suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
amanda LEVETE ARCHITeCTS: central embassy, located on bangkok’s primary commercial artery ploen chit road, will be a new architectural landmark for the city and region. the 145,000 m2 project will occupy the former gardens of the british embassy in nai lert park, and will consist of a 7-storey retail podium and a 30-storey 6-star hotel tower. work on site is scheduled to begin in 2010 and to complete in 2013.
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. 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 buildings coiling form and give varied impressions of the depth, shape and colour 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.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
This project is driven by the aspiration to articulate, synthesize, and merge diametrically opposed elements to create the unexpected. The form of the building merges architectural typologies (tower vs. plinth), while the building skin is an extension of a multi-layered dialogue that merges craft with technology (hand-made ceramic cladding vs. parametric-modeling) and abstracts tradition through an expression of contemporary design techniques (traditional Thai patterns vs. generative processes).
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
al_a: zo & tigallo, dead pixels, melvins, foals, roysksopp
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
al_a: preston scott cohen, BIG, 3XN, LAVA, theverymany
amanda LEVETE (director)
alvin HUANG (project director)
joy NATAPA SRIYUKSIRI