Ole Scheeren creates Thailand's tallest tower with twisting, 'pixellated' MahaNakhon

by Kim Megson | 01 Sep 2016
The design of MahaNakhon dismantles the typical tower and podium typology, creating a skyscraper that melds with the city by gradually ‘dissolving’ as it flows downward to meet the ground
– Ole Scheeren

German architect Ole Scheeren has completed one of his highest profile projects since leaving OMA and setting up his own studio: Thailand’s tallest building.

MahaNakhon is a 77-storey, 314m (1,030ft) tall ‘pixelated’ skyscraper located in Bangkok’s Central Business District.

The dramatic addition to the city’s skyline opened to the public this week with a spectacular light show. The multi-coloured LED display highlighted the three-dimensional ribbon of architectural pixels that coil up the tower, giving a glimpse into the interior life of the building.

The 150,000sq m (1.6 million sq ft) development features a 150 room boutique hotel operated by Marriott International and Ian Schrager; 200 luxury apartments run by Ritz-Carlton; a multi-level retail centre with restaurants and cafes; a 24-hour marketplace; a rooftop Sky Bar and restaurant; and a landscaped public plaza at its base.

A series of cascading indoor/outdoor terraces at the base of the tower accommodate most of the public leisure facilities and are designed to evoke the shifting protrusions of a mountain landscape.

An adjacent freestanding seven-storey building called The Cube has corresponding terraces and forms an atrium space between the structures.

“The design of MahaNakhon dismantles the typical tower and podium typology, creating a skyscraper that melds with the city by gradually ‘dissolving’ as it flows downward to meet the ground,” said Scheeren in a statement.

The architect is a former partner of OMA, where he led the design of the China Central Television Station building. He set up his new practice, Büro Ole Scheeren, in 2010, but a team of Thai architects at OMA collaborated with him on the MahaNakhon project.

His new studio won the 2015 Building of the Year prize at the World Architecture Festival for their Singapore housing development Interlace. They are currently developing the Guardian Art Centre in Beijing, which will feature a museum, auction house, event space, 120-room hotel and several restaurants.

Ole Scheeren  Thailand  Bangkok  MahaNakhon  OMA  architecture  design 
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German architect Ole Scheeren has completed one of his highest profile projects since leaving OMA and setting up his own studio: Thailand’s tallest building. MahaNakhon is a 77-storey, 314m (1,030ft) tall ‘pixelated’ skyscraper located in Bangkok’s Central Business District. The dramatic addition to the city’s skyline opened to the public this week with a spectacular light show. The multi-coloured LED display highlighted the three-dimensional ribbon of architectural pixels that coil
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At 314m, the tower is Thailand's tallest  / Alexander Roan, courtesy of PACE
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