Hypothesis uses plants and discarded objects to create Vivarium restaurant interior

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Inside Festival 2015: Yarinda Bunnag of Hypothesis explains how the Thai design agency reused elements including scaffolding and tree roots to transform an abandoned warehouse into a Bangkok restaurant (+ movie).

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

Vivarium is an Asian-fusion restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, which won the Bars and Restaurants category at Inside Festival last year.

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

Situated in a former industrial storage warehouse, Hypothesis filled the space with hanging plants and various reused elements from around the site.

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

"The project hinges upon two ideas," explains Hypothesis design director Bunnag in the movie, which Dezeen filmed for Inside Festival in Singapore.



"The first is the renovation of an old industrial warehouse. The second is the idea of a vivarium, of inserting nature into this very harsh, bare industrial warehouse to turn it into a place where people can enjoy eating and gathering."

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

Hypothesis kept most of the existing structure of the warehouse and painted new structural elements red to create a juxtaposition with the original walls.

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

"We kept the existing finish, which is this white painted finish," Bunnag explains. "For all of the new additions we used this red, rust-protection primer as the finish. That then became the colour of the branding of the restaurant."

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

Hypothesis created decorations for the restaurant by reusing objects from the site, including tree roots, branches and bits of discarded metal and glass. These are hung from the walls and ceiling, as well as displayed on a series of shelves made from scaffolding.

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

"Because of the constraint of the budget, as well as our company's interest in adaptive reuse, we thought it would be a good idea to reuse some of the found objects from the construction site and turn them into decorative elements for the restaurant," Bunnag says.

"We used elements such as scaffolding structures. We repainted them and turned them into decorative shelves."

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

The dead tree roots and branches were combined with an abundance of living plants in hanging pots.

"The warehouse has a high ceiling, so we decided to occupy the whole top volume of the warehouse with plants," Bunnag says.


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"We hang these pots next to these tree roots and branches, so it becomes this juxtaposition of living things and dead things that you see surrounding you in the restaurant."

Vivarium restaurant in Bangkok by Hypothesis

This movie was produced by Dezeen for Inside Festival. It was filmed at Inside Festival 2015 in Singapore.

Inside Festival 2015 took place in Singapore from 4 to 6 November, alongside partner event World Architecture Festival. Dezeen is media partner for both events and will be publishing more video interviews with the category winners over the coming weeks.

Yarinda Bunnag of Hypothesis
Hypothesis design director Yarinda Bunnag