Transforming Tradition

Built in the second oldest city in Thailand, this old house turned cafe features nods to Ayutthaya's architectural tradition and history. 

By Maya Brenningmeyer

Architecture and Interior Design by FLAT12x

Bakery Room Design by AA+A

Furniture Design by Superfurniture

Photography by Room


The Chirp Cafe and Chat Space was completed in 2022 by FLAT12x, a design company located in Thailand. The building originated as an old house but was completely transformed into a fully functional cafe, complete with indoor and outdoor seating. The architecture and design of the building reflects Ayutthaya’s architectural traditions and history in accordance with its proximity to the Royal Temple of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

An important element of the construction was the use of brick plinths. These specially shaped bricks were both aesthetically accurate to the area's traditions, as well as practical. The plinths keep water away and help protect the building from the elements. The brick also reflects the strong foundations seen in the ancient city and echo the feeling of a traditional Thai terraced home.

Playing off these traditional themes, the design team added modern touches such as large windows, a large open floor plan and minimal light fixtures. Indoors, there’s plenty of table seating and a marble bar area that ties the space together. Outdoors, the roofed terrace is painted in a Thai weave pattern and holds additional seating. Surrounding the outdoor space is an open air garden and a set of seats overlooking a small water feature. The owner of the building took inspiration from the old Thai “bird house” and hopes the design will encourage visitors to gather and chat.

Altogether, the Chirp Cafe and Chat Space is a welcoming development that mixes the past and the present. From the open air garden to the skylights in the main building, the theme of nature and honoring the past is evident throughout the space.