Architecture in Polynesia
Polynesian architecture deeply changed in the last half of the 19th century with the urban development of the town of Papeete for military and commercial reasons.
The arrival of the Christian missionaries on the islands was precursory of such architectural upheavals which so far, were only visible through the religious buildings like the cathedrals, churches and temples. However, these buildings were still built from natural materials like coral, natural fibre, and soil.
Regarding the accommodation, wood was used by the Polynesians for a long time. Its abundance and its diversity on the majority of the islands made it a readily available resource for the people who were keen on great openings and stilts.
However, bad weather and Polynesian industrialisation led to the use of new materials leaving way to concrete, metal sheets etc.
The French Polynesian hotel industry has also chosen this typically Polynesian architecture because of its concern for its international image and its belonging to Tahiti and Her Islands. It has therefore brought back to date this type of “fare” construction with vegetal design set up within idyllic settings, combining the Polynesian richness with the modern world of Western societies.
Respecting the nature is a key element in this architectural approach. Thus some hotels have decided to build their structures in symbiosis with the environment without moving a tree, nor a stone.
Others have set up a system of rainwater recovery, the use of the energy provided by the depths, organic waste recycling, solar energy… These efforts and investments have made it possible to sustain durably the authenticity of these places.
The rounded forms, large openings for ventilation are also important in this process. Of course, modern comfort is present in these magnificent “fare”. The bathrooms of some hotels include this Polynesian touch, thus recreating spaces in harmony with the nature.
Warm colors are also an essential element of the art of living in Tahiti and Her Islands – a paradise of tropical flowers and plants.
These beautiful colors are made by the decoration of the bungalows … panels of woven bamboo, the “Tifaifai” (Polynesian quilt) gently covering beds… and flowers – symbols of our islands and of the warm Polynesian hospitality.