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Creative Ideas with Old Bones

Erin Gigl

Along the Chao Phraya River, the Sala Rattanakosin hotel offers a mesmerizing view of Bangkok.

The reception area leads to a window gaze of the Temple of Dawn, reminding visitors of the cultural beauty that no modernity wishes to exclude.

Thai architecture and interior design firm Onion accomplished the transformation of seven shop houses into the Sala Rattanakosin hotel in 2013, with the intention of guiding the visitor’s eye outward, beyond the space. Moving from the inside out, the surrounding context becomes the focal point.

A First Encounter

When Onion first encountered the space, they were impressed by the dynamic atmosphere of the area. The bustling sounds of Ta Tien community and the captivating views surrounding the structure, such as the Chao Phraya River, the Pho Temple (or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), and the market life along Maharat Road became an essence of the undertaking.

They transformed the 1,500 square meters into 17 rooms, restaurants, an outdoor deck, an indoor and rooftop bar, with several outlook spots. Each room has an uncluttered window view, while the open-air rooftop bar reveals the glittered city.

Mimicking the exterior sights in the interior, Onion created a graphic using the temple’s silhouette. This is repeated on a dual-reflective and transparent, laminated space-divider in the upper restaurant. The partition is black and gold with a mirror-like effect that recalls looking through a window. While the picturesque moments remain sophisticated and elegant, Onion was careful not to exaggerate Thailand’s sacred and traditional designs.

Creative Ideas with Old Bones
Sala Rattanakosin by Onion

Sala Rattanakosin

Sala Rattanakosin

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