Architectkidd has completed the design of Megapark, a recreational and retail center for a shopping complex in Bangkok,in collaboration with landscape architects Landscape Collaboration.
The architecture of Megapark is designed to be a kind of a green scaffold. The structure can accommodate vertical vegetation, and together with the planting and landscape design, forms an environmental filter between the interior and exterior spaces. The design allows for daylight and natural ventilation to permeate the building within a tropical climate.
Architectkidd’s design consists of an elevated platform that connects the shopping center and out towards the exterior landscape. The architecture acts as a conduit as well as a public space that interacts with outdoor areas and gardens.
The main material of the design is composed of 20cm x 20cm galvanized steel columns that are spaced 1-meter apart. The steel columns provide structural support for walkways, canopies, systems and program spaces. With the repetitive spacing, the goal was to avoid typical large-scale construction grids and systems needed for commercial buildings.
The use of steel was informed by local footbridges and pedestrian infrastructures found in Bangkok. Architectkidd and structural designers Aurecon transformed this precedent into an open framework and an integrated architectural and structural system to accommodate public activities and programs. The program introduces communal facilities, park, shopping and recreational areas across three levels to the existing shopping center. The challenge in the design was to transform a formerly closed commercial space into a more extroverted one for the community.
The steel frames create a natural rhythm of their own, with widths and heights of the frames gradually changing in a way that ebbs and flows throughout the site. The result is a new public presence that is coherent without being imposing. Instead, a fluid and more natural architectural approach is created that provides for more intimate spaces in a human scale.
It has been over 10 years since the original shopping center was built housing the first IKEA in Thailand. Since then the retail and urban environment in South East Asia have evolved significantly. Architectkidd’s design brings a vision of change to the shopping center model as well as an opportunity to experiment with new approaches that combine the commercial with community and the public.