Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 October 2020

5 hotels by the late Ed Tuttle: a pioneer of the modern destination resort

The US architect died earlier this week: his vision lives on at several of the world's finest hotels

Architect Edward Tuttle, best known for his hotel designs for Aman, died on Sunday, June 21, at the age of 75.

The US-born designer, known to his friends simply as Ed, had lived and worked in Paris since the '70s, and built his career around luxury hotel design.

Co-founder of his own studio – Design Realisation – Tuttle first tasted international fame when he partnered with Aman hotels. After his vision for the design of the original Aman hotel in Thailand became a reality in 1988, a healthy relationship between the architect and the Singapore-based hospitality group began.

Tuttle went on to imagine projects for luxury hotels across the US, Asia and Europe, each project capturing the unique cultural context in which he found himself designing.

“Respect for both the cultural context of the location and the potential impact of the structures on the surrounding environment is fundamental," Tuttle told Architectural Digest in an interview in 2000.

Despite keeping an eternally low profile, Tuttle carved a name for himself as one of the architects who paved the way for contemporary destination resorts.

His work with Aman exemplifies this and the luxury hotel group marked his passing with a statement.

“It is with great sadness and respect that we pay tribute to renowned architect and friend of Aman, Ed Tuttle,” said a spokesperson for Aman.

“During his prestigious career he designed several Aman resorts across the globe, including the brand’s first, Amanpuri, in Thailand. Over the last three decades he created unparalleled architectural marvels and his vision shaped the peaceful sanctuaries Aman is renowned for. His extraordinary talent will be remembered and continues make a profound impact on the experience of Aman.”

Despite his death, Tuttle’s work lives on in the countless hospitality projects he conceptualised around the world.

Here are five of the most renowned, where you can book a night and admire the late architect's design work for yourself.

Amanpuri, Thailand

Tuttle designed Amanpuri, the original Aman hotel that was said to be groundbreaking for its time. Courtesy Aman
Tuttle designed Amanpuri, the original Aman hotel, which was said to be groundbreaking for its time. Courtesy Aman

The blueprint upon which all subsequent Aman hotels were built, Amanpuri was how Tuttle first etched his style on to the hotel design scene. The boutique villa resort in Phuket dates back to 1988, and it was the original hotel for the Aman chain, which now has more than 40 luxury villa resorts around the world.

Claiming an entire peninsula on Thailand’s biggest island, the coconut-grove located hotel has idyllic views of the Andaman Sea, and Tuttle made sure to make the most of such a vantage point. The resort’s private villas are designed to reflect the Buddhist architecture of Thailand’s ancient Ayutthaya kingdom and, despite its now three-decade age, the hotel is as striking as ever.

Amanzoe, Greece

Amanzoe is a an architectural marvel in Athens. Courtesy Aman
Amanzoe is a an architectural marvel in Porto Heli, Greece. Courtesy Aman

With sweeping sea views and a design that seems to blend into its landscape, the hilltop Amanzoe in Greece’s Porto Heli is consistently voted among Europe’s top 100 hotels. Tuttle’s design draws on classic Greek architecture with a pared-back aesthetic. Think luxury pavilions accessed via stone-walled courtyards all with high ceilings and open terraces to compound the sense of space. With almost 360-degree panoramic sea views as well as a private beach club in a picturesque bay, Amanzoe is within easy reach of Athens International Airport and is an architectural marvel in Greece’s hotel scene.

Park Hyatt Milan, Italy

Tuttle drew on the historical palazzo at the centre of the Park Hyatt Milan. Courtesy Hyatt /  Hospitality Builders
Tuttle drew on the historical palazzo at the centre of the Park Hyatt Milan. Courtesy Hyatt / Hospitality Builders

The design for the Park Hyatt Milan exudes sophistication, with Tuttle drawing on the historical palazzo that is at the centre of the hotel. Throughout the property, there’s a strong sense of refined elegance that is in keeping with the nearby Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II and the Piazza del Duomo.

This was the first Hyatt to be built in Italy, and Tuttle helped the brand cement its Italian mark by creating guestrooms and suites offering some of the finest accommodation in the heart of Milan. The architect and designer was careful to source local materials to give his work an all-important sense of location, installing bathtubs made of fine Italian marble and hand-blown Murano glass bedside lamps.

Amanbagh, India

Tuttle’s design at Amanbagh in India was inspired by Moghul architecture. Courtesy Aman / Manuel Zublena
Tuttle’s design at Amanbagh in India was inspired by Moghul architecture. Courtesy Aman / Manuel Zublena

One of two Aman properties in India, Amanbagh, in the foothills of the Aravalli Range in Rajasthan, is a modern reincarnation of a traditional Rajasthani mansion. Secluded and serene, the hotel is located on land that was once used by the Maharaja of Alwar as the staging area for royal tiger hunts. Tuttle’s work was inspired by old-world Moghul architecture, which can be seen in the resort’s bulbous domes, slender minarets and high ceilings. Surrounded by the still of nature, this Indian retreat is an ancient wonder reimagined.

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, France

A lounge at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. Courtesy Hyatt / Cécil Mathieu
A lounge at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. Courtesy Hyatt / Cecil Mathieu

Located in a historic palace near Place Vendome, this five-star hotel was the first contemporary Parisian palace in the City of Light. To create it, Tuttle unified five Haussmann-style buildings and turned them into what is now one of the city’s finest luxury hotels.

In a bold design move, he steered away from classic Parisian decor to instead introduce an understated elegance. Throughout the hotel, Tuttle effortlessly blends contemporary architecture and design with the building's sense of historic location. Renovated in 2007, only five years after it opened, the ever-committed Tuttle rejoined the design team to oversee the improvements and ensure they respected his modern vision.

Updated: June 26, 2020 05:36 PM

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