The selection of the architect for was supremely important to our ability to deliver truly modern opulence. We are delighted that the world-renowned principal of GFAB Architects, Gary Fell, agreed to team up with Prism Estates on the creation of Istana.
From first sight, the location suggested that something special was required from us. We sought to create a design that was at once contemporary and timeless. The title of the project holds the key: ISTANA is the Sanskrit word for palace, and we sought to create a series of contemporary palaces, nothing less.
For us this was not merely a formal exercise, but rather we sought to generate the same kind of feelings and sensations one might expect to find in a palace. We felt that spaces should not merely be defined by scale, but rather by the full range of senses – How heavy should this door feel when one pushes against it? How should the floor feel and sound when one walks on it? We defined the emotive sense of space rather than pursuing a pure Euclidian exercise.
From the beginning, everyone involved with this project went out of their way to consider every aspect of the design in order to create something that is truly exceptional. Each villa has been designed individually to maximise the potential of its unique plot. Each villa’s layout is intimately linked to the topography and seeks to leave as many of the site’s natural features intact as is possible, so that the occupants will live with nature all around.
The villas are entered from the top down, affording views of the ocean across landscaped roofs which contain either reflecting pools, or greenery. This blurs the distinction between roof, floor, ground and landscape, while helping cool the spaces below them.
While the villas are finished with luxurious materials and fixtures, the real luxury for us is space. With Istana we decided from the start that our sites and our spaces should be generous and that the passage through these spaces should be a progression through a series of gardens and water features, revealing new and unexpected vistas of the surrounding environment.