Amanda Levete Architetcts
The first true contemporary landmark building in the city of Bangkok was created by Stirling Prize winning architect Amanda Levete, who worked for Richard Rogers before joining Future Systems and subsequently founding a new practice with partner Jan Kaplický.
Central Embassy consists of a 7-storey retail podium and a 30-storey 6-star hotel tower which twists upwards like an aluminium coil, the material adopted for the futuristic envelope. The entire building receives natural light via two vertical light wells and opens onto the vertical gardens and internal stepped terraces created for the common areas of the hotel.
Inspired by the models and textures of traditional Thai architecture, the building’s façade consists of three-dimensional modules that reflect both the light of the sky and the movement of the city to lend unique iridescence to the entire body of the building.
The development and implementation of the project took account of the characteristics of the Thai construction industry, which has a large supply of labour but high costs for the development and application of hi-tech solutions. The result was a masterful balance between the complexity of the design and construction process and the manual skills and expertise of local workers.
This meant that the most innovative construction solutions could easily be shared and applied to create a finished result of exceptional architectural quality and craftsmanship.
The interiors stand out for their meticulous attention to construction detail and for the iconic nature of the retail spaces, dominated by the plastic volumes of the elevators and high intermediate floors overlooking the central courts. These, together with the minimalist and modern design project, create a peaceful, sheltered space in marked contrast to the bustle of the surrounding urban areas.
These relaxation and shopping spaces are served by numerous bars and restaurants distributed over the various floors, many of which overlook the terraces and vertical gardens extending over the entire height of the building.
In marked contrast to the bright white spaces of the shopping mall, Starbucks Café was conceived as a haven, inspired by the colours and atmosphere of coffee warehouses. To create an image reminiscent of old docks, Selection Oak porcelain tiles from Rex were chosen as the surface covering material for the floors and false ceilings and for some of the walls and shelves.
Wood-effect planks with warm, natural tones laid in a herringbone pattern create a vintage aesthetic combined with the contemporary qualities of this highly versatile and extremely hard-wearing material, ideal for attaining the highest levels of performance required in high-traffic spaces in the contract furnishing sector.