TOLO Architecture

TOLO Architecture

Los Angeles, CA


Saladang Song

Saladang Song is a Thai restaurant located on a major arterial street in a mixed commercial-industrial neighborhood south of Old Pasadena.  The client, ‘Dang’ for short, is a Thai woman who immigrated to Los Angeles.  In many ways, she occupies two worlds, bringing a strong sense of Thai cultural values into the context of Los Angeles.  The design responds to her cross-cultural condition in a variety of ways.  The building is conceived as a courtyard, an idea suggested by the traditional Thai sala. The sala is a simple roadside pavilion for resting and eating.   Saladang Song is conceived as a place of rest and reflection within the distracted life of the city.  In a formal inversion, the patio dining is placed at the front of the building, opposite the parking lot entry, which is at the rear.

The main components of the program are: outdoor and indoor dining, a large open kitchen, storage, and office spaces.  Another aspect of the program, in the tradition of family-owned restaurants in Asia and Europe, was the request for a living space on top of the restaurant, including a rooftop garden. The patio dining is bound by a screen wall, offering a sense of protection while maintaining a strong relationship to the flow of traffic in the street.  The screen wall is made of vertically cantilevered concrete slabs and laser-cut steel screens.  The idea of a “textile” screen was informed by the client’s interest in traditional Thai fabrics.  The slabs were built using a modified version of standard tilt-up construction.  The laser-cut steel screens were patterned after textiles, but the designs have been abstracted and transformed by their method of production.

Read more

Status: Built
Location: Pasadena, CA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits:
Kurily Szymanski Tchirkow, Inc. (Structural); Khalifeh & Associates (mechanical, electrical, plumbing); Herb Cooper (Civil); Jerry Kovacs & Associates (Geotechnical)
Eddie Effron (Lighting); Wet Design (Fountain)
Grant Mudford
2005 Honor Award, American Institute of Architects; 2002 Certificate of Recognition, California State Assembly; 2001 Citation Award, American Institute of Architects; 2001 Restaurant Design Award, Finalist, James Beard Foundation; 2001 Award of Merit, Pasadena Beautiful Foundation