Architects: Supermachine Studio
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Project Team: Pitupong Chaowakul, Nuntawat Tussanasangsoon, Worawit Hongwiang, Marisa Boratisa
Site Area: 1,565 sqm
Project Area: 496 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Wison Tungtunya
From early period of the last century, automotive industry have always influenced architecture (but not so much the other way around). In modern history, different aspects of “automobile” has been inspiring architecture, whether as a material, shape, speed of the way cars are manufactured. We learn so much from the classic examples of architecture like Fiat’s Lingotto factory in Turin, (Mattè Trucco1923) in which the testing track is located on the roof top of the building. Or BMW’s Central Factory in Leipzig (Zaha Hadid, 2005) that incorporates the process of car production and architecture into one.
Car is another architecture’s best friend.
Autostella is a small imported car showroom in Bangkok located around Eakamai-Ramintra expressway. The types of cars Autostella keen to sell are those cute and fun to drive like Fiat 500 or some other small models from another Italian car maker, Alfa romeo. Autostella is not an automobile showroom with super high glass windows as commonly seen in Thailand.
We accessed the project by neglecting the stereotype aspects of automobile that people connect themselves with, which is “speed” and its “Dynamic” look. But it is designed like a small bakery and cafe’ that has small cars park right in the middle of the shops. Imagine a car is one of the furniture in the living room…Their potential clients are those lifestyle concerned people (who sometimes emotional buy rather than logical buy things.) Cars become part of people’s lifestyle, like mobile phone. They are not only transportations like when they were invented anymore.
The flat and long red box is pushed-pulled, deformed and divided in to 4 different (but connected) rooms. Each room has windows in different sizes facing the street. Each of the window is different size according to the size of the room. The room can be decorated differently in the future to suit the mood of the new models of the cars coming-in in the future. It is like a house for cars rather than a car showroom. “Why car showroom has to be singlewhite room with non-differentiation all the time? It’s so boring.”