Baan Daeng is a Thai restaurant situated in a community mall in the middle of Bangkok, Thailand. It is a branch of Sorn Daeng, a famous Thai Michelin restaurant, in a younger and modern version. This branch’s concept is to make customers feel like having food at their friend's house as the word ‘Baan Daeng’ means ‘Red house’ which also reflects the image of a traditional Thai house that is built of redwood.
The designer applied the concept of traditional Thai house as a part of the design by analyzing its elements. When entering a Thai house, the structure of the architecture can be noticed easily. Unlike some architecture that structures are covered or decorated, Thai house shows all joints and layering of timbers that create beautiful complex structure without using a single nail. Another noticeable feature is the pattern from material arrangement like unique pattern on the wall and the roof. These two elements of Thai house were picked as the key inspiration for space design.
From the entrance, there is an arrangement of vertical columns that leads customers to the inside. The thin wood columns are placed here to resemble the location of Thai houses in the past that were surrounded by trees. Guests had to walk through the woods before seeing the house in the middle. The reflecting material on the ceiling helps extend the height of the columns.
The layout of the restaurant can be described in two parts. The entrance is at the middle and on the right side, the owner wanted this area to be a gathering space so it was designed to be brighter and the seats are more flexible. While on the left side is a more private and darker area with less number of seats. Next to the entrance is a low stage for live music, as a signature of Sorn Daeng restaurants. And at the back of the room are high bar and stools.
When entering the restaurant, the first thing to notice is the timbers on the ceiling that cross each other and stack in layers continuing from the ceiling to half of the wall and the glasses to cover and show the boundary of the open area. This structure, which was inspired by the roof of Thai house, is designed to make customers feel like they are under the Thai house roof. There are up lighting hidden between the timbers to create shades and shadows on the ceiling, giving more depth to it. Meanwhile, the same pattern also reflects on the floor tile pattern just like it is the shadow from above. The wall finishing in this area is sand spray which gives more traditional feeling to the restaurant.
In the private area, the seats are arranged in linear with sofa seats on one side. The mood and tone in this area are more like a luxury bar aiming to serve people who want to have some drinks and enjoy the quieter atmosphere with friends or lovers. At the back of the sofa seats, there is an installation of wooden structures inspired by the top view of Thai house roof, attached in different sizes by using Thai traditional joining technique. The different sizes of the structure’s curves also separate the seats into one long set of tables and two round tables with even more privacy. The light in this area mainly focuses on the table and some lights were added behind the top of the structure wall to brighten the space a little bit and create more shade and shadow. So when the customers walk by this wall, they can feel the movement of the wall.