PIA Eye for Detail


PIA Director Danny sweats the small stuff as a team leader turns team player to turn dreams and concepts into reality.


Quality, when you get right down to it, depends upon attention to detail. The most high-flown design concepts or jaw-dropping flights of fancy might wow in the sketches, renderings and plans, but the whole depends on the sum of its parts. And if some of those parts fall some way short of the mark, the risk is design that underwhelms rather than wows.

For a project the size and scope of Chao Phraya Estate, the sheer amount of detail is staggering. And with a project founded on the cornerstone of quality, the stakes could not be higher when it comes to matching outcomes with expectations and finished products with concepts and plans. Meet Vachirapong Arthayukti, better known as Danny.

For Four Seasons Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River and the Capella Hotel Bangkok, Danny is on the details.

Danny and his wife, Pomme, both directors of PIA Interior Co. Ltd, are the project leads for PIA on the Chao Phraya Estate. And a big part of what the job entails is working seamlessly with international interior design luminaries BAMO to bring the concepts and designs of the project to life.

Which is not to suggest that Danny, Pomme or the PIA team are mere glorified fact checkers and project sourcers. PIA is Thailand’s leading international design firm, having garnered a slew of international and local awards in the course of creating some of the most stylish residence, hotel, resort, retail, restaurant and bar interiors in the region.

You would be hard pressed to venture for more than 10 minutes in any direction in the more stylish sois of Sukhumvit and Sathorn without stumbling upon one of their creations. Project lead for Capella interiors, they have designed swanky flagship stores for leading mobile phone group AIS, some of the most eye-catching restaurants in new luxury malls like EM Quartier and Central Embassy, and the finest residential villa and residences projects for the likes of Anantara Residences, Canapaya Luxury Residences, Hyde Sukhumvit 11 and Magnolia Waterfront Residence.

PIA collected World Travel Awards in 2014 for both Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok (Thailand's Leading Lifestyle Hotel) and Sofitel So Bangkok (Asia’s Top Business Hotel), while the Hilton also picked up Best New Hotel Construction and Design at the Asia Pacific Property Awards (Development) 2014-2015, and Sofitel So Bangkok was also shortlisted for the ASIASPA AWARDS 2013 for Spa Design of the Year, and the HA+D Award for Design Excellence: Hotel Interior Design 2013.

PIA Interior has chalked up over a quarter of a century creating interior space, with a team that numbers more than 130 professionals, led by Ms Rujiraporn Wanglee, the firm’s founder and president.

Danny and his wife, Pomme have formed a partnership that has created some of PIA’s finest excursions into interior space. He has been with PIA for eight years, and before that did stints with Brian Chan & Associates in Hong Kong and also in Shanghai.

He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Architecture from Atlanta College of Art, and a Bachelor of Cooperative Education, Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.

“This is not the sort of job we see as something grudgingly. This is actually very challenging work and a great chance to rub shoulders with a dream team of hotel design”, Danny said.

Working alongside the various heavyweights of the design world on Chao Phraya Estate, Danny and his team will contribute immensely to further develop concepts as well as adding his own interpretations to the design. As Country Group Developments inside man he will ensure all of the striking concepts, hand-made furniture one-offs and journeys to the farther shores of bespoke don't get lost in translation and are executed to perfection.

“There are some special challenges for us too, PIA is tasked with amenities and specialty restaurant designs and we are also thrilled to be working with Ingo Schweder, founder of spa gurus GOCO Hospitality on the spa at Four Seasons and Capella spa concepts, which are going to be amazing. One of the spa features is a very unique thermal bath or wet area not normally found in city spas”.

“It’s very much a team effort, this project. Everyone is very co-operative and courteous, which is great, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to work with. We are all working together to achieve the goal of having the top international standard of finishes and detailing, and fulfilling Country Group’s promise of real quality at every turn”.

He said one of the biggest challenges, just getting underway in earnest now, is sourcing or creating the hand-woven silks and fabrics to Gerry’s very exacting specs. There are a lot of artisan materials, a lot of hand-made pieces and exoticfinishes that you can’t find in a catalogue. We have one local artisan on fabrics and one on paint finishes.

The Capella brand has seemed a bit daunting at first, but Danny said the brand, founded by Horst Schultz of Ritz Carlton was actually more open and freewheeling than most luxury brands “Other brands have very strict rules on everything from materials to dimensions. Capella sees it more as a judgement call by the designer overseeing the project”.

For this project, he is Country Group Development’s inside man, the safe pair of hands who will ensure none of BAMO principal Gerry Jue’s striking concepts, hand-made furniture one-offs and journeys the farther shores of bespoke get lost in translation, botched or executed to anything other than perfection.

He will be the locally connected man with the little black book of suppliers and makers of exotic stone, timber and tile finishes, the go-to guy for some hand woven Thai silk for furniture, wall and ceiling coverings. And he will be the man holding the Pantone swatches and telling the custom paint creator to try again to get the perfect shade.

And when it’s all said and done, and Four Seasons Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River rears majestically over the River of Kings, home to hundreds of satisfied connoisseurs of quality, and the Capella is wowing them with its layers of luxury and exceeding the expectations of guests on a daily basis, one man will be quietly reflecting on a job well done.