With over 10 million inhabitants, Bangkok continues to grow into its urban form. Architectkidd’s approach for The Street Ratchada project attempts to introduce public and urban characteristics into a newly developing neighborhood outside of the central metropolitan area. Comprising of cafes, restaurants and other retail and commercial functions, The Street Ratchada creates new exterior and semi-interior urban spaces to engage with the surrounding people and community. The structure and parking garage of the previous commercial development on the site remain intact. The top floor and front of the five-storey building were rebuilt to accommodate the new client’s capacity needs.
The interior program introduces a variety of uses and activities to reach out to young people and the new design strips away most of the previous finishings to reveal the steel, concrete and brick elements of the original structure. Occupying an important intersection of Rachadapisek Avenue, the open space in front of the building has been transformed from car-parking overflow to a pedestrian-orientated space. Architectkidd along with the Interior Designer (PIA) and Landscape Architect (P Landscape) worked with the client to design the outdoor space and amenities that not only facilitate commercial uses but also public programs and events.
The building facade is designed to interact between the open plaza and the interior retail spaces. Upon first impression, the continuous metallic surface seems to convey a monumental presence but it is actually a porous layer composed of triangulated panels uniquely sized and cut. The gradient transparencies of the perforated panels unveil the underlying framework and the atrium behind which serves as an intermediate public space. At night, the lighting dematerializes the facade and creates an inviting glow from within the atrium that spreads on to the outdoor and public areas. The outdoor plaza and exterior envelope work together with the atrium and interior volume to create a total space for The Street Ratchada.
Visitors can gather on walkways and landings within the atrium, and with its multiple visual apertures, look inward, outward and peripherally across the building. This enhances not only the functional circulation but also creates a connected spatial experience between the exterior and interior areas. With this project Architectkidd attempts to break through common expectations of what might be considered a purely commercial large-scale building type and to inject a diversity of urban and architectural scales into a rapidly developing area of Bangkok.
Reynobond – Aluminum Composite Panel: Located in an important urban space at a busy intersection in Bangkok, Architectkidd proposed to design a permeable architectural envelope for The Street Ratchada where interior activities could be showcased along with outdoor urban activities. The design was realized with the use of Reynobond Aluminum Composite Panels.
The panels were perforated in a variety of densities and angled in section to create a light-catching “deep surface” through the use of over 1,000 2-dimensional panels pieces. Facade contractor KYS individually cut the flat panels and manually installed them on site, giving a new identity for The Street Ratchada and achieving a more dynamic urban and interactive experience for its users.
Photography: Luke Yeung, Aey Somsawat, W Workspace