Asia-based firm Linehouse has recently completed the renovation of the CentralWorld shopping center in Bangkok, Thailand. The refurbishment involved the installation of a unique double-layered facade adorned with arches, offering a fresh and unconventional design for shopping centers.
The architectural concept of the building delves into the paradoxical relationship between the bustling and serene aspects of Bangkok. Situated in an area that was once teeming with lily pads, Linehouse thoroughly examined the organic growth patterns of these aquatic plants, and skillfully translated them into a spatial narrative that permeates both the exterior and interior of the structure. As a result, the building harmoniously interacts with its surroundings through its form and choice of materials.
Nestled within the vibrant urban core of Bangkok, amidst the presence of Hindu temples, the design of the project aims to encapsulate the notion of discovering tranquility amidst the chaos. The façade of the building employs a palette of urban materials, such as concrete and dark cement render, while the rhythmic arrangement of overlapping arches evokes a sense of harmony. Upon entering the interior, one is immediately transported to a space filled with abundant natural light and spaciousness, offering a contemplative journey that serves as a respite from the bustling streets that surround it.
The exterior design of the building features a unique double layered arched façade. The front layer is constructed using concrete form work, while the back layer is rendered in black. These arches vary in height and width, creating intriguing intersections that serve as framed views into the interior. Linehouse, the design firm, strategically placed green terraces on certain arches, adding depth to the otherwise flat elevation and blurring the boundary between the exterior and interior spaces.
Upon entering the building, one is greeted by white branched columns that extend vertically through the atrium space, forming ceiling canopies. This design element continues throughout the seven floors, resulting in an overlapping and shifting ceiling plane. As one moves upwards, the treatment of the ceiling plane transitions from tech-tonic green metal grids to more natural and tactile textures such as timber trellis and woven cane ceilings. This progression creates a sense of movement and showcases a blend of modern and traditional craftsmanship.
The fourth floor of the building houses a food hall, and the arched windows of the exterior façade offer picturesque views of the park beyond. The interior of the food hall is characterized by a minimalist palette of natural materials and earthy textures, including timber, stone, and off-white hues. This design choice further enhances the serene atmosphere of the space.
Overall, the design of the building breathes new life into what was once an uninspiring façade and interior. Instead of demolishing the existing structure, the design team opted to work with the building’s existing framework, reducing its carbon footprint and embracing sustainability.