Tamarind bistro and music house by BodinChapa Architects

Use new materials in old houses.

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards BodinChapa Architects for providing the following description:


Tamarind bistro and music house is the renovation of 2 old wooden houses with over 50 years old , which is located in Chiangrai, to be desirable location at a various times by selecting it to be the cafe & restaurant in the middle of the day and a music house at night.

▼从街道看向建筑,view from the street to the project © Witsawarut Kekina


The challenge of the design is to use less of the construction’s budget with the best value and can change the aspect of Chiangrai people that still familiar with a scary old wooden houses into an interesting area , as well as being able to bring a group of people with various ages to efficiency use the area since the original area was an old wooden building with over 50 years old , causing the internal and external conditions quite shabby and decay over the time .

▼建筑外观,左边是咖啡厅,右边是餐厅,appearance,on the left is a cafe and on the right is a restaurant © Witsawarut Kekina

▼入口空间,entrance space © Witsawarut Kekina


After gathering the original building ‘s detail and examining the structure that can be kept and used again, the architect designed by trying to bring out the identity that is in the area. The highlight of this area is the wooden house and a large tree that has a long life with a beautiful shape that provides shade to the area is the key to the design with a variety of applications throughout the day . The designers tried to connect the inside and outside spaces to reduce the opacity of the building. The inside space is made from the use of a solid wood throughout the wall and there’s a small amount of light, which it mustn’t cause any change from the original structure.

▼设计策略,design strategy © BodinChapa Architects

▼建筑一层使用玻璃砖,using clear glass blocks to form the below building © BodinChapa Architects

▼二层透明墙板近景,close shot of the translucent polycarbonate sheets at the second floor© BodinChapa Architects


Beginning with the inserting a translucent modern materials into the building frame at various points. Removing the top of the wall and keep the wall frame with the original opening, changing the materials from the old wooden wall to the scales flake polycarbonate sheet, cut into the same size as the original one, Install the old wall wheel pattern same as the installation of wooden wall along the original building and choose to use clear glass blocks to form the below building. Aside from these materials can be founded in the area with affordable price, it also helps to make the opaque building to be more translucent, able to use a natural light inside the building by the construction method is also friendly to the local technicians as well.

▼咖啡厅外观,cafe appearance, © Witsawarut Kekina

▼餐厅外观,restaurant appearance © Witsawarut Kekina

▼餐厅外观,二层采用透明的塑料板材料,restaurant appearance,the cafe’s second floor using polycarbonate sheets © Witsawarut Kekina

▼餐厅一层餐饮空间,restaurant’s first floor dining space  © Witsawarut Kekina

▼餐厅一层舞台,restaurant’s first floor stage  © Witsawarut Kekina

▼餐厅的舞台通高空间,restaurant’s height space of the stage © Witsawarut Kekina

▼餐厅二层餐饮空间,restaurant’s second floor dining space © Witsawarut Kekina

▼半透明的墙体,translucent walls © Witsawarut Kekina


Begin by copying the original building’s style to reorganize , choose to use the existing building frame and keep the old light way pattern as much as possible , and use the effect of the tree in the different styles to use it in the design. We therefore look for the translucent materials to decorate so that the effect of shadows , reflection from the tree can link to the exterior and interior of the building and also increasing the interest of the building in the various moments through lighting.

▼从露台看向庭院,view from the terrace to the tree © Witsawarut Kekina

▼从不同的角度看向古树,different views to the tree © Witsawarut Kekina


The courtyard between the 2 buildings uses a landscape to surround the courtyard in the middle of the tree to connect the space between the building , creating a dining area of the the restaurant under the shade of the beautiful tree.

▼俯瞰庭院,景观环绕树木,overlooking the courtyard,a landscape surrounding the tree © Witsawarut Kekina

▼树荫下的就餐区,dining area of the the restaurant under the shade of the tree © Witsawarut Kekina


The overall building can add much more interest of the area without being different from the surrounding, meet the demand of the building’s change with the efficiency budget.

▼夜景,night view © BodinChapa Architects

▼一层平面,first floor plan © BodinChapa Architects


▼二层平面,second floor plan © BodinChapa Architects

Project name: Tamarind Bistro and Music House
Company name: BodinChapa Architects
Website: www.bodinchapa.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BodinChapaArchitects
Instagram: bodinchapa_architects
Contact e-mail: bdcaarchitects@gmail.com
Project location: ChiangRai, Thailand
Built Area: 250 Sq.m.
Completion Year: 2019
Other participants:
Contractor: Onhill design & Construction
Photo credits: Witsawarut Kekina

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