MahaNakhon acts as a prototype that generates shared spaces of urban and social interaction and reinstates an explicit responsibility of architectural space towards society as a greater whole. MahaNakhon, as an embodiment of architectural intentions as well as an example of how architecture, can engage the city and surrounding social space to stand as a representation of the city’s aspirations and position as a global city of unique and powerful qualities.
We see architecture as process and the building as a dialogue - between large and small scale, symbolism and activity, the city and its inhabitants, inside and outside. Bangkok is a city of many contradictions - and of an untamable energy.
MahaNakhon dismantles the traditional formula of a seamless, inert, glossy totem, and instead actively engages the city: Its pixilated and carved presence opens and connects to the surrounding urban fabric rather than overpowering it. Its glittering stacked surfaces, terraces and protrusions simultaneously create the impression of digital pixilation while echoing the irregularity of ancient mountain topography. This architectural geography introduces a three dimensional ribbon of architectural pixels that circle the tower's full height, as if excavating portions of the tower to reveal the inner life of the building - both metaphorically and actually an architecture that reveals its inner life, its inner scale to the city.
What from afar might evoke a sense of being yet unfinished, reveals itself to be not a purely formal gesture, but an erosion that generates actual living spaces: terraces, balconies, floating rooms and apartments that merge the tropical outdoors with the indoors.
This urban geography of elements convey the energy, intensity and inclusiveness of Thai society and celebrate Bangkok’s emergence as a true global capital, fitting the Thai meaning of the name MahaNakhon, translated as the ‘great metropolis’.
MahaNakhon dissolves the typical tower-podium typology to render not a tower in isolation but instead a skyscraper that melds with the city as it moves vertically between ground and sky. Generous, cascading indoor/outdoor terraces at its base evoke the shifting protrusions of a mountain landscape and form an outdoor atrium reminiscent of a natural valley with lush tropical gardens containing a multitude of social spaces.
MahaNakhon also features an adjacent freestanding 7-storey building known as the Cube, with multi-level indoor/outdoor terraces corresponding to those of the Hill Terraces across the expanse of an outdoor atrium that serves the general public via a direct above-ground pedestrian link to the main CBD Skytrain station and plaza-level access, Residences in the main tower of MahaNakhon, as well as guests of the hotel.
MahaNakhon has been carefully carved to introduce a distinctive profile while generating a set of specific features – projecting glass skyboxes with sweeping views and generous indoor/outdoor spaces with plunge pools and oversized terraces – uncommon to high-rise living in metropolises, but well-suited to the tropical climate of Bangkok. The pixels have been designed to maximize unobstructed panoramas for the residences, offering rare bird's-eye views of the city and the Chaophraya River.
The top of the MahaNakhon tower houses a multi-level three-floor Sky Bar and restaurant with dramatic double-height spaces, private dining facilities for entertaining, and a rooftop outdoor bar with sweeping 360° views of the skyline and river, floating 314 meters above the city.
Photos by Srirath Somsawat and Wison Tungthunya