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SACICT Concept

SACICT Concept

Another truly interesting highlight getting a lot of attention at the 2017 Baanlaesuan Midyear Fair is the craftwork on display at the “SACICT Concept” booth set up by SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand.

/// Thailand ///

SACICT Concept in “room Terminal,” room Magazine’s super-chic section of the Fair

SACICT Concept showcases contemporary and cosmopolitan Thai handicrafts, supporting craftsmen who adapt traditional folk knowledge to fit modern design trends. The work is beautiful, leading-edge, and these artisans have built careers from it. The work shown here comes from the original showroom at the main SACICT office in Bang Sai District, Ayutthaya Province. We hope you’ll come experience this beautiful detailed workmanship right here at the 2017 Baanlaesuan Midyear Fair at BITEC Bangna.

This year SACICT Concept has presentations in two locations, one at the Fair entrance, and the other in room Magazine’s “room Terminal.” Come along with Living ASEAN as we take you on a mini-tour of craft products, the beautiful décor of the main booth, and fascinating highlights created by five uniquely talented award-winning traditional artisans, notably:

“Phraewa cloth” woven in the Phu Thai tradition: Jintanapha Phonatha, Traditional Craftsman of 2014, learned the trade from her teacher, Wanida Phonatha. The intricate elegance of Phu Thai hand-woven silk originated in Ban Phon, Kham Muang District, Kalasin Province, where high-level knitting and weaving skills and contemporary design are taught. Products range from utilitarian household items to women’s accessories.

Old-fashioned toys: craftsman Thaweesap Namkhajonrote, 2017 Traditional Craftsman, creates charming and colorful Thai traditional toys such as tops, mobiles, wooden hammers, etc., all from an ancestral folk tradition that employs local knowledge to engage children in building and practicing physical, mental, emotional, social, and perceptual skills through play.

Lipao woven baskets: Noppharat Thongsephee, 2014 Traditional Craftsman, with contemporary products such as handbags and multipurpose storage boxes woven from the lipao climbing vine, using fashionable modern color and pattern design trends to create beautiful products that appeal to the international market.

Reed weaving: Phat Namphiwong, 2016 Traditional Craftsman, learned his craft from artisan and teacher Reuangyot Namphiwong. Phat puts great love and intention into his work, adapting and applying his knowledge and taking inspiration from Japanese woven fabrics to create new woven-reed products with soft textures. Formerly reeds were used only to make mats, but Phat’s creations include placemats, coasters, and bags.

Burmese Clay Pots: 2017 Traditional Artisan Phongphan Chaiyanil brought pot-throwing techniques learned in Hanthawaddy, Myanmar back home to Koh Kret. Adapting his skills and expertise to a 200-year pottery tradition, he developed forms and patterns from everyday life that emerge as charming, artistic masterpieces of home décor.

Here you’ll find many more interesting works from the Innovative Craft Award competition held each year at the IICF (International Innovative Craft Fair), every piece beautiful and worth owning. If you miss this year’s Baanlaesuan Fair, they’re available at SACICT Concept, Bang Sai District, Ayutthaya Province.

 


 

 

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Highlights of the Baanlaesuan 2017 Midyear Fair “Living with Passion”
Quotes Of The Day

Quotes Of The Day

Here are some quotes worth reading that were spoken by ten ASEAN designers during last week’s “room x Living ASEAN: Design Talk 2017” symposium.

/// Thailand ///
  Story: Nawapat Dusdul /// Photography: Nantiya Busabong

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7-Story Ivy-Covered Home with a Green Façade

7-Story Ivy-Covered Home with a Green Façade

/ Bangkok, Thailand /
/ Story: Ath Prapunwattana / Photograph: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /

This 7-storey concrete house, blanketed with a refreshing green façade, has angles everywhere, with one especially remarkable section dominated by slanting red posts and beams.

 

Chatrawichai Phromthattawethi, interior decorator and owner of the company “Pro Space,” lived in a two-storey building for 15 years before finding it too small and building a new place on a nearby property. On that limited space he built upwards rather than out, in fact seven storeys up.

“Designing, we weren’t thinking primarily about style, but utility. The space was narrow, so we built tall.

“Then with a 4-storey townhouse next door we figured an ordinary building would seem too cramped, so we made the building structure visible: posts, beams and deep spaces into open walls creating dimensions of light and shade, adding panache with one section of oddly slanting posts painted red, set off with flowers here and there.”

