Architectkidd, a Bangkok-based architecture studio, developed a giant white scaffold made of slender columns for an entertainment and retail centre for a shopping plaza in Bangkok, Thailand, in collaborative efforts with Landscape Collaboration landscape architects.
The project is named Megapark and was designed as a kind of green scaffold for thermal comfort and vertical vegetation, combined with vegetation and landscape design, forming an environmental purifier among both interior and exterior spaces.
This project brings a vision of change to the shopping centre model and an opportunity to experiment with new approaches that combine the commercial with the community and the public.
The main goal of the white scaffold is to allow daylight and natural ventilation and to penetrate the building in a tropical climate while providing constant flow to visitors. The architecture of the Megapark is a kind of green scaffold. The structure can incorporate vertical vegetation and in conjunction with planting and landscape design, forms an environmental filter around the interior and exterior spaces.
The design allows daylight and natural ventilation to penetrate the building in a tropical climate. Consisting of a total area of 15,000 square meters, the system is composed of an elevated platform connecting the shopping centre and the outdoor landscape.
“The architecture acts as a conduit and a public space that engages with outdoor areas and gardens”, said Architectkidd.
For the facade, the architects used slightly curved steel columns of 20cm x 20cm, all spaced 1 meter apart. Steel columns focus on providing structural support for walkways, canopies, systems and program areas. With the repetitive spacing, the objective was to avoid the typical massive construction grids and systems needed for commercial properties.
Influenced by local footbridges and crosswalks infrastructure facilities in Bangkok, Architectkidd and structural designer Aurecon have transformed this premise into an open framework and an intertwined structural and architectural framework for social programmes and activities.
The building programme includes communal facilities, parks, shopping and recreation areas around through three levels to the established shopping centre.
“The design concept was to modify a formerly closed commercial property into a more socially adept one for the public,” said the architects.
“The steel frames create a natural rhythm of their own, with the widths and heights of the frames gradually changing in a way that ebbs and flows all over the site.”
According to the architects, the structure introduces a new public presence that is meaningful. The building programme includes communal facilities, parks, shopping and recreation areas around through three levels to the established shopping centre.
Steel Fabrication: T-Rex Steel
Aluminum Composite Panel: Alpolic
Tensile Fabric: Taiyo Kogyo
The landscape of the Project
Mega Park is located in the shopping mall of Megabangna. It is a new linkage from the shopping mall to the future mixed-use development where retail expansion, added tourist attractions and residential areas will be established. The park is becoming a major spine that strengthens the pedestrian circulation system for the overall development of the park. Mega Park has two layers of traffic. The upper level of circulation corresponds from the interior of the shopping mall across a bridge structure. At the park, the elevated walkway continues through various design nodes featuring an amphitheatre, a treetop walk, and a treehouse. They provide an integrated universal design ramp for each feature so that everyone can have a mutual transition between the elevated walkway and the ground level. The structure of the elevated walkway not only provides a vantage point for a new walking experience but also becomes a shelter for the walkway at ground level.
The park provides not only space for the community, but also the improvement of the surroundings. The Softscape design of the park is an exhibition of different horticultural displays. Ironwood is a superior species that blends with other tropical trees to develop a forest influence for treetop walking. The combination of tropical shrubs is planted along the passageway of the park so that children can learn about the regional growing plants species that are not normally seen in the city. The perennial plants in the flowering field are planted in 3-metre-wide strips. These strips focus on providing habitat and food for various species of insects, such as bees and butterflies. Also, children could have great times along the bicycle lane and understand about the local flora and fauna. Landscape design for Mega Park provides the opportunity for families to spend their free time next to each other.
The aim of the park architecture is to achieve a positive environment and amazing experience for all users through such a series of thoughtfully designed and developed outdoor spaces and a variety of plantings. An intentionally thought-out plan and design originating from its users.