Given the extensive destruction resulting from the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that destroyed and damaged resort complexes in southern Thailand, the purpose of this research paper is to focus on the planning of architecture of resorts in two layers: the relationship of structures and land use to the natural environment, and the identification of specific design flaws that resulted in the loss of life.
An international collaborative effort led to site visits by our research team to the hardest‐hit resort areas of Khao Lak, Takua Pa, and Ko Phi Phi on December 29, 2004‐January 6, 2005, and in February 2005. The research team had direct contact with the adverse effects of the tsunami and gained insightful understanding on how structures and faulty architectural designs worsened the disaster and obstructed the process of saving lives. Analysis of these effects were then compiled and used to underpin subsequent proposals for resort reconstruction to minimize future destruction which may result from such calamities.
Close scrutiny and subsequent analysis of various factors which magnified the destruction and damage caused by the tsunami resulted in action plan proposals for sustainable resort development aimed at avoiding a repeat of the tragedy. These include responses to site, architecture, structures, building services and landscaping. More specifically proposals were made on issues of relocation, modifications of design flaws, introduction of escape routes, safer rooms, restoration of waterways, co‐generation, tree plantation and incorporation of natural landscape.
Most of the information and data were gathered first hand at the location mentioned. More studies are needed to reinforce and further validate the proposed measures as generally applicable in similar locations.
An action plan outlining measures aimed at minimizing damage from such natural disasters could provide a useful resource in future planning of resorts in tsunami prone locations.
Garcia, R., Siu‐Yu Lau, S., Chau, K.W., Kanitpun, R., Shimatsu, Y., Grunder, P., Koo, R. and Baharuddin, (2006), "Sustainable resorts: learning from the 2004 tsunami", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 429-447. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653560610669918
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