Angular concrete building animated by the refreshing green of a quick-growing ivy.
Spiral stair where people can come into the office on business without entering the house.
Roof deck: garden spot with swimming pool, an outdoor living room.

Even closed in next to a small street, Chatrawichai’s design still provides nearly 1,000 square meters of usable space.

“Depending on use, each floor has a different height.

“The ground floor, with garage and kitchen, is moderately tall. The second floor is an office, and the third holds the butler & maid’s room, all normal height. We use the fourth floor for entertaining, so it’s spacious, with a higher ceiling than the others.

“The fifth floor has a guest bedroom and storage space, the sixth is my bedroom, and the seventh floor holds a living room and dining room set at different levels according to usage; the living room has a higher ceiling. On the roof is a deck, swimming pool, and garden.”

Chatrawichai agrees that this is an unusual design for him, with its red exterior posts at odd angles and interior ceilings displaying working utility systems, plus use of unusual materials such as metallic structural highlights in certain spots, creating a much different residential feeling than before and incidentally requiring a lot of detailed work during construction.

For the interior, furniture and décor mostly come from the old house, a mix of many styles – modern, classic, and antique – matched with exceptional taste because the colors were chosen in advance, primarily framed in a context of gray and black.

Colorful ornaments such as cloth or bright pictures hung on the wall add vitality.

“Coming from a two-storey house, at first living here took some getting used to. It was a tall building with the green façade, but definitely no condo; how to live in such a place? In the end, though, we found it wasn’t all that different,” Chatrawichai adds.


Design: Pro Space Co.,Ltd. by Chatvichai Phromthattadhevi


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Five Spots You Must Absolutely Not Miss at The 2017 Baanlaesuan Midyear Fair

Five Spots You Must Absolutely Not Miss at The 2017 Baanlaesuan Midyear Fair

“Living with Passion” is the defining theme of the 2017 Baan Lae Suan Midyear Fair. To help you get the most out of it, Living ASEAN would like to point out some of the Fair’s educational, entertainment, and inspirational highlights.

 /// Thailand ///
 Photography: Sitthisak Namkham, Natthawut Pengkamphoo, Supawan Sa-Ard
 

Room TERMINAL by room Magazine

High on our list is Room TERMINAL, a 580-square-meter space with a hip, straightforward and colorful design laid out in sharp lines and clearly marked walking paths to reflect the cosmopolitan world of ASEAN, mixing contemporary décor with fascinating local flavors. Don’t miss the SACICT CONCEPT booth, where you’ll see artistic modern Thai handicrafts from the most skilled artisans of the organization “Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand.” Stop and sip a cuppa at the charming little Laliart Café before attending one of the Design Talk symposia on design trends produced by Room Magazine and Livingasean.com and featuring famous designers. At the July 29 event, “Modern Tropical Re(Design),” you can interact with four of ASEAN’s leading architects.


 

Baan Lae Suan Publishing House Zone’s “My Little Farm”

This year Baan Lae Suan Publishing House has its collected books – on plant varieties, crafts, food, agriculture, etc. – on display under the heading “Urban Little Farming.” Here you can also enjoy shopping at an organic fruit and vegetable stand, the Little Tree plant shop, and a handmade jewelry booth. There’s also a coffee shop, and every day through July 30 you can join in workshops on pastry-making, plant cultivation, and do-it-yourself activities.


 

Kitchen lore at “Cooking Mania Home”

This zone has a display for home cooking aficionados designed by a Baan Lae Suan team to suggest various kitchen ideas and ambiences visitors might be inspired to apply to their own home cooking. It features a reproduction of the wood-and-charcoal-stove Thai kitchen of earlier eras, with kitchen implements hung on the wall; then there are a “pantry-style” urban kitchen that’s small but with full functionality, a spot where bakery-lovers can make pastries, and an outdoor kitchen with a large barbecue pit.


 

Greenhouse Zone for plant-lovers

People who love gardens and plants will be totally entranced with this zone and this year’s concept of “plant mania.” Here you’ll see decorative ways a person just crazy about plants might set up various spots in the house. One area is like a science lab, full of experimentation equipment. There’s a space bedecked and festooned with all sorts of species: ferns, sago palm, carnivorous plants, etc. Nearby is a courtyard designed to support practically all garden uses in all situations, with a small greenhouse showcasing how to cultivate and organize a plant collection.


