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Kaufman Crystal White

Stone Stories: Interiors as theater

This clean and minimalist space created 15 years ago by famed interior designer J. Anton Mendoza is a perfect example of a paired down interior for a restaurant that is confident in its food.

Most Thai restaurants feel they need to over style their interior with Thai elements to create the illusion of being in Thailand. People’s Palace takes the exact opposite approach. Mendoza gracefully takes the space into the territory of zen minimalism, where the mood is more serene and introspective. This allows the diners to focus on the authenticity of the food, rather than the riot of colors normally associated with Thai restaurant design.

The space absolutely succeeds in delivering the desired result. The space was fitted out with Kaufman Black Slate and Kaufman Crystal, White over a decade and a half ago. I deduce that because of the beautiful interior and exquisite choice of finishes combined with world class cuisine, the restaurant has remained the most popular Thai restaurant in town since it opened. I believe that it remains so.

A restaurant interior is not just a space where people eat. Interior is theater. When the occupants feel special, the establishment will succeed. Congratulations to the Architect J Anton Mendoza for uplifting our city by creating another timeless classic.


Stone Stories: Bahay na Itim

This black house clad in massive slabs of slate is a work I am particularly proud of. Installed on the exterior walls in an alternating hollow block pattern is the largest natural black slate featured as a wall facade. Each 4cm slab weighs over 160lbs each. Fitting such slab with just cement was not an option. To make sure the stone would stand the test of time, the slate was installed like modern high-rises, which use stainless steel brackets. By using this dry installation system, the slates always stay dry. Thus, effervescence does not develop, which comes from the leaching of salt and lime, causing unsightly white water marks. As a result, our work is very black, unlike other examples that are plagued with white streaks.

This black modern bahay na bato was the first structure to have used black slate as its exterior and we are proud the house and stone still looks beautiful to this day.

Over a 20 year period, not a single slate panel has fallen off or cracked. We are gratified for the trust and support of the architect and contractor who took our advice to use mechanical brackets.

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