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Restaurant design specialist, Faber, has completed the design for Thai Express’s new flagship store in Birmingham city centre. Headquartered in Canada, Thai Express opened its first store 10 years ago, and now has more than 200 locations worldwide. Faber was enlisted to adapt the global quick-service brand’s concept for the UK market. The design created for the Birmingham store will be rolled out across multiple locations nationwide, with another store opening in Derby city centre soon.

The new restaurant format was inspired by Thailand’s unique juxtaposition of stunning rural landscapes and bustling city life, as Faber’s Creative Director, Tony Matters, explains: “The design essentially has two halves: one half draws inspiration from the buzz of the city and Bangkok’s striking architecture, using materials like concrete and metal; and the other conveys the beauty and vivid colour of Thailand’s natural landscape, bringing in lighter, more-natural materials, such as wood and accents of greenery.”

Faber has also incorporated the Thai Express lotus flower emblem into the interior design by creating three bespoke, fret-cut lotus flower light pendants – a unique design conceptualised by Faber, exclusively for Thai Express. The new format showcases the brand’s street-food style open kitchen, allowing customers to see and choose from an array of fresh ingredients and watch their dish being prepared before their eyes.

“From a design point of view, the main challenge was streamlining the customer experience,” says Tony. “Whilst the other Thai Express sites don’t offer much of an eat-in experience, it was imperative for this location that it did. Operationally, it also needed rethinking for the UK market and the final design allows for both an efficient, smooth service and a pleasant environment to enjoy your meal. It was important we did all of this while celebrating what makes Thai street food so appealing: fresh, colourful ingredients, vibrant surroundings and Thailand’s natural beauty.”

Designed by Faber
Photography by Richard Southall / Emphasis

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