S+A is humbly the oldest architectural firm in Thailand. The company was established in 1963 by prominent architect and academic M.L. Santhaya Israsena, who gave the company his name as well as his long-term vision. He led the company until his passing in the ’80s, quietly and diligently designing some of the first modernist buildings in Thailand. He is succeeded by associated architect Suchet Chaorua. From 1984 until 2005, Suchet expanded S+A, producing some of the most iconic buildings in Bangkok and strengthening S+A as a forefront design practice in Thailand. Faun Israsena is M.L. Santhaya’s grandson. He takes over the management in 2007 and is later joined by his partner Sophie Bughin in 2013. With their international backgrounds, Faun & Sophie strengthens S+A’s portfolio with a focus on international clients and hospitality projects.
In recent years, S+A largely expanded both within Thailand and overseas, with the recent establishment of a branch office in Hong Kong and ongoing projects in various countries in Asia. After 50+ years of continuous practice and 3 generations of leadership, the practice is still fully independent and privately owned by its associates.
The driving forces behind S+A’s success are Belgian interior designer Sophie Bughin and Dutch/Thai architect Faun Israsena. The duo is supported by a dedicated team of 20+ architects, engineers, interior designers, and construction specialists. As a consultancy company, their staff is their most valuable asset. They treat them with great care and respect and encourage continuous professional as well as personal developments. As a family of professionals, their people stay and grow with the company, some of whom have been with them for 30 years. S+A is an award-winning international design firm established in 1963 and based in Bangkok.
What Do They Do?
S+A’s designs capture a “sense of place” [Genius Loci]. Seamlessly integrated with its context, S+A’s designs celebrate local culture, tradition, and history, and connect with people and communities. S+A’s designs instill a sense of belonging, surprise, astonish, heal, soothe, stimulate, tell stories, and much more. Beyond fulfilling basic human needs, S+A’s designs inspire people.
Their work touches many people’s lives, from owners, consultants, builders, and those who live and work in and around their buildings and interiors. They take pride but also great responsibility in this, and strive to create designs that inspire them, and ultimately improve the society and environment in which they operate.
Sophie & Faun personally craft each project that S+A undertakes, being effectively the lead designers, project managers, and contact persons. Capitalizing on their Eurasian origins, they provide friendly and flexible Asian service with western efficiency and precision.
They believe in a healthy balance of artistic inspiration, technical accuracy, and hands-on management. This allows them to keep track of each project’s overriding goals while ensuring quality, timely delivery, and cost-effective design solutions.