Goodthai, Shanghai – China


Goodthai is a contemporary Thai restaurant located in heart of Shanghai city. The concept for the restaurant depicts the story of a mystical Apsara dancer, a celestial nymph of exceptional beauty, that seduces and charms. She is a supernatural creature, a female spirit of the clouds and waters of Thai Hindu culture. Mystical and allusive, the dancer is often draped in beautiful silk costumes whilst donning the most flamboyant golden headdresses with intricate embellishments reflective of the wealth and prosperity of the Thai empires as she dances in the royal palaces to entertain and seduce the gods and men.
The design of the eatery draws from the silhouettes of the Apsara dance movements, translating this sense of rhythm into a contemporary architectural experience that evokes fluidity and motion whilst celebrating the intrinsic Thai culture and aesthetics with majestic materiality, motifs, and detailing.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by the warmth glow of the onyx clad façade that glistens like a lantern. Intricate bronze screens that frame the exterior windows are inspired by the ‘Bua’, or commonly known as the lotus flower, an auspicious symbol that is believed to bring good fortune in Thai culture.
The main dining hall of the restaurant is an abstract interpretation of the royal costumes donned by the Apsara dancer. The spherical motifs of the headdress serves as the main inspiration for the sculptured ceiling that appears to curve and weave endlessly above the dining area. The sweeping curvilinear motion of the gold mesh mimics the dynamic hand movements of the dancer as she appears to be gracefully performing above, articulating the silhouettes of her fingers and hand gestures.
The dining area is clad in dark timber finishes, accentuated with tones of navy blue, orange, and gold upholstery inspired by the ‘Pha Nuang’, a pleated silk brocade that is worn by the dancer. A composition of brass furniture and metallic detailing reflect the decorative accessories and gold-colored copper ornaments found on the collars and wrists of the dancer.
Past the dining hall, two brass archways informed by the ornate triangular roof profiles of traditional Thai temples lead guests into the private dining area. The intimate rooms are divided by brass metallic screens with intricate patterns inspired by the metallic threads of Thai silk embroidery. A dark walnut timber palette allows the focus to fall on the bespoke gold mesh chandelier cascading down from the centre of the ceiling.
A row of sweeping vertical brass slats flow outwards from the main dining hall to the outdoor dining area as the overall material palette transition into a lighter tone with sofas of light blue upholstery, rattan chairs and turquoise tiles.

Photo credits: Min Chen Xuan
Design and description: Spacemen

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