Tanoon Mai is a hawker style restaurant inspired by the integration of urban Thai street food culture and European colonial architecture. Vie studio experimented with basic architectural elements and familiar domestic fittings like windows and fences to create the illusion of alfresco dining within a shopping centre. At the entrance one is warmly greeted by a modest food cart displaying local produce to conjure a street-vending setting common in Thailand. Cobblestone tiles are used to pave the floor as a parody of a tarmac road.
Mirrored on two opposite walls of the dining hall are panels of windows made from FSC certified plywood and individually hand-painted in exuberant colours used in European Colonial buildings abundantly lining the streets of Thailand. These windows are multifunctional as they serve as a display for Thai produce and traditional ornaments while at the same time concealing a waiter station. Hanging from the ceiling is a modern interpretation of the ordinary picket fence. The fence is inverted to push the boundary of perception of a regular ceiling and window.
To fortify the concept, Thai and western emblems, motifs and seals that embody richness and depth are injected into the graphics. The intense colour scheme adds endless vibrant energies to the interior encouraging interaction between the patrons and vendor. The elegant fabric used on the seat cushions is a reminder to visitors of a country legendary for its exquisite Thai silk and textiles.
Lighting plays a significant role in creating the stylish ambience in Tanoon Mai. Featured at the centre hangs ethnic Thai lampshades and concealed LEDs to highlight the laser-cut ceiling. Specially selected traditional decorative wall lights further enriches the urban street concept.
Photographer: Andrew Worssam