2023 BEST


Pennant Thonglor
by Asia Architecture and Design Awards


Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Company: PAD Space Artisan

Designer: PAD space artisan

Manufacturer: S36

Stakeholder/Owner: Lamyai Yurathai

Situated in the bustling heart of Bangkok, Pennant Thonglor sets sail as a unique and luxurious dining destination that seamlessly combines two restaurants, Pennant Cafe & Bar, and Vecho Chef Table, into an enchanting culinary journey.

Drawing inspiration from the existing building's location, which faces the main Sukhumvit road and resembles a sail being gracefully blown by the wind, the architectural design of Pennant Thonglor embodies the essence of a cruise ship. The facade boasts translucent curves that welcome patrons from Sukhumvit Road, creating a dynamic and inviting entryway. The first-floor facade contrasts the second-floor with a nod to luxury yachts, featuring varnished wood that leads visitors to the main entrance. Wooden-finished aluminum cladding, both practical and cost-effective, adorn the outdoor PAD (Public Area Deck), evoking the image of a cruise ship's grand entryway.

As patrons step foot into Pennant Thonglor, they embark on a journey reminiscent of a luxury cruise ship sailing through the night sky. The design encapsulates the transition from a bustling city to a serene body of water under a starry night, enveloping guests in an ethereal ambiance. The name "Pennant" itself is derived from this enchanting journey through the fog, gentle sea breeze, and ocean waves.

Ascending to the second floor, diners are welcomed into "Vecho", a masterful combination of "Vector" and "Echo". This unique concept is inspired by ocean liners, with each dish telling a story about different routes. The first chapter takes culinary inspiration from the French Riviera and the south of France, combining French-based delicacies with the chef's own creations. Subsequent chapters promise surprises, leaving diners eagerly anticipating the next leg of their gastronomic voyage.

Beyond its architectural and culinary prowess, Pennant Thonglor has had a positive impact on society. The strategic location near the Thonglor BTS station makes it easily accessible to both locals and tourists, drawing food enthusiasts and inspiring neighboring establishments to elevate their designs. The restaurant's presence has sparked a wave of revitalization, with neighboring shophouses undergoing stunning renovations to keep up with the elevated design standards set by Pennant Thonglor.

Pennant Thonglor's owner had a clear vision from the outset, aiming to create her own flagship restaurant in the heart of Bangkok. This vision is meticulously reflected in every aspect of the design, from the building façade to the interior design, furniture, props, graphics, and collateral. The concept of a journey unfolds from the exterior to every floor, inviting diners on an unforgettable voyage through various chapters of culinary excellence.

The first floor houses Pennant Cafe & Bar, a haven for coffee lovers during the day and a bustling cocktail hotspot at night. The interior features dark-toned fittings and dark walnut accents, evoking the ambiance of a luxury cruise ship. A stunning copper origami boat, gleaming amidst layers of hanging clouds, graces the counter bar, adding a touch of elegance to the space. A hidden lab room, designed to resemble an under-the-ship laboratory, serves as a captivating surprise for patrons, offering a peek into the distilling and tasting process. The moon staircase, with its mesmerizing curves, leads visitors to the mezzanine and the DJ booth, presenting irresistible photo opportunities.

As guests ascend to the second floor, they are greeted by a splendid Vecho ship model, setting the tone for the dining bar. Here, diners can observe the chef's culinary mastery through textured glass, reminiscent of radar signals reflecting back. The check-in zone, inspired by a captain's command center on a ship's bridge, serves as a photogenic waiting area designed for Instagram-worthy moments. The main dining hall embraces diners in an immersive night-sailing experience, creating an atmosphere akin to dining in a luxurious food cabin.

To achieve exceptional design within budget constraints, PAD underwent value engineering, exploring material replacements in both the exterior facade and interior design. The use of a translucent corrugated roof instead of tensile fabric for the sailing part of the main facade reduced costs while enhancing the desired translucent effect. Wooden patterned aluminum cladding was chosen for the bottom facade, delivering a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to expensive marine wood.

In the interior, adjustments were made to the ceiling and main hanging feature, and wood-patterned wallpaper and wood laminate texture were employed for built-in elements. This harmonious approach ensured a consistent aesthetic direction, portraying an impression of natural materials while adhering to budget limitations.

Take a virtual journey into the enchanting world of Pennant Thonglor: