For Bangkok, or any other modern-day cosmopolitan cities, living conditions and spatial form continue to evolve. Bangkokians are now yearning for new possibilities of outdoor living space that can effectively answer to the tropical heat and its dense living condition where there is not much space for the outdoor. ‘The Commons’, a small retail development in the city center, is an attempt to create a new active outdoor space where people can comfortably enjoy it at anytime of the year. ‘The Commons’ proposes a vertical open-air public space folding upward as a backbone of the building. It starts with ‘the Ground’ which is a landscape of steps and ramps integrated with platforms, seatings, planting and small kiosks. The area is well shaded by the third and the fourth floor structure above protecting the entire space from the sun and the rain. ‘The Ground’ vertically opens up through large voids on the upper floors, connecting to a large public open-air area occupying nearly thirty percent of each of the third and the fourth floor plate. The space vertically and horizontally flows in and out the entire building and allows for natural ventilation throughout. Two sets of industrial fans are incorporated into the ceiling screen below the skylight. One set draws hot air upward and out; the other set blows the wind downward to effectively increase the air movement in extra hot days. This airy semi-outdoor space is well incorporated with gardens on all levels. It becomes an active vertical urban living area. It is a place for strolling and relaxing at any time and in any seasons.
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