RETAIL COMPLEX IN DOOR PARK RECREATION
This work was done for a large group, The Mall Group, whose Chairwoman really wanted to work with me! It took her 10 years and a sports bet to convinced me to accept this mission for an exclusive shopping mall project in Bangkok.
The location is the bustling, urban Sukhumvit district of Bangkok that is somewhat very characteristic of South East Asian capital wild and disparate urbanism.
The building itself, is a complex with curved shapes with a very organic feeling evoking nature in a city landscape.
The mission was to create a relaxing, human orientated, lifestyle area with a sophisticated feeling inspired by high streets in chic European shopping districts such as South Kensington or Le Marais inside the huge retail complex. We did that by turning 2 of the Shopping Mall levels into a
“recreation park” where people could come and enjoy outdoors lifestyle to the sound of water, surrounded by plants, play with their children, read a book or walk their dogs…inside the mall. This is a unique, benevolent approach in a shopping mall where the aim is usually to maximize the profitability / surface ratio.
These 2 “green recreations” levels needed to be connected, albeit on 2 different floors, so we needed to find a way to include the lifts and stairs in a coherent manner, and water elements had to be included to enhance the fresh, outdoors, natural experience. Water and concrete require various technical implement to work well and age well.
Usually when I design and build gardens we work on land, on soil. Here the ground is a concrete floor. I really wanted to recreate a real garden, not a terrasse or a balcony, where people would forget that it’s all artificial inside a shopping mall, for that we needed to truly adapt our designs to the shape of the building, not just copy the general shape or add more curves to fill the existing ones.
The building has curves, the shape itself was very inspiring and to me it was very suggestive of terraced rice paddies, which are strong evocative elements around the world when people think about South East Asian and Thai landscapes. As a result, I decided to go along with that theme. For me landscapes need to be life spaces, so the 2 park levels had to be enticing and visitors needed to feel welcome there and immediately get a feeling on what they could do in there, have a rest, listen to live music, read a book, meditate…
To dress up the space, to enrich it, we worked on slabs assembly technique with different types of layout to give the floor and the stairs unique texture and structure when light effects are added. We also used a specific cobblestone paving technique called “calade” that gives rhythm and volume to artificial floors. We planted large trees in our signature oversized custom-made pots. We built a cocoon like structure with steel wires and rattan netting. The large music kiosk was born from a collaboration with a famous creator of bamboo buildings in Bali.
Emquartier in Bangkok is now seen as a real lifestyle icon making a bold statement for reconnecting urban life with nature.
Accreditation : Xavier LOUP STUDIO
Architect : BOIFFILS
Art director : Xavier LOUP STUDIO
Landscape Architect : Xavier LOUP STUDIO
Destination : SHOPPING MALL
Location : BANGKOK (THAILAND / SOUTH EAST ASIA)
Year : 2015
Land Space : 10 000 m2