To provide you with more information about sustainability by designing and building of the Retreat, we want to tell you more about hidden details that you can find in and around the Retreat!
You can go on a nature treasure hunt at the Retreat to find natural pieces gathered from across Pu Luong: riverside rocks used to make a stone wall; leftover tree trunks made into stools and benches; and discarded granite rocks used as stepping stones and bungalow bases. All are part of our guiding principle to work creatively with what nature provides.
See the VIP bungalow up close and you will notice a unique feature – its design incorporate 2 large jackfruit trees moulded into its structure. This exemplifies the principles of the Retreat, where no existing feature, or tree, is removed unnecessarily and buildings themselves need to work around the dimensions of the land, trees, rocks and slopes.
Especially notable is an agreement with 82-year old Tran who used to live on the property, that the enormous jackfruit tree towering at the base of the Retreat can never be touched. Already famed across the region for its age, impressive size and the sweetness of its fruit, Tran wants to ensure the tree, intrinsically tied to memories of her youth, can never be removed.
Inverting local crafts
Hand woven by locals, fish baskets have been used by locals for centuries in local rivers to trap fish in its funnel. At the Retreat, these fish baskets are transformed into impressive lamp shades of different designs. This is typical across the Retreat – use local products handmade by local craftsmen such as 73-year old Thinh, and be creative in its use.
Getting creative with bamboo
The abundant bamboo resource from Pu Luong is used extensively across the Retreat, all hand-built by local carpenters. Additional one-off handmade pieces is designed for the Retreat by Duc, a local self-taught bamboo master. His reading lamps, bamboo lamp shades and sun beds can be spotted in every corner.