A modern lifestyle in an historical setting

Pascal Trahan, originally from Quebec, Canada, is the managing director of his architect firm Scale 11 based in Phuket, Thailand.
A modern lifestyle in an historical setting

Who is he?

Pascal Trahan, originally from Quebec, Canada, is the managing director of his architect firm Scale 11 based in Phuket, Thailand.

Tell us some of your works, and name the one you are most proud of.

We have completed a certain number of projects in Laos, ranging from hotels, public buildings as well as private residences. Examples are 3 Nagas Luang Prabang, Amantaka, Sofitel Luang Prabang, World Heritage offices, Villa Vice Roy, Villa Swire, Villa AZ, Azerai Luang Prabang.

As far as a one we are most proud of, it is difficult to say. Projects range in sizes and clients from corporate to individuals. On one side, there is a certain pride in completing a hospitality project. The main goal is to provide travelers with an intimate abode to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of urban living. Getting to know or reading in a magazine that the property created allowed them to relax and rejuvenate is always the best compliment a hospitality architect can receive.

On the other side, smaller projects like private homes are also rewarding as there is a lot of human relationship building involved in the project.

Are you currently involved with any project?

The Azerai brand has had a tremendous launch and we are proud to be involved in a great number of projects associated with Adrian Zecha on a world recognition level.

A modern lifestyle in an historical setting

Describe your design style.

I do not consider myself as a signature designer/architect, as such, a specific/unique style does not apply to the work we do. That said, in general I tend to seek simple elegance regardless of the style of architecture we approach.

Design direction will depend on site location, environment, history, function and the client’s personality. The approach is try to accommodate elements of the general location of each project and listen to what the site and surroundings have to say. Some historical locations, such as Luang Prabang are very specific in terms of architectural typologies that can be implemented. As such, we will make sure all aspects of regulations are fully observed.

The recently launched Azerai Luang Prabang is an example. Aside from designing with great concerns of the local regulations, we use local architectural references for the external aspect of buildings but will also allow ourselves more flexibility, with the interiors where we want to offer a link between heritage and modern day lifestyle. This is important not only for guests’ comfort but also to reflect any society’s wish to modern living. But in doing this, we believe we are also providing a conduit for the local population to harness tasteful and sensitive ideas on how to create modern lifestyle within historical settings.

Where are you most creative?

In the early stages of a project (conceptual/schematic) and last stages of the project as I enjoy playing/fixing existing and actual matter. Regardless of technology, means of expressing and communicating an architect’s idea are limited. As such it can be challenging for the people tasked with implementing those ideas to comprehend what the final result should look like.

Once a project is sufficiently advanced it might seem impossible to achieve the vision due to technical constraints on others. This is the time were site visits become very important.

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