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Thiptara at The Peninsula Bangkok

Follow our founder Stanley Kwok as he revisits his roots and looks back at the first design project he was involved in: Thiptara, the Thai restaurant at The Peninsula Bangkok. Stanley, who has been closely associated with Thailand since his childhood, recalls: “My parents are from Hong Kong and they moved to Bangkok when they were in their 20’s. I was born there and lived and grew up in Hong Kong and the UK. I often spent summer vacations in Bangkok. After graduation, I decided to find a job in Bangkok to make up for the time spent with my family.” Working at RMJM Thailand at the time, it was during this project that Stanley first became acquainted with famed lighting designer, Tino Kwan, and witnessed this master’s understanding of light first hand. Tino’s ingenious planning of light has inspired Stanley to carefully design the lighting arrangement throughout his design projects, as he understands how this source infuses a space with flexibility and vitality.

Thailand's unique customs and warm, friendly people left an imprint on Stanley Kwok's growth, deeply influencing his creative outlook and attitude towards different cultures. He says, "Thai people are generous and hospitable. They welcome foreign cultures from all over the world and then bring them together to create something unique. This is very similar to the situation in Hong Kong. The bold use of colours and patterns by the Thais has always given me endless inspiration." These lively and rich aesthetic inspirations are reflected in the Thiptara restaurant (which celebrated its 20th anniversary in November last year) and Stanley’s subsequent projects, where with each space, he creates a completely different atmosphere.

After so many years, revisiting the first project he took a part in designing, Stanley Kwok admits he experienced many feelings. "I am very happy to see how Thiptara has aged gracefully: the structure and decoration remain unchanged. Only the colour of the timber changed, but this was intentional. My biggest take from this project was the ‘authentic user experience’, as during the process, I worked closely with another creator, Rene Ozorio, with The Peninsula team. He taught me so much on hospitality design from a user point of view rather than the spatial. The Peninsula’s team also needs to be commended for their unparalleled standard of service.”

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