With its name (meaning ‘great metropolis’), its 314-metre height – making it now one of Thailand’s tallest buildings – and its distinctive pixel façade, the MahaNakhon project stands as a symbol of the economic boom in Bangkok.
The pixelated ribbon winds around the entire height of the tower like a snake, spectacularly breaking up the otherwise consciously classical form of the steel and glass cuboid. This broken-up façade serves primarily to create terraces, balconies and freely hovering skyboxes. All of these offer unique views of the cityscape, which can be enjoyed by guests in the hotel that occupies the lower storeys as well as by the residents of the serviced apartments in the storeys above. Crowning the tower is a public observation deck with a 360° view as well as a double-height restaurant and an open-air rooftop bar.
The base of the tower, housing the hotel lobby and amenities as well as restaurants and upmarket shops is designed not as a static podium but as a multi-level terraced landscape, rich in green. It picks up on the pixel motif and extends it horizontally, thereby creating a segue into the new public plaza in front.
Having started the planning for MahaNakhon in his position as a partner of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Ole Scheeren founded his own firm in 2010 and took the project over. During further work on MahaNakhon, he opened a branch of his firm in Bangkok in 2015.