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Interior Design: Nok Nok Thai Eating House

December 6, 2011

Giant Design draw on the form of the Thai temple to create a light and open hospitality venue in central Sydney.

The brief? “Not another dark Thai restaurant.” In a sea of Thai food venues, the key point of difference in this design is a space that feels light, airy and garden-like – yet intimate and inviting.

With this fairly loose brief, the concept is inspired by the white marble and gold mosaics of the Thai temple – an architectural form that is uniquely Thai, yet underexposed in Sydney.

A simple palette of off-white marble, Corian, gold and silver mirror and gold Alucabond has been used to create a contemporary ‘temple’. Corian is used extensively, cladding furniture, table tops and walls, allowing for seamless transitions across surfaces and recreating the feel of a stone temple. On the walls, Corian has been laser-cut into an intricate lotus leaf pattern. Silver and gold mirrored surfaces behind the Corian creates depth and lightness, and gives diners the perfect spot for people-watching. The mirrored ceiling extends the pattern vertically and creates a huge central void space. Fig and Wisteria trees emerge from the central communal table and soften the space, while lights suspended in the branches twinkle at night. The showcase kitchen, positioned at the front of the space, sits within a gold tiled volume, facing upholstered booths that are both intimate, yet open.

Named after the owner, ‘Nok Nok’ translates as ‘little bird’ – a motif that has been introduced in the restaurant’s graphic identity. Depicted on signage and printed on menus and cards, the little bird appears throughout the interior.

Team Designers: Chris Wilks, Irene Haryono, Hannah Surtees

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