A Different Kind of Food Court

September 2011: Architectkidd was recently commissioned by the food management company Fooditude to develop a food court for a new mega-shopping complex (40,000+ sqm) outside of Bangkok.

With this project, we asked: Is it possible to introduce some aspects of a public space within the strict boundaries of a commercial shopping environment?

As fixtures in a shopping mall, food courts need to follow their rules, conditions and limitations.  The goal is to provide self-service, variety of food types and easy access, along with a high level of efficiency and convenience demanded in a shopping complex. Aside from the actual food outlets themselves, we found that the planning and management required a similar approach to other retail and shopping design.

At the same time, we asked whether it was possible to provide a kind of a relief and contrast to the commercial surroundings.  Given the fact that many people spend their entire leisure time (evenings, entire weekends) in these shopping malls, could our food court be designed as an alternative space that is typically missing in these consumer environments?

We began to search for opportunities to design alternative public spaces within the food court. One essential feature was the development of a “picnic” area, a large, open space where people can sit or rest on an elevated floor.  We knew that it would be a challenge to implement a un-programmed (and therefore non-revenue generating) space, designed for people to stay for as long as they wanted.  However, by combining several food court functions (dining area, circulation requirements, storage and service spaces), we were able to come up a feasible solution for the “picnic” area.

To our surprise, what was perhaps first seen as a commericial “trade off” became a unique feature and therefore a marketable asset for the entire project.

Subsequently our design was branded under the name “Picnic” by Fooditude.  Although the final design was not realized in construction, we are happy to share our efforts of this project design and images with you here.

Click on the gallery for more images below.

Project Summary:

Name:  Picnic by Fooditude
Function:  Food and restaurant retail
Scope:  Interior Design, Graphic Design, Branding
Project team:  Luke Yeung, Udomsak Komonvilas, Phuttipan Aswakool, Jariyawadee Lekawatana, Kittapak Chanthapat
Location:  Bangna-Trad, Thailand
Project size: 2000 square meters
Project period: Sept – Nov 2010