 

Find that perfect piece of craftsmanship at “My Craft Zone”

The crafts zone this year is bustling with a wide variety of merchandise, producers, and craftsmen. Visit adorable shops selling clothing, handmade ceramics, leather shoes, and traditional Thai products, just for starters.


 

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Twin Houses, Modern Thai Style

Twin Houses, Modern Thai Style

These “modern stilt houses” built twin-style for siblings share a natural common space, a surrounding garden, and are in no danger from flooding.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun /// Photography: Rithirong Chanthongsuk ///  Design: Office AT Co, Ltd.by Surachai Akekapobyotin and Juthathip Techachumreon

These identical homes belonging to brothers in the Changprasert family are built on a trapezoidal lot with the wide side in front. “The original 30-year-old houses were seriously deteriorating, so the question was whether to renovate, or completely rebuild. In the end, demolition and rebuilding won out. This gave us all the functionality and the appearance and décor that we were looking for,” said Win (Totsawin Changprasert), the young IT professional showing us his house.

“From my reading I already liked the modern minimal style, and so looked online for architects who do this. Office AT seemed to be a perfect choice, so we invited them to design our new houses.”

With identical façades, the houses each have 350 square meters of usable space. Considering property size limitations, the architects set the houses next to each other in back, on the narrow side of the trapezoid. The wide front is dominated by a lush green garden, and a walkway connects Win’s and his younger brother’s house before extending out to the fence.

Since there had been serious flooding here, the architects created a modern adaptation of the traditional Thai house, raised above a lower space (known as a tai thun). This helps with air circulation while also providing a utility area and a room for the housekeeper.

Photo : Office AT

Even though it’s very private, the 3rd floor of Win’s house has no dividing wall, just a continuous flow of space.

“These two houses are similar, but differences reflect the owners’ personalities. Win’s “double-volume” ceiling makes his living room feel really spacious. His brother has a wide private balcony on the third floor giving a “void” spatial effect for viewing the surrounding greenery through wide-panel glass windows,” says the Office AT architect.

Although their staircases are on opposite sides, the houses have the same functional setup. The second floor holds living room, dining room, and kitchen. “A unique feature of Win’s living room is the wall framing the flat screen TV: it blocks the view from outside, with high glass walls to the right and left letting in light and offering great views. There’s also a skylight for natural illumination of the indoor staircase. Rooms on the third floor are directly connected, no separating walls, which makes for a natural flow of space and a relaxing feeling.”

Photo : Office AT

The staircase up to the third floor in Win’s younger brother’s house is enclosed in clear glass panels, dispersing natural light all throughout the house, relaxing to the eyes.

“Before, when there was such a clear separation of house and garden, it felt dark and dull inside. For a taste of nature we had to walk out from the house into the garden. Now, with glass walls opening wide on the greenery in front, we can hang out here, watch TV, work, whatever, it’s just more relaxed,” Win adds with a smile.

Photo : Office AT
Photo : Office AT

The younger brother’s staircase, enclosed in clear glass.

 

Link : http://www.officeat.com/


 

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House with a Thai/Modern Mix

 

Highlights of the Baanlaesuan 2017 Midyear Fair “Living with Passion”

Highlights of the Baanlaesuan 2017 Midyear Fair “Living with Passion”

Baanlaesuan 2017 Midyear Fair uses the concept “Living with Passion” to illustrate the intense connection people feel with craftsmanship, cooking, and all sorts of skilled work that is the product of loving care. July 22 – 30 at Bitec Convention and Exposition Center in Bang Na.

/// Thailand ///

The Baanlaesuan 2017 Midyear Fair returns, this time under the concept “Living with Passion,” to illustrate the deep joy people get from craftsmanship, cooking, and skilled work of all kinds – traditional or contemporary – that is created with loving care. This year’s Midyear Fair is all about living life inspired by a beautiful passion. It runs from July 22 to 30 at BITEC Bang Na Convention and Exposition Center, and here are some important highlights:

– Baanlaesuan Home Ideas: Cooking Mania Home – a “kitchen house” for people who love to cook –

City dwellers favor a lifestyle that involves cooking. This exhibit gives ideas on how to transform spots in the house for various kinds of cooking, giving Fair visitors inspiring ideas they can take home and adapt to their own kitchens for a happy atmosphere and efficient use.

