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A Tribute to Edward Tuttle: Livingstone of Modern Times

Madani Matadian · May 16th, 2022
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It's been almost two years since the legend of world architecture—Edward Tuttle passed away in June 2020 at the age of 75. Throughout his life, Ed has always created innovative ideas that are planned and have a big impact, for example through his most recognizable work—Aman Resorts. Ed's expertise as an architect can also be proven through the success of Aman Resorts, which has now successfully opened 40 branches in various countries. This makes Ed the figure behind the blueprint of Aman Resorts which is very famous, received recognition and was praised by the whole world.

Edward Tuttle
Edward Tuttle.

Ed Tuttle's journey

For Ed, architecture has been in his blood since he was born in 1945, this is because his great-grandfather and grandfather were famous architects. So, the journey of his career as an architect has been found since childhood, he followed his heart and made his footsteps.

This Seattle-born man started his design career in Asia by working on hotel projects across the region until eventually he moved to Paris and founded a firm with his partner, Christian Monges—Design Realization in 1977. They used hôtel particular curlers in the style of the 18th century as an office. At first glance, this building is more suitable to be called a "palace" than an office. The reason is that the existing spaces are filled with shining gold colors and are equipped with objects that are personally collected, displaying extraordinary majesty.

Design Realization's office, the architecture firm founded by Edward Tuttle and Christian Monges
Design Realization's office (
Mark Luscombe-Whyte.

Design Realization's office, the architecture firm founded by Edward Tuttle and Christian Monges
Design Realization's office (
Mark Luscombe-Whyte).

Even though he had settled in Paris, in fact, Ed rarely lived. He traveled around the world to observe the progress of residential and hospitality projects while exploring local culture—which eventually became the common thread of Ed's signature design language. Amazing works throughout his career, as evidenced by Ed being entrusted with designing the home of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and contributing to a popular hospitality brand—Park Hyatt.

The person behind Aman Resorts

His hobby, which often travels to observe cultural projects and research, led Ed to Adrian Zecha—the founder of Aman Resorts. Adrian started the Aman business in 1988. The main idea of ​​this hospitality design was to create an extraordinary guest experience until gradually Aman focused on beautiful destinations blended with stunning surroundings. Aman's concept that 'respects' the environment and culture allows the surrounding landscape to be the center of attention. In Sanskrit, 'Aman' means 'peace'. This name is always attached to each branch, followed by a word that represents peace of mind in the local language.

Amanpuri, Thailand

Amanpuri by Edward Tuttle
Amanpuri, Thailand (Aman Resorts).

The debut of Aman Resorts, as well as the first of Ed's architectural footprint in designing these resorts, was in 1988 through Amanpuri which is located on the tropical island of Phuket, Thailand. On its opening day, Amanpuri became the most talked about thing around the world. The charm of Amanpuri has remained dazzling for more than three decades. Claiming the entire peninsula on Thailand's largest island, this hotel nestled in coconut groves has panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. Ed designed Amanpuri by highlighting Buddhist architecture typical of the ancient Ayutthaya Kingdom in Thailand.

Amanjiwo, Indonesia

Amanjiwo by Edward TuttleAmanjiwo, Indonesia (Aman Resorts).

Amanjiwo can be interpreted as a 'peaceful soul' in Javanese. The inspiration for the design of this hotel, which was completed in 1992, is the authentic form of the Borobudur Temple which is located not too far from Amanjiwo. In the design process, Ed spent a whole week studying the Borobudur Temple from the shape, material, and details of Buddhist culture, to its storied location to the top. This resort is the perfect place to learn about the history, artistic creation, and culture of the region.

Amanbagh, India

Amanbagh by Edward Tuttle
Amanbagh, India (Aman Resorts).

There are two Aman properties in India, one of them is Amanbagh which was designed by Ed. The hotel is located at the foot of the Aravalli Mountains in Rajasthan, India, which is known for its pristine wildlife—still inhabited by tigers. Amanbagh stands firmly like a fortress on a rocky mountain with a garden oasis representing a traditional Rajasthani house that aims to be a place of 'modern reincarnation'. Ed's design draws on old-world Moghul architecture which can be seen through the rounded domes that fill the resort, slender towers, and high ceilings. Secluded and serene, Amanbagh, which was completed in 2005, offers an old-fashioned concept that fits perfectly with the silence of the surrounding nature.

Amanzoe, Greece

Amanzoe by edward TuttleThanks to Ed, Amanzoe has become one of the most famous properties in the Aman hotel chain. Located in Greece, Amanzoe which was inaugurated in 2012, became a pioneer of hospitality in the local area, so there are now at least 10 other villas that have been operating. As usual, Ed managed to convey a sense of the culture and feel of a place through the use of local materials and techniques according to the project site; this is evident in the Amanzoe which combines elements of water and typical Greek rock. In addition, the design refers to classical Greek architecture with a simple aesthetic.

Livingstone of Modern Times

Ed's other three works are Aman Le Melezin (1992) in France, Amanjena (2016) in Morocco, and Amanani (1998) in the USA. Although extraordinary achievements have been engraved eternally, Ed still maintains his low-profile character. Countless works for the architectural design concepts of hotels and residences spread around the world. Ed is a legend. His journey through culture and leaving traces around the world in the form of dazzling physical works earned him the nickname "Livingstone of modern times".

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