Zense Restaurant, Bangkok
May 9th 2013 – After the unrest of Bangkok’s 2010 Red Shirt Riot’s where protesters set ablaze to a large portion of Bangkok government buildings. The Central World Complex, the sixth largest shopping complex in the world and new home of ZENSE got caught in the crossfire and was totally unrecognizable. Although ZENSE was situated towards the top of the building, smoke and heat went upward and destroy all furniture and finishing of all interior space on the tower. ZENSE, then a newly-opened with a growing reputation as one of the hippest restaurants/bars in the city, situated on ZEN Tower top floor, was one of the casualties of this unrest.
If there is anything that this world has taught mankind, it’s the healing power of rebuilding. The owners of ZENSE were determined to re-build the entire establishment, bringing back on the original ZENSE design team, Department of Architecture, to once again re-create the dramatics of ZENSE. Led by founding architects Amata Luphaiboon and Twitee Vajrabhaya Teparkum, The team at DOA needed to create a design that reminded guests of the splendor of the original ZENSE while not bring back memory of the unfortunate incident.
“We decided to enhance our original spatial design in a more vibrant color scheme and stronger articulation. We continue our original approach of fusing together four design disciplines: fashion design, interior design, landscape architecture, and architecture. The essence of landscape architecture in interior spatial articulation is also maintained,” the architects explained.
To reflect character of the project owner, ZEN Department Store, the design team introduced the dynamic world of fashion in the static domain of architecture, by adapting aesthetic and technique of pleating fabric into architectural elements and function. In interior space, pleating elements are found throughout; from pleating stairs and railing, pleating seating, pleating performing stage, to pleating roof planes over show kitchens.
To create energetic flow of the space and to obscure all piping underneath exposed ceiling slab, pleating planes of fine steel lines were added as floating planes below ceiling. The same planes are also applied in floating dining pavilions which give such a unique picture frame to Bangkok city skyline.
Ketsiree Wongwan photography