Fascinating oriental flavors complement a wondrous experience playing out at KOKO Restaurant, a dining outlet of The Village Coconut Island Resort Phuket serving self-service breakfast, casual gastronomic dinner, to midnight cocktails.
From a forgotten native folktale of a misfortunate fisherman, believed to be Coconut Island’s pioneer, who was saved ashore after a boat wreck accident by hugging a floating coconut to the island, Studio Locomotive made assumptions further towards his surviving journey and settlement that latter became the design concept of KOKO Restaurant.
The fisherman discovered a freshwater pond in this ‘cave’ and decided to start his islander footprint at this sanctuary.
Solution design reflected in KOKO Restaurant helped to characterize business identity by considering local context. KOKO Restaurant is enchanting from a trace of the fisherman’s intellect and adaptability.
Meaningful elements in KOKO Restaurant arouse an imagination about the adventure of the island ancestor. From outside, KOKO Restaurant appears a modest mountain cavern with black slate and sand wash floor and wall finish. Inside hides bright and exciting artifacts showing struggling events of the fisherman’s survival.
Cuboid panels with primitive folkish dowel wood installing joinery running on walls and ceiling are painted in deep frame shades to imply human initiation of using fire for lighting and cooking. These panels also act as if they are built to shore up the cave.
A variety of local grains, fiery spice, culinary herbs, dried roots, and folk brew Yadong show wisdom in foraging and food preservation. Entrance door port holes imitate three coconut eyes and plain furniture are ornamented with knotted fishing ropes.
At night, dark ceilings are brightened up with sparkling optic lights that represent reflective stalactite water drops in solutional cave. The use of storytelling materials and purposeful touchups help connect the dots from design plot.
Not only that KOKO Restaurant has proven an endeavor to create spatial aesthetic and efficient restaurant functions, but respectful design direction has also encouraged this rediscovered folktale to be retold and again signified to Coconut Island through design excitement.
The Village Coconut Island
Coconut Island, Phuket, Thailand
Completed in 2017
Studio Locomotive, Simplisis
Dezeen Awards 2018, Shortlist, Hospitality Interiors