  • A tiny pantry, functional kitchen for urbanites: a lot of kitchen functionality in a small space, with an island-style food preparation counter also usable as a bar where you can nosh or sip drinks, and a table that can be set down or folded up for convenience.
  • Traditional Thai kitchen: simulates the atmosphere of the old-style Thai kitchen: wood and charcoal stoves, woven implements, kitchenware hung on the wall. As in those houses of an earlier era, wood is stacked in the corner for easy access, and there’s a flow cap above the stove for good ventilation.
  • Dream space for pastry-making aficionados: young ladies might see this cute glass house as the kitchen of their dreams, a space for convenient, enjoyable pastry preparation and cooking.
  • Outdoor kitchen and cool party spot: folks who love socializing will really like this outdoor barbecue corner: good place to eat, and a great atmosphere for hanging out, too.

Besides all this, the compact house has a bedroom and rest area on the mezzanine and a kitchen garden where vegetables are grown for home cooking and consumption.

My HOME Workshop Space is a sweet zone which the true breed of Home Magazine DIY fans shouldn’t miss: workshops on really cute décors the editors themselves have come up with. You’re guaranteed to take home matchless ornamentation you’ll be able to brag about to your friends.


– TERMINAL by room Magazine –

With formal entrance into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), all parties are expected to participate in the creation of a prosperous future for the region. This goes beyond economic, political, and security considerations to include creation of a regional socio-cultural identity, and work designed to raise the quality of life of ASEAN populations. Terminal functions as a hub of connections for the rapidly expanding ASEAN world. Designed with smooth lines, bright colors, and clear paths, Terminal reflects universal themes, at the same time mixing in interesting design ideas that have lots of local flavor. An area of 580 square meters includes the super-cool “Laliart Coffee” Café, offering new flavor experiences with roast coffee recipes and a menu specially composed for the Fair. There’s a minimart full of delightful goods, and a shopping zone that leaves no one unsatisfied. You’ll find the “SACICT CONCEPT” showcase of contemporary Thai handicraft products full of collections from the skilled artisans of Support Arts and Crafts International Centre of Thailand. You won’t want to miss “Design Talk,” a seminar put on by room Magazine in conjunction with livingasean.com: here famous designers from ASEAN interpret trends, inviting everyone to find paths of cosmopolitan design that fit their own identities and bring them in step with the world of sophistication.


 

– Baanlaesuan Craft Village, by Baanlaesuan Publishing –

Here the Baanlaesuan publishing office takes ideas from its own book collection to illustrate a concept it calls “urban little farming.” Here plant experts will find greenhouse ideas, a cactus and succulent display, organic fruit and vegetable shops, shops full of handmade crafts, and small book stores where writers themselves are ready to offer tips on what to read. There are wonderful, long-awaited workshops, offered free of charge. You can find more information and a schedule of activities at Baan Lae Suan Publishing’s The BOOK HOUSE.

Link : https://th-th.facebook.com/Baanlaesuanbooks/


– Green House, by Baanlaesuan Magazine –

Garden and plant lovers must absolutely not miss this zone! This year the theme is “Plant Mania.” Here you’ll see expert collections of plant species and demonstrations of methods used to adapt and expand different plant varieties, as well as how to use such species in home decoration.

The greenhouse zone shows how a person infatuated with horticulture can turn a spot in the home into a science lab. Equipment and materials used for experimentation serve double duty as house ornamentation, along with vegetation such as ferns, sago palm, and carnivorous plants.

Courtyard zone: here we find a garden for all situations, and even a tiny greenhouse to show growing methods for collections of interesting plants.


– Relax zone: rest spot for garden-lovers –

A spot to sit and relax, filled with garden ideas and an activity stage to bring happy smiles and sounds of laughter to fair visitors.


 

– Green park: rest spot for bookworms –

For relaxing with a good book just the way you like it: a café and shop full of books selected by the Baanlaesuan editor group. Guaranteed to keep boredom far away.

