- Design Team: Makakrai Jay Suthadarat, Prapaphan Phongklee, Peera Teerittaveesin, Pakhon Promtha
- Structural Engineer: Somchai Sakaochanrat
- Client: Srithai Superware Public Company Limited
- Country: Thailand
Text description provided by the architects. Located on Sukhumvit highway road in the vicinity of Chonburi's Eastern Seaboard, 'Srithai Super Outlet', the first factory outlet of Srithai Superware, the biggest plastic products manufacturer in the world, is a complete transformation from a run-down depot into a new 4,000-sqm outlet store. It offers all ranges of plastic & melamine products including kitchenware, indoor & outdoor furniture and other related products under one roof.
Looking from the main road, the existing 20-year-old depot was once a subdue structure, making no dialogue with the surrounding context and the approaching highway. Due to its strategic location in terms of logistics and urban development in the eastern region, it was unmistakably chosen to be the first own outlet store of Srithai Superware. As a consequence of the selection, the challenges promptly arise; how to turn an ordinary pitch-roof warehouse into an extraordinary attraction amongst target customers and wider public in the region. It also needs to accommodate programmes including an open-plan retail space, display spaces, an adjacent warehouse, a customer service counter, kids club, rental spaces for shops, service areas and an exhibition space of “Srithai Story”.
The process of transformation begins with the insertion of new programmes into the existing structural grid system. The existing main structure was mostly kept and strengthened with an exception of the roof tiles being replaced by metal sheet roof with skylight. At the same time, the old facade was stripped off and made way for a new one.
In order to communicate the fundamental character of Srithai products to the public by means of architectural manifestation, the manufacturing process of Srithai plastic products was researched, analysed and then informed the morphological process of the facade design. Every curve, shape and form of plastic products is molded from plastic granules, in which they are the smallest elements to form larger, multi-particle entities. Inspired by this transitional stage of plasticity, the extensive front elevation of the building is dissected into series of vertical stripes. These series of stripes then act as a horizontal grid system, in which generic components of folded aluminum panels are inserted. By shifting the next components little by little vertically, the sinuous curves emerge out of the flat plane of the vertical stripes. At the global scale, all the protruded curves flowing along the length of the facade together form familiar silhouettes found along the high stacks of plastic products in the store.
The flow of horizontally stacked components is continued inside, covering the entrance hall of ‘Srithai Story’, the exhibition space dedicated to the 50-year history of Srithai. At well-located points, certain folded components transform themselves to become display boxes containing trophies, shields and awards achieved by the company. They continually propagate onto the ceiling and become light fixtures, illuminating the foyer area during nighttime.