An Embassy Building as a Representative of one nation in another cultural area acts as an important social, cultural and technological link.
Respecting characteristics of both countries leads to a symbiotic space. Austrian achievements in the field of research, culture, technology and production intertwines with culture specific Thai way of living and building traditions. The created building ensemble offers an inspiring atmosphere for environmental, traditional and technological exchange within contemporary architecture.
In contrast to high security measure of other embassy buildings, the Austrian Embassy in Bangkok challenges such principles and attempts to create a friendly environment.
A Courtyard with existing trees is the defined common space encouraging social interactions for employees and visitors during social events. It provides relaxation area and enhances individual wellbeing for staff while working or serves as a secure area in case of emergency.
An individual smaller courtyard with trees welcomes Thai visitors for the visa section and guides them along the guard house to the inner building part. The waiting area inside and outside creates a vivid atmosphere while sitting under trees and cantilevered roof with photovoltaic elements.
The design of building reacts to the specific climate conditions by implementing natural resources of Thai traditional constructions as well as technological improvements by scientific experiments for environmental performance. Laterite obtained from the field was examined in laboratory, analyzed by Building Physicist then formed a solution for outer wall system. Teak wood from industrial forest was repeatedly experimented through perforation system, optimizing the balance between security and ventilation.
The Project introduces strategy for renewable energy. Solar energy retained by photovoltaic elements can be used immediately for cooling the buildings during the office hours. Project takes an advance from high amount of rain in Thailand by introducing cistern system for gardening.
The structural concept of the buildings is designed as concrete skeleton, filled in with facades that are conceptually defined and contextually made of local materials. The three materials Laterite (conglomerate stone), Teak (wood from farm) and Glass/Aluminum (special light/heat glass and frame) are appropriate to realize the concept of a functional envelope.