 

 

Link : http://fair.baanlaesuan.com/


 

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SACICT Craft Trend 2018: Focus on the Community, Collaboration, and an Escape from Confusion

SACICT Craft Trend 2018: Focus on the Community, Collaboration, and an Escape from Confusion

Crafts have become top trending topics in the world of design nowadays. Advances in technology have led to increased collaboration and endless creativity. A newly launched book, “SACICT Craft Trend 2018,” offers a glimpse into future craft trends and touches upon the concept of social craft networking, mass exclusivity, and digital detoxing.

 /// ASEAN ///

Product design under the “Hand to Hand” concept represents the latest in further developments from last year’s SACICT Craft Trend. This couch and coffee-table set is the fruit of creative partnership between designers and the community.
“Bua,” or large water lilies, won First Prize at the Innovative Craft Award 2017. It’s designed by Chalermkiat Somdulyawat and Kawisara Anansaringkarn, in partnership with the Baan Bart community.

Every year the SUPPORT Arts and Crafts International Center of Thailand collects and analyzes information about works of art, crafts, and design all over world. The organization presents a digest of its findings in the book series SACICT Craft Trend. The 2018 Edition touches upon three top trending topics, namely Social Craft Network, Mass Exclusivity, and Digital Detoxing.

The July 4 official launch of “SACICT Craft trend 2018” was attended by leading brand and trend experts. Among them was Jeremiah Pitakwong, MD Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Co, Ltd, who discussed several aspects of the Social craft network. As he put it: “The concept is not about giving financial support. Rather, it focuses on collaboration and increased opportunities for people who do craftwork. Social craft Networking is about creative partnership, sharing experiences, and exchanging knowledge of production methods. None of these happened in the past. Today, advances in communication technology have taken the propagation of information to a whole new level. People from across the globe are now able to interact with one another and work together.”

Designer Stanley Ruiz of the Philippines said that working with the community gave him the opportunity to raise the level of activity and energy in local craft makers. This in turn gave people in the locality power to further develop and create new products that would sell.

Jeremiah Pitakwong , MD Amarin Printing and Publishing Public Co, Ltd, gives a talk on Social Craft Network at the official launch of the 2018 Edition of SACICT Craft Trend.
Designer Stanley Ruiz of the Philippines presents his works before an audience at the SACICT Craft Trend 2018 book launch.
“Teepamalee,” a suspended floral design by Savin Saima of the Innovative Craft Award 2017 project
“Phun Partition,” a desktop workspace divider and organizer in one. // Design: Thinkk Studio and the Weavers Village at Baan Bang Chao Cha, Angthong Province // From: Thai Innovative Crafts // By: SACICT.

– Social Craft Network –

Social craft networking is handpicked for the main topic in innovative crafts this year. Looking at it from a wider perspective, it appears that modern handicrafts today differ greatly from those in the past in that they require a great deal of design collaboration. It’s the partnership between designers and craft makers that gives rise to unconventional creativity, or out-of- the-box thinking. It transcends disciplinary boundaries, goes beyond one’s natural ability, and flies across the continent.

Aptly named “Natural Dip Wall,” this accent wall is covered with 32 fabric slabs made from natural fiber. // Design: Plural Design and the Kaew-wanna Natural Mohom Fabric Group, Muang District, Phrae Province // From: Thai Innovative Crafts // By: SACICT.
Tribal details are somewhat reduced to give throw pillows a simpler, more modern look. // Design: Trimode Studio and the U-thong Quilting Group, Suphan Buri Province // From: Thai Innovative Crafts // By SACICT.
This AYA furniture line from the Vincent Sheppard brand is designed by Sep Verboom, who combines the wicker weaving technique of Indonesia with upholstery fabric made by Belgian artisans.

Hotel Art Fair Bangkok 2017

Hotel Art Fair Bangkok 2017

30 leading galleries and artists from across Thailand and abroad have turned a Bangkok hotel into a vibrant art destination well worth a visit. The event, which is the fourth edition by Farmgroup, takes place on June 24-25 at the Volve Hotel on Sukhumvig 53, just off Thonglor BTS Station. Be there!

/// Thailand ///

 

Living ASEAN files this report on a glimpse into the art world. Here are 15 of the rooms that will capture your fascinated attention. Check this out.

The Barn Curated by Farmgroup

Room 202: The Barn Curated by Farmgroup

The room features a special project initiated by Farmgroup in collaboration with 11 Thai artists. Paying tribute to the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s musical talents and passion, each distinguished artist created a vinyl record jacket design based on his or her interpretation of His Majesty’s selected compositions.

