled “Mind of the Universe” created by Thai artist, Udom Jiraksa. The sculpture is made of metal wire in the form of a wave and is also one of three sculptures located in three Tsunami disaster areas; Phuket, Phang-gna and Krabi. The concept of the routes and planting lines was imitated from the TEARDROP SHAPED to recall us about the great grief and loss.

The form of the service buildings in this area was designed in the concept of waves and sea animals, and inserted Islamic style to achieve the harmony of the unique beauty. Plus, the curved shape of the buildings will help to reduce the impact of water damage in case the disaster occurs again in the future.

An evacuation route along the beach was designed to be in harmony with an existing beach. Bridges across the canals were designed to be the wooden bridges and planted more planting to hide the buildings constructed too close to the beach and to create some shade for the beach.

Besides, evacuation assembly areas were designed the routes to be linked to the nearby evacuation points. There are evacuation routes separated for local people, tourists, and vehicles for the purpose of easily understood and convenience.

In addition, this project has been awarded by Thai Association of Landscape Architects(TALA) as an Honor Award: General Design - Public Space for year 2015.