Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Kitchen, Table, ChairThailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Dining room, Windows, TableThailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Exterior Photography, Windows, FacadeThailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Dining room, Lighting, Chair, Table, Beam, GardenThailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - More Images+ 27

  • Architects: balbek bureau
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  208
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Lead Architects: Slava Balbek, Anastasiia Mirzoyan, Viktoriya Didych, Serhii Harvrylov
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Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade, Arch
Courtesy of balbek bureau

Text description provided by the architects. Thailand Hi is a teleport to the most eclectic place on Earth — Thailand. Clash of epochs, cultures, lifestyles. Café guests travel without leaving Kyiv. Authentic Thai cuisine cooked by the Thais. Thailand Hi displays the maximum of contrasts, exaggerations, and irony in its interior, service, marketing, and design. The client’s commission was to create a café in Kyiv that would enable its guests to travel to Thailand without leaving the city.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Dining room, Windows, Table
Courtesy of balbek bureau

Together with the client, we went to Thailand seeking inspiration, getting to know Thai culture and lifestyles of local people and to gather information. We looked for vintage pieces of furniture, elements of decor, jewelry and antiques, and of course — cool local objects, to be mixed in the right proportion in Thailand Hi.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade
Courtesy of balbek bureau

The café is located near the historical center of Kyiv, within a walking distance to major attraction points. It consists of two blocks — technological (food preparation facilities) and the main block, where open kitchen is integrated into a public area, allowing guests to observe the preparation of food.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Dining room, Windows, Table, Chair, Beam
Courtesy of balbek bureau
Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Dining room, Lighting, Chair, Table, Beam, Garden
Courtesy of balbek bureau

Since Thai weather is warm all year round, and locals spend a lot of time outside, we wanted to give the interior of the café an appearance and feel of the outdoors. We wanted to create an atmosphere of a courtyard, where you could hide from the blazing summer sun. You’d find yourself surrounded by tropical plants, natural wood, fired clay, food spots, fans, kitchen noise and conversations. All this was going to take place here.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Table, Door, Chair, Beam
Courtesy of balbek bureau
Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Table, Shelving, Chair
Courtesy of balbek bureau

A peculiar architectural feature of the place is a set of columns along the perimeter of the building. We placed guests seating area within the perimeter between the columns with the open kitchen in the middle, somewhat resembling trading spots of the famous Night market.

To the right of the entrance, there is a wooden structure consisting of three sections. Two of them are the tearooms, and the third is one of the main features of the place, (and a mandatory visiting spot in Thailand) – a massage parlor, where skilled Thai masseurs perform their magic. Several more blocks of technical rooms and lavatories are located within the perimeter of the hall.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Windows, Wood, Lighting, Beam, Chair
Courtesy of balbek bureau

At the entrance, guests are greeted by a plaster tiger that was brought from Thailand and found its new home in the tropical jungle of Thailand Hi. All materials and textures are natural: a lot of wood, clay, and metal. The interior is bright with natural light and greenery. We decided to use clinker brick for the floors; walls were finished in coarse plaster of warm hues. Some walls were composed of wooden planks.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Chair, Table, Windows, Facade, Bench
Courtesy of balbek bureau
Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Table, Windows, Chair
Courtesy of balbek bureau

Elements of décor and furniture received our special attention. We bought vintage and ethnic items of the interior décor in Thailand. They were sought in places like Chatuchak market in Bangkok, Thai villages, woodworking workshops, and vintage dealers. We brought back a hand-made vintage door portal, ethnic figurines of mythological deities from Burma, vintage fans, wooden mortars, and ceramic décor, copper items, and other small hand-made pieces.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography
Courtesy of balbek bureau

We also found, in a Thai village not far from Chaing Mai, a unique object that has become a mascot of the café, and is now happily greeting guests at the entrance – a plaster figure of the tiger named Tigerrr. It was made in a crude primitive style by modern Thai craftsmen, and it creates a perfect contrast to the aged heavy vintage.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Chair
Courtesy of balbek bureau

Some furniture came from flea markets of Europe. For instance, metal tables and rattan armchairs were bought at the Parisian market, Thonet (bentwood) chairs were picked up from different places in Germany and France. Aluminum bar chairs were bought at an auction, and summer wicker chairs came from London. There is also furniture made in Kyiv by local furniture makers — for instance, wooden tables and the tearoom set.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Kitchen, Table, Chair
Courtesy of balbek bureau

Plaster-molded and glazed in emerald green elements of décor displayed on the bar were made in Kyiv as well. We used a lot of wall décor, such as obligatory for every house in Thailand pictures of the king. The majority of photographs and posters were bought at the Chatuchak market. One of the lavatories was textures with the portrait of our Tigerrr. So, 500 pins were printed and glued all over the space.

Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau - Interior Photography, Chair
Courtesy of balbek bureau

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Project location

Address:Kyiv, Ukraine

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
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Cite: "Thailand Hi Cafe / balbek bureau" 07 Dec 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/952712/thailand-hi-cafe-balbek-bureau> ISSN 0719-8884

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