Ole Scheeren’s Bangkok tower complete

Jo Smit
29 Nov 2018

Buro Ole Scheeren’s addition to the Bangkok skyline, the MahaNakhon Tower, has reached completion with the opening of its vertiginous observation deck. The observation deck, which crowns Bangkok’s tallest tower, is open to the public and is located more than 300 metres above ground level. A 4.5 metre by 17.5 metre walkable glass platform, called the Skytray, is quite literally the highlight of the visitor experience.

The design of the 77-storey skyscraper opens up the building to reveal the human scale inside it. This is achieved using a distinctive sculptural profile and a three dimensional pixelated ribbon, which coils around the full height of the building. What from a distance evokes a sense of an unfinished tower still under construction, is in fact a geometric ‘erosion’ that generates living spaces: terraces, balconies, floating living rooms and whole apartments.

The 150,000 square metre complex comprises MahaNakhon Square, a landscaped outdoor public plaza, as well as retail space, cafes, and restaurants with gardens and terraces spread over multiple levels. It contains 200 bespoke homes and serviced apartments, as well as a boutique hotel with 150 rooms.

Breaking with conventional podium typology the design splits the podium into two parts to carve out a generous public?plaza. The pixilation of?the tower extends to the ground, where the building gradually dissolves and generates MahaNakhon Hill, a series of cascading indoor/outdoor terraces.

An adjacent seven-storey building, MahaNakhon Cube, mirrors the terraces of the hill and has a multi-level retail centre with a bridge link to the adjacent Skytrain station. The project was commissioned by Pace Development.

“The idea behind MahaNakhon was to take the life of the city and bring it up the tower in a dramatic, spiraling movement,” says Ole Scheeren, principal of Büro Ole Scheeren. “Even the very top of the tower is surrendered to the public, so there is not only a public square at the ground, but human activity rises along the pixelated shaft to the top floors of the building which are given back to the public domain.”

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