 

Pomme Chan
Pomme Chan

Room 201: Pomme Chan

The room is rich in exhibits by internationally renowned artist Pomme Chan, but this time it’s not about paintings. Intriguing exhibits include ceramics, decorative objects, and carpets from Pomme Chan’s collections.

 

C.A.P Studio and Jojo Kobe
C.A.P Studio and Jojo Kobe

Room 207: The C.A.P Studio and Jojo Kobe

Here, C.A.P Studio and Jojo Kobe worked jointly to showcase outstanding works in printmaking and a variety traditional etching and wood block printing techniques ,as well as lithography and screen printing.

 

Gallery Seescape
Gallery Seescape
Gallery Seescape

Room 301: The Gallery Seescape

The exhibit features a rich combination of works by seven artists from Gallery Seescape, including Tawatchai Puntusawasdi, Anon Pairot, Torlarp Larpjaroensook, Chol Janepraphaphan, Uten Mahamid, Silwataka Ramyananda, and Thepmetha Thepboonta. All of the works on show represent a new creative series.

 

Note Kritsada
Note Kritsada

Room 304: Note Kritsada

Here, artist Note Kritsada presents all of the portrait paintings he has done so far this year. They reflect issues of sexuality and conscience, as well as social networking and artistic temperaments.

 

Bangkok Citycity Gallery
Bangkok Citycity Gallery
Bangkok Citycity Gallery

Room 307: The Bangkok Citycity Gallery

307 features interesting pieces of by three street artists in collaboration with the Bangkok Citycity Gallery. They include Alex Face, Beejoir & Lucas Price, and Tae Parvit. Their works in the realm of prints, paintings and installations are known for arousing curiosity and interest.

 

Dr.Apinan Poshyananda
Dr.Apinan Poshyananda

Room 403: Dr. Apinan Poshyananda

On display here are paintings that Dr. Apinan Poshyananda received from some famous artists. The show sets in motion the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 (BAB 2018), which is a new contemporary art festival. Dr. Apinan is the CEO and art director of the event, which will be held from November 2018 to February 2019 on various locations around the capital.

 

Serindia Gallery
Serindia Gallery

Room 404: The Serindia Gallery

The Serindia Gallery, in association with Art for Cancer, a charity project using art and creative ideas to raise funds to help underprivileged cancer patients in Thailand, is showcasing paintings and sculptures by its four female artists. The works selected for the show are much admired for their colors, patterns, and their reflections on women.

 

Atta Gallery

Room 406: The Atta Gallery, and Paw-Dee Lifestyle

The ATTA Gallery, in collaboration with Paw-Dee Lifestyle, a contemporary Thai crafts and lifestyle store, is featuring an intriguing array of works in contemporary jewelry by Japanese artists. Meanwhile, Paw-Dee Lifestyle also makes a prominent exhibition of decorative objects by Thai artists.

 

H gallery
H gallery

Room 407: The H Gallery

The H Gallery features a new series of paintings by five local and regional artists, including Soomboon Hormtientong, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Mit Jai Inn, Jakkai Siributr, and Sopheap Pich. All of the paintings on show are abstract art and being presented through oil, acrylic, and canvas printings.

 

Most Inexpensive Michelin-starred Restaurant Opens Thailand Branch

Most Inexpensive Michelin-starred Restaurant Opens Thailand Branch

In a new challenge for the celebrated “hero of street food,” today Singapore’s Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, the cheapest restaurant in the world to achieve a starred Michelin rating, is opening a Thailand branch in the Asoke area of Bangkok.

/// Thailand / Singapore ///
Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham

 

Liao Fan Hon Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle in Chinatown Food Complex

From the outside, Singapore’s Chinatown Food Complex doesn’t look like anything special; but in 2016 its own “Hawker Chan,” a food stall specializing in Singapore-style chicken rice, brought a lot of buzz to the gourmet world by receiving a Michelin star, immediately becoming the cheapest  Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. Already popular, the shop experienced such an increase in customer volume that chef/owner Chan Hon Meng decided to expand into a second branch. This is now tucked away on Smith Street, an alley across from the food center, under the name “Liao Fan Hon Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle.” Branch number three quickly followed in the form of an air-conditioned restaurant on Teng Street, just outside the Chinatown Food Complex. Meals there are a bit more expensive: instead of 2 Singapore dollars per plate, chicken rice is priced at 3.8 dollars.

