Located within the gardens of the British Embassy along Ploenchit Road, Bangkok’s primary commercial artery, the 1.5 million sq ft project merges a 7 storey luxury retail podium and a 30 storey 5 star hotel tower into a cohesive and sinuously twisting shape. The remarkable form wraps around two vertical light wells as internal spaces open up to reveal stepped terraces and vertical gardens. It rises up from the podium façade dividing hotel functions; private guest-related programs face the tranquil gardens of Lai Nert Park, while the hotel bar, reception lounge and sky terrace face the bright lights of the city centre.
Drawing on motifs and patterns found in traditional Thai architecture, the external skin is characterized by an assembly of extruded aluminium tiles, to create a dynamic pattern in response to external conditions. The distribution of tiles creates a moiré-like pattern, articulated by the play of light and reflection along the surfaces of these varying profiles. This rich and stimulating pattern visually emphasizes the wrapping form of the building as well as providing scale and texture to the extensive opaque frontage at podium level. All glazed areas are designed to merge seamlessly with the aluminium skin.
The building blurs boundaries between diametrically opposing elements: tower & plinth, façade & roof, local craftsmanship & digital technology, Thai tradition & contemporary design. By embracing advanced technology as well as drawing on local heritage and culture, Bangkok Central Embassy is an articulation of the search for a perceptive and contemporary architectural language. It is a design that is local to its surrounding and simultaneously redefines the location.