(CTN News) – The Siwilai Radical Club is a new addition to Bangkok’s social scene, representing the rich history and continuously evolving cityscape of Thailand.
Its underlying mission of converting plastic waste into a cutting-edge, sustainable clubbing and dining experience, notably converting over five tons of waste, makes this one stand out literally and figuratively.
A club in Thonglor, like Shibuya in Bangkok, wasn’t built overnight or by one person. Instead, it resulted from a community of partners and collaborators, including Space Available Studio, MORE, and Sidarta And Sandjaja.
Siwilai Radical Club‘s founder, Barom Bhicharnchitr, and Space Available Studio’s founder, Dan Mitchell, spoke with us about the project and how they worked together to open the club.
We were curious to learn more about Siwilai’s background and how they got to where they are today. Bhicharnchitr shared that Siwilai started as a multi-brand store in 2014 but organically developed into a cafe in 2016, City Club (Rooftop restaurant and bar) in 2017, and Sound Club (Music and Record bar) in 2020.
According to him, the name Siwilai is an adaptation of the Thai word civilization, which means progress. As a stepping stone, we want to bring Thailand’s culture forward, and help bring it to the modern world.”
Despite Siwilai’s meaningful mission, Bhicharnchitr wanted to do something radical, but he couldn’t do it without his “good friends and collaborators,” which is why he reached out to Space Available Studio founder Dan Mitchell.
Space Available, known for its design, consulting, and education platforms for sustainable solutions, has been on a tear since it launched in 2020. From making recycled plastic tableware to launching its own circular design museum with the architects behind the Radical Club, Mitchell’s Studio has done it all.
The design concept was made to embody the spirit of Thonglor and its youthful culture, Mitchell explained, “We really wanted to take a radical approach to the design.” “Space Available’s mission is to change perceptions of waste and connect the culture to nature by using natural materials,” he added..”.”
To keep the projecting circular, Mitchell explained that the visual design also had to be radical, so they chose a very distinctive orange, a colour that he said “is a reference to a lot of the radical discotheques of the 1960s and 1970s.
We wanted that feeling. Back then, it was the start of the design and club culture in Italy, and they used a lot of plastic, not out of environmental concern, but because it was a brand new material and you could have all these cool colours.”
Specifically for the Siwilai Radical Club, Mitchell shared that the idea was to tap into Thai culture through a modern lens, capturing the iconic orange almost synonymous with the place.
“As a starting point, we use a lot of brands that we can find in our recycling, like Fanta, these types of brands that have orange plastic, so that worked out really well,” Mitchell said.
Guests at the Siwilai Radical Club will find everything from plastic carvings to big speakers pumping out tunes late at night.
Siwiali Radical Club’s dance floor and disco ball certainly get people’s attention, but it’s also got a lot to offer, from all-day dining to signature breakfast sandwiches and international brunch favourites, including house-roasted coffee specialities.
There are also dishes like salmon tartare and fried chicken wings with red curry on the menu in the evening, combining local ingredients with global cooking techniques.
The Siwiali Radical Club wants to be more than a place for entertainment but to connect and build communities through initiatives like merchandise collaborations, events, and cleanups.
In the future, we’ll push the platform forward, whether it’s through music and cultural programs, workshops, or cleanups. Bhicharnchitr said, “We’d like to keep contributing with our platform.”
As an ongoing activation, Mitchell explained Space Studio’s Radical Plastics Recycling Club is coming to Siwilai Radical Club; he said, “it’s basically a cleanup.” We scour the streets for high-value material that’s going to be thrown away, but then we turn them into things.”
It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on, as Siwilai Radical Club exemplifies what true sustainability looks like in practice and creatively.
Siwilai Radical Club
148 Thong Lo, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana,
Bangkok 10110, Thailand