Tribute: How architect Ed Tuttle's Amanpuri set the stage for game-changing Aman Resorts

The inception of Aman changed hotel design forever.

Designer Ed Tuttle worked with Adrian Zecha to create the Amanpuri resort on Phuket (Portrait: Interna Group; Amanpuri photo: Aman Resorts)

Fans of Edward B. Tuttle, the legendary Seattle-born architect, mourned as news spread on his recent passing on June 21. Calling Paris home since 1977, where his firm Design Realization was based, Tuttle's portfolio comprises primarily residential and resort projects. It was the latter where members of the paying public could truly soak up and appreciate his unique brand of aesthetics. 

After all, when Aman Resorts founder Adrian Zecha debuted his iconic Amanpuri on New Year's Day in 1988 on the tropical island of Phuket, Thailand, the first of what would become a byword for contemporary destination hotels, few could have imagined that Tuttle's minimalist design, anchored by sharp silhouettes and a discreet but palpable sleekness (think expansive granite courtyards and restful pavilions ensconced amid bamboo and palm groves), became as much of a draw as the surroundings and service. Tuttle, together with Kerry Hill and Jean-Michel Gathy, would go on to become a formidable trinity that truly was the heart and soul of Aman Resort's design style.

We look back at some of our favourite and most iconic Tuttle-designed Aman properties:

Phuket, Thailand
Besides the sweeping spaces, lush landscaping and refined aesthetics, this was where the Aman legend began and, over three decades on, remains as enchanting as ever.


Borobudur, Indonesia
If you ever had the chance to visit this serenely spiritual property, you cannot help but be mesmerised by Tuttle's grand homage to the beauty of the 9th-century Buddhist monument of Borobudur.


One of three Aman properties on the island of Bali, Amankila in the eastern regency of Karangasem, deserves to be singled out just for its spectacular three-tiered infinity pool that is inspired by Balinese rice terraces. Its proximity to the sacred mother mountain of Gunung Agung just makes it all the more special. 

Read more tributes for the renowned architect in our upcoming issue. 


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