Now there really is no lack of shopping malls in Bangkok. And they are building new ones all the time.
Right now for example, they are about to build Central Embassy. A 37 floor shopping mall / hotel complex that is going to open end of 2013 in the Ploenchit area. 7 stories will be for shopping, and the remaining 30 stories will be for a luxury hotel tower (6 star hotel).
The land was acquired from the British embassy a couple of years ago, and the architects who designed this building are Amanda Levete.
The design merges the distinct features of a podium and tower into a sinuous and continuously twisting coil. The form wraps around two vertical light wells in the retail podium and at the same time encloses and exposes a series of exterior courtyards and roof gardens for the hotel. Internal spaces break apart to reveal stepped terraces and vertical gardens.
‘Our design for this project has been underpinned by two strands of parallel research. We carried out extensive studies in Thailand exploring and documenting traditional patterns, materials and fabrication methods. In tandem, we’ve experimented with the application of advanced digital design techniques such as scripting and parametric modeling as a means of abstracting our hands-on research to create an innovative synthesis of technology and heritage that is specific to the context of Bangkok.’ – Alvin Huang, Project Director, Amanda Levete Architects
Drawing on motifs and patterns found in traditional Thai architecture, the facade of the building is composed of a dynamic and fluid three-dimensional array of ceramic tiles. Changes in gradient, rotation and spacing break the long spans of continuous frontage into a rich pattern.
On regarding the facade, this design element will draw attention to the building’s coiling form and give varied impressions of the depth, shape and color of its skin with each step taken. Conceived with the intention of reinterpreting Thai heritage and culture in a modern context, the project is a unique opportunity to merge traditional craftsmanship with contemporary digital design.
You can see some of the designs here.