- Design Team: Saree Sodsangaroonngam, TK Sangsomruang
- Country: Thailand
Text description provided by the architects. Spirit of Photharam Eager to explore and experiment with something ultramodern, I was inspired to examine the area thoughtfully. To find something symbolic about the place would certainly add charm and meaning to the architecture. After meticulously studying the area, I found an interesting characteristic that would tie in perfectly to illustrate an extraordinary nuance to the composition. Back in the day, the land was used for sword making, so I picked up on a fascinating idea. Because swords are made of steel, using steel to forge something significant and memorable would be interesting. Once I settled with the idea, I decided to incorporate the matter of time. Steel is a material that causes rust and will erode over time. I decided to utilize this material and integrate it with the design and layout which will fit flawlessly with this colossal tree set in the middle of the area.
I designed the structure as a tunnel to cover up the fact that the floor was on different levels. A tunnel would act as a walkway toward the river. I wanted to shift the focus towards the enormous tree that would be able to disguise the view of the river. This is where the tunnel comes in play as its main obligation is to make it seem like there’s a great deal of distance and depth, using both material and light, for the concept of time to fall into place.
Originally wanting to put the time in the spotlight for the project, waiting for steel to rust and erode slowly until it eventually changes its color naturally would certainly take too long. Therefore, I decided to figure out the best positioning by working with light and shadow to allow sunlight to shimmer through. To design an atrium would give a feeling of space and light to the tunnel, however, I decided to design an abundance of linear atriums instead of one big one to form horizontal and vertical beams of sunlight. From 8 am to 5 pm, I spent one hour working on each linear atrium and worked my way until the end of the tunnel.
When visitors reach the end of the tunnel, they’ll be surrounded by pure nature, sunlight, the soft breeze, and a gigantic tree huddled by this ample river. Apart from the river, visitors will also notice a pond. I wanted the pond to feel natural, so I decided to use river water as the color changes through each season. Whether it’s clear, cloudy, or red, it would seem much more organic than using chlorine or saltwater. The reflection of the tree hitting the water’s surface certainly communicates the “dimension of time”. The center part of the whole space is on the balcony on the second floor and looks like a diving platform, rather than a balcony. Visitors will be able to take picturesque photos of themselves standing on the platform where their reflection will hit beautifully on the pond’s surface.
Not wanting the restaurant to cover up its natural landscape, I decided to locate it in the corner. As the element of water is a precious commodity and plays a huge role in the design, the pond surrounds the entire structure. The construction of the building was partly inspired by the authentic Thai style, arch-shaped, with a slightly curved roof. With this project, I was keen on combining subtleness, state-of-the-art, and most importantly, history to compose a fresh and contemporary framework and bring it into existence.