Liao Fan Hon Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle on Smith street
Liao Fan Hon Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle on Smith street

  After a lifetime of hard and conscientious work, chef/owner Chan Hong Meng himself is now known as “the hero of street food” in Singapore. His shop’s popularity has grown so much that customers have to wait in a long line that snakes all around the food center.

Hawker Chan in Bangkok / Photo: Samutcha Viraporn
Hawker Chan in Bangkok / Photo: Samutcha Viraporn

The added branches helped to accommodate customer volume, but it wasn’t long at all before the Hawker Chan name went international. Now the Terminal 21 trade center in Thailand hosts the latest branch, an eatery with the slogan “World’s First Michelin-starred Street Food Stall” still featuring the same basic menu as the Singapore shops: chicken with rice or egg noodles, chicken with char siu, crispy pork, and pork ribs.


 

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A Snug Steel Home Built between Old Houses

A Snug Steel Home Built between Old Houses

 / Phrae, Thailand /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Sut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Tanakitt Khum-on /

This newly built snug steel home comes with “tai thun,” the lower open space, that allows cool air to pass through. Woodwork and a contemporary steel frame add remarkable touches to what now includes a coffee shop, clothing store, and family homestay.

Steel Home
The steel house is built between the two aged wooden homes.

Originally there were two old homes on the property before the new steel structure was built in the in-between space: one belonged to the grandmother, the other to her son, Kriangkrai Phithayapreechakul. It was a small house built on a raised foundation in 1986.

The plan was to connect the old homes to the new steel structure that contains a coffee shop, a clothing store, and a homestay.

Steel Home
The homestay lobby.

“We had already moved out, and were living in the central business district of Phrae,” said Kriangkrai.

“At that time,” added his wife Sasithon Chai-uphatham, “we were planning to live and do business there. But Mom (the grandmother) got sick, so we decided to come back.

“Our daughter, Kik or Kansiri Phithayapreechakul, was about to graduate, so we figured we could do our batik work right here at home. And we would be happier living together.”

Steel Home
[Left] The existing home on one side is the grandmother’s house with “tai thun” space. It has since become the guesthouse’s living room. / [Right] The lobby-cum-dining room of the homestay.
Steel Home

A shade tree in the yard keeps the front porch cool during the daytime hours.

Sasithon’s batik brand, “Thai Thaw”, is akin to “Roketsuzome”, a traditional Japanese wax-resist textile dyeing technique. Coming back to set up the family business is one reason her daughter Kik decided to go study fabric design. That’s the reason for building this intimate steel home in the middle.

“We started the building five years ago,” said Kik. “It took a year to finish it, and then we added a coffee shop and clothing store fronting the street, connecting into the old houses.”

Steel Home
[Left] A loft-style kitchen shows original flooring surfaces. / [Right] The kitchen steel-framed siding is glazed using clear glass designed to save space.
Steel Home

With a clothing store on one side, they created a homestay on the other. The homeowners also adapted downstairs space for use as family room.

“At first we didn’t plan on opening a homestay. But we had some friends coming over to visit a lot, and they liked being around this area,” added Kik.

“Later, when we decided to give lessons in batik making, the house became a guesthouse to accommodate workshop participants.”

The living room of the homestay is on the ground floor.

The new building features a mix of concrete, steel structure and reclaimed timber. Upstairs, the floor is made of recycled tongue-in-groove hardwood boards. It reaches all the way to connect with the grandmother’s house.

The “tai thun” or lower open space inside Grandma’s house now serves a new purpose as the homestay living room. The homeowners kept the space as it was because they wanted to preserve the character of the old house and, at the same time, made certain that it blended with the new steel home.

Steel Home
The homestay’s guestroom ambiance.

Outside, a large mango tree was preserved for shade, relating to the space left between the three structures for good airflow. Décors are mostly from family collections.

“We worked slowly, concentrating on details, for beauty and best use of space,” said Kriangkrai.

“I let the builders work in the ways they were best at, and they brought out the charm of the original materials, blending them into a whole. In some places the steel was allowed to rust, complementing marks on the old wood as well as bare concrete and brick surfaces.”

The imprints of time work indeed with the new design making this steel home something really chic and special.


Owner/Designer: Kriangkrai Pitayapreechakul


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