I participated in the MahaNakhon Tower project for a year and half while working at OMA, my first job after graduation. My duty began with generating design ideas and later were mainly on the design of the podium, including form, program, facade, and coordination with ARUP, our structural and MEP consultant. A mixed-use project with a vast program of 125,000sqm, including retail, hotel, and residential, the MahaNakhon Tower will be an important landmark in Bangkok, in addition to becoming the tallest building in the city at a height of 304m. The focus of the project concept is the spiral of pixels that trickles down the tower and, when coming close to the ground, merges into the podium and becomes outdoor terraces. By doing so, the Hill (podium) resolves the tension between the urban context and the tower. In the reversed direction, the urban activities in the city spiral up the tower and enliven the pixelated balconies. The tropical urban life of Bangkok is infused into each single tower unit.
With its distinctive sculptural appearance, the tower has been carefully carved to introduce a three-dimensional ribbon of pixels that circulate the tower’s full height, as if excavating portions of the elegant glass curtain wall to reveal the inner life of the building. The glass skyboxes thus generated have sweeping views and generous indoor/outdoor spaces with plunge pools and oversized terraces.
Hill, Cube, and Plaza
The terraces on the Hill and Cube (shopping mall building) face each other and form an outdoor natural valley, offering a network of social spaces with a selection of dining and leisure facilities. The plaza is intimately connected to the space between the Hill and Cube. This dynamic public plaza, intended to be a meeting place, a spot for planned and spontaneous cultural events, will be a landscaped retreat for the city’s inhabitants. A direct above-ground pedestrian link connects the Hill and Cube to the Skytrain station and future rapid bus transit system.
The project has two major types of facade: “cassette” for the primary curtain wall and “pixel” for the carved away portions. The cassettes and pixels align on center at the boundary of each module. Twenty unique conditions exist throughout the building and are addressed individually.