Thai restaurant melds tradition with modernity
SPICE TEMPLE | Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
size: 3,552 sf
completion: October 2016
photos: Naoto Ohike
Shop! members Kingsmen Creatives Ltd. contributed to the design
EXPERTLY WEAVING TRADITIONAL AND MODERN FEATURES, this trendy restaurant inside a three-story shophouse seamlessly incorporates different aspects of Thailand’s culture.
Taking cues from Thai silk design, a hand-woven diamond brocade pattern is given a chic, contemporary interpretation that forms the space’s central chevron motif. Combining geometric chevron panels with the floor-to-ceiling windows also adds vibrancy and movement to the façade.
More cultural influences can be found in the bespoke, lantern-shaped wall sconces, inspired by Thailand’s Festival of Lights, on the second level.
Suspending black-tinted Edison lightbulbs at different intervals — along with using warm tones on the metallic ceiling — contributes to the unique combination of light, shadows, and reflective patterns throughout the restaurant. Fusing a modern palette of yellow, brown, black, and cement-finished flooring with patterned paneling and intricate metal mesh screens adds dramatic flair.
Other elements include vertical Melaleuca wood slats, which provide texture and give the illusion of a deeper, more intimate space. Fixtures with bold, black metal accents create a stylish vibe. Lush greenery injects a lively touch.
Converting the ground level into a parking zone reserved for motorbikes — a rare occurrence in the prime area of Saigon — presents an interesting amenity. Having the “M” in Spice Temple’s signage resemble the profile of a Thai temple promotes the brand’s identity.