bangkok: yim huai khwang hostel opening

© yim huai khwang / photography: wison tungthunya

bangkok's appeal is unique and multi-faceted, and combined with its excellent geo-location has made it the ideal gateway for many to what beckons in the asian hinterland. still hugely popular despite some skirmishes on the local political front, the thai capital continues to develop a hospitality, leisure and retail infrastructure that ranks among the best in the region. and we're not talking high-end establishments only, as there have been a slew of recent openings that cater to visitors on a budget and a keen eye for aesthetics. a good example of such creative hospitality is yim huai khwang, a boutique hostel which opened a little while ago. located in the city's bustling huay khwang district, it occupies a 1970s structure which was originally built as an office. yim huai khwang is an initiative of chotirat and peung apiwattanapong, an audacious young couple who quit their day jobs in pursuit of a dream to establish a hospitality brand.

the duo enlisted bangkok-based practice supermachine studio to fully redesign the 600 sqm. [6,458 sq.ft.] premises into a contemporary 16-room hostel. the aim of the redevelopment was to give the building a fresh look, one that would be different from what it used to be, but while retaining a number of the structure's original elements. the exterior is covered in bamboo panels - all hand-made and usually applied in small houses in rural areas of thailand - and are inserted behind the existing sunshade to make a contrasting background and emphasize the form of the existing architecture. additionally, bamboo walls also act as defining frames of the hostel rooms, providing privacy between each unit. this juxtapositional approach extends to yim huai khwang interior where it unfolds in different concepts. the marble reception counter, a remnant of the previous renter, has been attached to the new collage wall made of old fashion and design magazines.

separated by a giant clock clad with colourful toys, the guest dining area is an all-white space clad in vintage tiles. as a playful contrast, the public area is a myriad of vibrant colours. there's a turquoise stair well, an orange hall on the second floor, and on the third there's a corridor dipped in a bright yellow. the design of the rooms is kept simple, using a palette of white and natural wood colours that visually enlarge the spaces. bunk beds are combined and built in capsule-like units to add little more privacy. next to a 4-bed dorm and a 6-bed dorm, yim huai khwang also features 8 private double rooms available for those who require a little more privacy during their stay. location: 70 thanon pracharat bamphen [huay khwang].

© yim huai khwang / photography: wison tungthunya