MahaNakhon / Ole Scheeren, OMA

© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/ 2009

Ole Scheeren, a partner for  Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and project leader of the recently completed Beijing’s CCTV Tower, considered among the world’s most imaginative contemporary architectural feats.  With the tower complete, Scheeren has moved to design his first skyscraper, entitled MahaNakhon, “a dazzling, pixelated 77-storey tower,” that will rise to be the tallest building in .  With approximately 150,000 square meters, MahaNakhon will include a lush urban oasis with public gardens and a major transportation hub, luxury retail, residences, a new public square, and a five-star hotel created by New York’s Ian Schrager.

More images and more about the skyscrapper after the break.

© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009

Mahanakohn’s “distinctive sculptural appearance” offers a pixelated effect as the solid tower is carefully carved into. These spaces become “excavated portions of the elegant glass curtain wall to reveal the inner life of the building metaphorically and actually an architecture that encloses  and protects its inhabitants while revealing the inner life of their city.”  The protrusions create beautiful balconies with uninterrupted views over the city as well as larger areas for greenery.

© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009

In addition to the tower, a smaller freestanding 7-storey building, known as the cube, offers multi-level indoor/outdoor terraces with an extensive mix of dining and leisure facilities.  These facilities activate the lower levels as the general public will have access via a direct above-ground pedestrian link.

The skyscrapper is due to be completed by 2012.

© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009
© OMA/Ole Scheeren 2009

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "MahaNakhon / Ole Scheeren, OMA" 23 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • YS

    what a cliche…this form

  • Kiko Sanchez

    It looks just like Herzog & de Meurons bldg design for Leonard Street NYC… or Axis Mundi new Moma tower conceptual scheme… BLAH!

    • Lathos

      Dont think so, if you check better, the others copied that scheme

  • public eye

    Cliche or whatever, I love it. Not closely that much, but from far away.

  • Lindsay

    It’s a little like the Best box stores by SITE (James Wines) but much, much bigger.

  • imagine

    Really great and amazing. Decontruction form
    somehow it reminds me about the broken down bricks in the elevation of Best shop (designed by SITE in 70′s)

  • vortekxt

    When you click through, the highest-res image posted is of Ole’s face…nice bldg though, even if quite reminiscent of H&DeM’s Leonard St. tower as mentioned above.

  • Remkool

    Herzog & De Meuron…?

    ah ah ah !!!!

    • PRAMH01

      Totally agree! The first think i thought when i looked at it was H&D.M. But hey, we do learn from our elders, do we. And i think it is a very nice attempt.

  • Dustin

    I really like it. Does the “deconstructed” part actually spiral up the building?

  • kiron

    i like the window opening part.
    rest is only imagery.

  • melih

    i remember a retail-park project by Hans hollein; the building has ash-like corners…this building has the same openings i think.

  • ps

    i’d live there. if i could afford it. i think bangkok desperately needs some top tier world-class architects to build there. 90+% of the hi-rises there are just banal buildings. other than the “robot” building, nothing is memorable and nothing stands out. kudos.

    • archilocus

      Totally agree. I think it’s due to the rather protective market there; almost impossible to work there as a “farang”. I hope such buildings could make BKK more attractive to tourists, bringing more international culture and dimension… In Bangkok only shopping malls are full of westerners, which is anyway ridiculous compared to the beaches in southern Thailand.

      • Lucas Gray

        It is definitely not an architectural wonderland but there are some nice smaller designs. Bed Supperclub (if it is still existing) comes to mind as do some other bars/clubs and restaurants. There are also some nice houses but too often these are obscured by protective walls.

        Didn’t Future Systems (or what has become of it) design a new tower/mall for Bankok recently?

  • Pingback: Viitoare cea mai inalta cladire din Bangkok « ʘ   ♥   ⌂

  • Rhodgeer

    I really like the form, at first I thought the building was on fire and was structurally failing!

  • IMHO

    tower from H&deM is based on diferent concept. this is the spiral and tower from H&deM is something like disappearing gradient..
    anyway.. who will build it first, that will winner :]

  • tropicalismo360

    This building looks like it has a flesh eating virus.

  • Alec Murgia

    Is awful, the metaphor of the tower destroyed.

  • guusfraba

    I like it, but who´d live in a traditional building when you can do it in protrusions that create beautiful balconies with uninterrupted views over the city as well as larger areas for greenery? Its interesting the way in which instead of questioning the traditional skycraper it compares both proposals in one building.

  • batman

    Looks like a roast beef sandwich with some mozzarella….hey ohhhh

  • Alex


  • Travis

    Louis Kahn wanted to make beautiful ruins….

  • Juni

    Last picture is really bad: looks like a 1500meters tall seagram bilding wrapped into H&dM Leonard Street.
    However, great design, with purpose (so rare) even if i’m usually not fan of “boxes”. Interiors are nice and it’s mostly thanks to the great job on the windows. Nice work.

  • armeyn

    no more diagrams???

  • NIM

    It’s more like a renewed design of a tower in tokyo 2004, more than the one by h& dm

  • Pingback: after the war « p o s t e t h o t i c

  • Pi

    Inspired by Star Wars under-construction Death Star!?

  • Witkowski Boguslaw

    It is really frightening still to see such concepts developed by many architects. The lack of sustainable architecture education and the underdeveloped cultural background are the main reason of this poor result shown in the presented example. This is the continuation of the XX century trends…and what about the new ideas for to answer to the global warming problem?
    These nice 3D images are the lost of time…Please leave it for the “Stars”.

  • Lucas Gray

    In general I think this is a nice design…at least compared to the usual banal towers flying up around the world. This is far better than any of the designs for the freedom tower I have seen and would be a welcome addition to any skyline in my opinion.

  • Baoan

    I agree with Lucas for that this is a “nice design…at least compared to the usual banal towers flying up around the world », however still backward architecture and selfish, mainly showing the architects EGO concept…

  • GeorgeFP_SA

    Absolutely Beautiful! Nice to see the typical tower typology challenged, deconstructed and redefined!

  • Ivan

    What will it take to reduce the use of curtain wall for every god damn building. Classic developer project with a twist, as seen so many times before. I expected something more inspiring…