Handhome visited renown buildings designed by Ole Scheeren, Norman Foster and Paichit Pongpanluk in Bangkok, Thailand. The most notable of all is the Mahanakhon commissioned by King Power, a new symbol of the Capital of Golden Temples.
1. King Power Mahanakhon
King Power Mahanakhon is a high-rise complex located in Bangkok’s Central Business District. The 78-story development is home to the Ritz-Carlton Residence, King Power Retail and King Power Mahanakhon SkyWalk – an observation deck boasting the city’s most epic views at 314 meters. The building is currently the second tallest building in Bangkok.
The Mahanakhon was designed by Buro Ole Scheeren to reflect the the ambition and excitement of one of the world’s most dynamic cities, showcasing significant examples of contemporary architecture. The building is a landmark amongst traditional temples and modern skyscrapers that make up the eclectic skyline of Bangkok.
The structure comprises of series of cascading terraces accommodating retail and entertainment facilities, at the same time evoking the shifting protrusions of a mountain landscape. These glass skyboxes render the activities inside the building visible, sweeping views and generous indoor/outdoor spaces are also made clear. This is a common feature in high-rise living, well-suited to the tropical region.
2. Apple Iconsiam
Apple Iconsiam is the first Apple store in Bangkok. The building is designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Jony Ive – the company’s chief design officer.
Similar to the stores that Norman Foster designed for Apple, expansive glass façades create transparency towards the Chao Phraya river and beyond.
Inside the store, there’s a tree-lined “Genius Grove” that mirrors the flora of the outdoor terrace and provides the setting for personalized technical support and advice.
3. The Foundation of the Islamic Centre of Thailand
The Foundation of the Islamic Centre of Thailand was designed by Paichit Pongpanluk, the foundation aims to publicize Islamic culture to Thai society through social activities and many exhibitions.
In 1971, Paichit Pongpanluk designed the building, being fully aware of its limited budget. He figured out a way to incorporate a modular system as the solution to the design. The result was a series of connected hexagonal plans that covered all the required functional demands and spaces. The thin concrete shell of each module was constructed on the site with a column in the middle. The shape is reminiscent of a flower with six blooming petals while hidden in each column is a pipe used for draining rainwater from the roof.