On 9 May, the official opening of the retail podium at Central Embassy was held in Bangkok. Designed by AL_A, the shimmering 7-storey retail base will eventually be graced with a soaring 30-storey 5-star hotel tower. Construction continues on the 1.5million sq ft hotel structure while the luxury shopping mall opens to the public below.
Amanda Levete, Director of AL_A, notes: “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.”
Levete and her team have taken motifs and patterns often found in traditional Thai architecture and incorporated them into this thoroughly modern structure. An external skin of extruded aluminium tiles ripples across the façade, shifting in colour to reflect the sky and city throughout the course of the day.
Over the coming months the glittering aluminium skin will rise in a fluid motion as the hotel tower grows skyward. This form will wrap around two vertical light wells, drawing the strong Bangkok sunlight deep into the heart of the hotel complex.
Hailed as ‘the new retail and style face of Thailand’, Central Embassy has been designed to ‘set the new standard in urban retail throughout South-East Asia’. Approximately 30% of the high end retailers now active within the retail component are operating in Bangkok for the first time, including Ralph Lauren and Givenchy.