Text description provided by the architects. This project is an expansion of the existing Central World Shopping Center in Bangkok, one of the largest malls in the world. With 4,000 sqm of enclosed retail and 8,000 sqm of restaurants and bars facing an open-air protected courtyard, the project looks to capture the sophistication and atmospheric vibrancy of “al fresco” dining in European cafe culture and pair it with the energy and intimacy of the Soi’s of Bangkok to define a new contemporary Soi culture of sophisticated outdoor dining and lively pedestrian streets for Central World.
Given the unique position of the project facing the high traffic condition of Ploenchit Road and the BTS Skytrain and Skywalk, the facade and roof serve as a the graphic identity of the building while acting as a veil which reveals and conceals views. The primary driver of our formal organization and design concept in particular for the facade was the continuous flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic along Ploenchit Road. The facade is articulated with continuous horizontal lines which change height to accommodate openings for restaurant and retail shop fronts as well as terracing areas.
The facade construction is a back lit aluminum panel system which incorporates lighting, graphics, identity and visual performance into a beautiful and elegant skin. A dynamic LED backlighting system creates a unique facade glow effect during the night making the building stand out in the busy Bangkok street.
The Groove creates a pleasant outdoor dining experience eliminating the need for climate controlled environments that would be necessary in standard retail and dining buildings in Bangkok and reducing the energy consumption of the building considerably. However, Bangkok’s very hot and humid climate needed to be dealt with in order to provide a more pleasant experience to the dinners.
An open air trellis allows air to flow through the internal courtyard and provides the effect of dappled light which filters through it to protect from the sun while allowing outdoor experience, ambient lighting and atmospheric effects. The trellis is fitted with a retractable canopy that allows for extra protection from rain and sun.
All outdoor dining areas are carefully designed to provide shading and protection from the hot and rainy Bangkok climate. The building feels outdoors while still providing shelter from sun and rain.
Plants and landscaping perform an important role not only aesthetically but also in maintaining the temperatures around the building more comfortable. Both the facade and the open trellis were designed to integrate hanging plants and areas for planters.