Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is located among the serene natural landscape and rich culture of Lanna in the north of Thailand. “North” by Four Seasons is a fine-dining restaurant offering the fire-grilling, savour delicious recipes cooked on open flame with farm-to-table ingredients and premium cuts of meat. The restaurant is housed in an elegant traditional Lanna-style architecture, made out of teakwood and sur-rounded by the resort’s rice field. This is a renovation project and the design aims to enhance the understated elegance of the architecture as well as the visual connection to the scenic backdrop of the rice fields and distant hills. Though the resort has an exclusive atmosphere with private villas, the restaurant is a des-tination in itself and we try to create warm, welcoming and relaxing dining experiences for all the guest.

From a distance, the restaurant roof structure was softly lit – just enough to reveal its distinctive Lanna features, while minimising its visual impact on the landscape and light pollutions. The guest can also appreciate this view and its reflections on the surface of the rice paddy fields. When arrived the guest are greeted with this elegant and yet humble interior with high ceilings and exposed wooden structure in dark finishes; the sides are mostly opened, allowing views out to the landscape. At the same time, these pose challenges for lighting integration and installations. Our solutions are to reveal the open structure with concealed linear LED uplights in 2,400 Kelvin, that softly lit the wooden shingle roof and provide ambient lighting to the restaurant. Then spotlights in warm colour of 2,400K are mounted discreetly on high beams to add accent lighting onto the dining tables. The traditional interior is complemented with a design centrepiece of an oversized hood over the grill created by an artist. Its shape and metal mesh surface with embossed patterns has been inspired by Lanna local culture. The spotlights, with a slighly cooler colour temperature, are mounted on the upper beams also highlighted the rich textures of the hood, creating a dramatic focal point in the restaurant.

In addition to the architectural lighting, decorative lighting fixtures were also developed to reflect hanging fabrics which is common in the local culture of northern Thailand. The bespoke pendants were in-stalled over the tables; their glowing warm light helped soften the directional effects of the spotlights, particularly on the face. This was also intended to define a more private space under the high ceilings, while enhancing the vertical axis of the interior view. With the combination of both architectural integration and decorative features, a relaxing yet refined and unique dining experiences were achieved at the North.

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