As long as there have been buildings mankind has sought to construct its way to the heavens. From stone pyramids to steel skyscrapers, successive generations of designers have devised ever more innovative ways to push the vertical boundaries of architecture. Whether stone or steel, however, each attempt to reach unprecedented heights has represented a vast undertaking in terms of both materials and labor – and the more complex the project, the greater the chance for things to go awry.
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In this video from CNN Style Ole Scheeren, the former OMA partner and founder of Büro Ole Scheeren, discusses his MahaNakhon tower, a luxury mixed used skyscraper that has transformed the Bangkok skyline. MahaNakhon was recognized as the tallest building in Thailand by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) after its light show inauguration earlier this year.
Thailand’s new tallest building, MahaNakhon, has opened to the public with a spectacular light show highlighting the pixelated-design of the 314 meter tall building. Designed by Büro Ole Scheeren, the 77-story mixed-use skyscraper contains space for a hotel, retail, bars, restaurants and an observation deck, as well as 200 condominium units managed by Ritz-Carlton Residences with unparalleled views out onto the Bangkok skyline and beyond. The building’s distinct appearance is created through carving a pixelated spiral up the building, creating “an architecture that encloses and protects its inhabitants while revealing the inner life of their city.”
Hong Kong- and Beijing-based Büro Ole Scheeren is expanding with the opening of two new offices in Berlin and Bangkok. As its founder, German architect Ole Scheeren says, the expansion will extend the practice's range of work with projects in Europe and North America. "Büro Ole Scheeren’s Berlin studio will act as a European base for work across the western hemisphere, while Büro Ole Scheeren in Bangkok, together with its subsidiary HLS, is charged with the further design development and construction supervision of the MahaNakhon tower, soon to be completed as Thailand’s tallest skyscraper," says the practice.
New-Territories/ M4 has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund MMYST, a hybrid architecture project that combines a hotel with a manufactured habitat for Swiftlets, a bird native to Thailand. Located in Krabi, the building will be used almost exclusively by backers of the project and will be set for removal in 10 years. In order to be realized, the project requires $200,000 in funding before October 25, 2015. Read more about this experimental project after the break.
The winners of the international design competition "Bangkok: I am Fashion Hub" have been unveiled. Entrants were challenged with the task of unifying the functions of a community center, library, exhibition theater, and public space within a cohesive venue in Bangkok for both the local and international fashion communities.
The "Bilbao effect" was once viewed as the savior of the other cities; a way for post-industrial cities in the 1990s and 2000s to not only replace their economic reliance on failing industry with tourism, but to reinvent themselves as capitals of High Culture, enriching both body and soul. This has long since ceased to be the case, and many now see it instead as an ironic monument to hubris. But while architecture in the west is attempting to find a viable successor, rapidly expanding economies in Asia and South East Asia seem poised to embark on a new wave of architectural and cultural flourishes designed to attract tourists and Thai Baht.
Last year on ArchDaily, we featured a.gor.a Architects' Temporary Dormitories in Mae Sot, a series of low-cost shelters that help this town on the Thai border accommodate the influx of Burmese refugees from neighboring Myanmar. But tragically, last month a fire from a nearby sugar cane plantation burned down all four dormitories, negating the generous funding from the Embassy of Luxembourg in Bangkok, preventing the plan to recoup money by recycling the dormitories when they were no longer needed, and of course destroying much-needed accommodation for refugees. To make the most of a bad situation, the architecture firm has turned to Indiegogo in an attempt to raise $5,500 and rebuild at least two of the dormitories. You can visit their Indiegogo page here to help.
Khao Mo, which translates as Mythical Escapism, is a reflective sculptural work by Sanitas Studio currently being exhibited at the Bangkok Art & Cultural Centre. The concept behind the work is based on city dwellers' desire for a moment of escape from everyday life, along with the concept of the Chinese garden: a scaled replicated universe expressed through nature in order to create a sense of tranquility. According to the artist, "the smell of earth, the moisture and vapour that evaporate from the earth, the ordinariness and the emptiness allow the audience time to imagine."
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