X2 River Kwai

Architecture: agaligo studio | Lighting Design: Studio Accent | Landscape Design: Worawit Pimpin | Engineering: M-Square

Location: Kanchanaburi, Thailand (13°57'59.66"N, 99°27'55.92"E)
Area: 3,023 Sq.M.
Year: 2014

X2 River Kwai is located on the most beautiful stretch of the Kwai Noi River. With a spectacular backdrop of the mountain range and clear, blue sky, the resort boasts a breathtaking river view. Its grounds are surrounded by rice paddies, sugar cane plantations, local temples, and small villages, the signature scenery of Kanchanaburi. X2 River Kwai’s resort facilities offer a restaurant & bistro with an outdoor deck, a library, and an infinity swimming pool.

The province of Kanchanaburi played many important roles in the past centuries during the Thai-Burmese conflict. It was a place full of several ethnic tribes living in thick jungles and also a spot for mining activities. The town became widely recognized after the Second World War, when the Japanese soldiers used it as a base camp for the prisoners of war to construct the notorious Thai-Burma Railway and the well-known bridge over the River Kwai. This memoir was later featured in the 1957 Hollywood film, “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” winning 7 academy awards. Consequently, “The Railway Man,” screened in 2014, was produced to recite the historical event.

The resort is the brainchild collaboration between its owner and the architect. The design theme took inspiration from Kanchanaburi’s unique history combined with the essence of its location near the historic railway, bridge, and river. The result is an avant-garde designed resort that embraces the local character. In creating the sense of place, the architecture of X2 River Kwai adopted the “light structure” concept to construct the project. Light structure is commonly seen throughout the local neighborhood setting such as on houses, rafts, and bridges, which are mainly built with wood and bamboo. Steel trusses of factories, mining equipment, and the distinct monument, The Bridge over River Kwai, can also be considered as light structures, which encompass the “slim but strong” philosophy. With the triangulated members, this kind of structural system gives us freedom to build things that almost “fly in the air”. This quality of flying or floating is used to create the place and to give X2 River Kwai a special experience. LuXe Cabin guests can enjoy the panoramic view of the River Kwai from their “flying” decks that stretch into the vast nature while Pool Xide Cabin guests can rest on private “raft” terraces and soak their feet in the infinity pools.

The resort is designed with a sustainable and eco-friendly attitude.

Reduce: Employing basic materials such as concrete, OSB board, natural mountain stone, and steel, all supplies can be sourced locally. This approach, we believe, is an inventive way to create a sense of “unpretentious luxury”. The OSB and joint rubber wooden boards, materials that are planted particularly for commercial usage, are selected to be used extensively in this project. Other sustainable materials include color-bonded corrugated steel and wood fiber cement boards for outdoor decks.

Energy usage is also greatly reduced by the extensive installation of high efficiency insulation materials along the walls, roofs and thermal-insulated pipes. All rooms are equipped with electrical key tag to cut off the electricity when the guest leaves the room. Another unique feature is the automatic air conditioner cut-off system, which is triggered when the glass door stays opened for more than 5 minutes.

LED lights are installed extensively throughout the entire project to reduce electricity consumption.

In addition, throughout the construction process, the big rain trees have been deliberately conserved for both landscaping and energy-saving purposes. The trees are an essential part in absorbing Co2 and natural air-conditioning system, and they greatly aid in the cool down of the surrounding air temperature. Lying in the tree shades, hotel guests can comfortably relax and enjoy the river breeze all day long.

Reuse: One can also spot that the resort reuses many of the abandoned industrial materials and turns them into chic industrial decorative. Some examples of our creative inventions include: abandoned steel pipes transformed into outdoor light fittings and indoor cloth racks, unused machinery and old electric motors converted into tables and industrial sculptures, and abandoned aluminum strips altered into wall cladding.

Recycle: The riverside location of the property enables the resort to use river water for landscape irrigation. The resort also adopts waste management, sorting rubbish into different recycle categories.