The Age of Exellence


Established 49 years ago, Design 103 International is one of most respected architecture and design firms in Thailand. Founded by Mr. Chuchawal Pringpuangkeo in 1968, the independent consulting firm is made up of highly sought-after experienced architects, engineers, and interior designers.

With a diverse portfolio of projects both local and international, Design 103 International’s scope of work ranges from airports, residential projects, hospitals and education to luxury hotels, industrial estates and commercial developments. Hand-picked for their diverse framework of skills, management, and experience, the team is tasked to take Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River from its conceptual design stage to its stunning riverside reality.

Award-winning Design 103 International have been the masterminds behind some of Thailand’s most important developments including, Thailand’s main International Airports; Satellite Terminal 1 Suvarnabhumi Airport, Phuket International Airport, Regional Airports Master Plan Study at Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, as well as Thailand’s leading department store, Siam Paragon. In addition, the firm takes their work internationally having designed some of the most impressive mixed-use and hospitality developments across three different continents from Medina Centrale in Doha, Qatar, Ivory Timesquare Development in Penang, Malaysia, to Dembel City Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Comprised of a combination of brilliant hybrid of people; the team works together in unique and unpredictable ways. Lead by three very modest group of professionals, Khun Noppadon Tanpiwat, Vice President of Design 103 International, Khun Phichai Jongwattanapaisal, Assistant Vice President, and Khun Chaisit Tangsiriphaisan, Senior Architect.

The firm has a pool of leading local architects in Thailand with very strong collective set of principles to design thinking - disciplined to the project’s initial conceptualisation, yet intuitive and a very responsive, which is precisely why Country Group Development have chosen the firm.

On a multifaceted, integrated development like Chao Phraya Estate, the design challenges are diverse; it is an understatement to say that their mission is complex. Design 103 spent approximately 2 years working closely with Hamiltons International, playing their part in the successful realisation of the developer’s vision to create a unique luxury urban resort experience for global guests.

The team worked alongside numerous partners in their respective fields to seamlessly streamline functionality with aesthetics. This involved a hyper-specific detailed process ranging from structural/mechanical-electrical-plumbing (MEP), acoustic consulting, fire life safety consulting, legal regulations, and local code checking along with international drawing reviews and submissions. “Many top-level consultants were engaged to bring together all the unique elements that make up Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, and we worked with all of them. We were involved in almost every aspect of the design from the back-of-house through to the interior designers and landscape architects…the conversations with the integrated team became so important, because you were working with fabricators and engineers to integrate details of the base geometry.” said  Khun Phichai.

A key focus for the trio was to guarantee adherence to the environmental impact and construction guidelines set for the project. This required precise calculation of green space allocations, as well as establishing correct setback and height ratios. “Riverside developments, in particular, call for precise zoning and elevations, so the process involved several inputs from a range of consultants, including structural engineers, MEP specialists, landscape designers and even spa and kitchen consultants. As the lead consultant, Hamiltons International were very professional throughout this process and their deep understanding of the masterplan design was a real advantage,” explained Khun Noppadon.

Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok is built on an urban resort concept that invites guests to feel relaxed at home. The property features a series of cascading courtyards gravitating towards the river. “It is all about offering guests a unique experience of the river and water features, but also the importance given to landscaping and courtyard design that creates an unrivalled resort environment within the city. This was our first waterfront hotel project and although the design presented us with many challenges, we were particularly impressed by the use of open spaces, structural elements, trees, fountains and the riverside promenade. The masterplan truly focused on the end users’ experiences - it was exceptionally well thought through and intellectually curated to offer guests a real connection to Bangkok’s famous waterway,” he added.

In order to maintain that connection with the river, the master planners and architects integrated a succession of varied water features, which are spread through generous communal spaces leading towards the river. These pools, waterfalls and fountains create a unique sense of place, but their design and construction called for high levels of engineering expertise.

“Having world-class consultants and design legends such as Hamiltons International, Denniston and experienced MEP specialists like Meinhardt on your team is incredibly unique…we are able to achieve the highest level of quality and attention to detail in the design. We were so impressed with the landscaping team that we have since brought them in to work with us on some of our other projects”, explained Khun Phichai.

Another key consideration for Design103’s team was the application of international safety standards and integration of evacuation routes through the hotel and grounds. Minor changes to the design sometimes had to be made during the early construction phase without impacting the approved masterplan of the hotel.

“Although our focus was on the design details of Four Seasons Hotel, having three separate but connected developments sharing Chao Phraya Estate, meant we had to consider the multipurpose architecture of the estate and maintain a large picture of the entire project and take into account Four Seasons residential tower as well as Capella Bangkok next door. Each component has a profound influence and offers benefits for its neighbours, this applies in terms of safety and accessibility as much as it does in terms of service and facilities,” explained Khun Noppadon.

In addition to the multiple developments, one of the unique attributes that stood out while working on Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok was the vast range of professional creative input involved in designing Chao Phraya Estate. “Working with seasoned international consultants such as those engaged to create Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok was very rewarding as it offered the opportunity for design professionals to share their skills and develop new concepts and ideas in line with global trends and innovations,” said Khun Phichai.

Design 103 International understands that the greatest results come from a completely integrated approach of design conception through to completion. Chao Phraya Estate is the perfect example of a pioneering project that is a result of the collaborative effort between world-class artisans in real estate development brought to life by local architects and talents. Pointing to the growing interest in Asian projects, Khun Noppadon explains that “projects like Chao Phraya Estate exemplify how the world of architecture and design is getting increasingly smaller, and the quality of Thai developments is rising to a global scale. This project has allowed us to learn from one another to devise whole integrated design solutions to shape the future of architecture. We are thrilled to have been selected as a partner to work on this disruptive and ground-breaking future of architectural design and development”.