Bangkok has changed. So have her people. In the past, we may prefer to live in small houses outside the city areas, and commute in and out the city daily. Not anymore. To fit the present time's fast life style, New generation keeps moving in many condominiums inside the developed areas instead. Horizontal Living is out. Vertical one is the thing to do.
As a result, Thai developers are competing hard for the perfect plots of land in town. No, they do not care much about how big the plot is, or how great the view it would get. As long as it is right next to the BTS (Bangkok's Sky Train) station, it is perfect. In 2010, Trop got a commission to design the Pool of Pyne by Sansiri, a high-end condominium in Bangkok. Its site is ideal. Located right in the middle of busy urban district, just 5 mins walk from the city's biggest shopping malls, the plot is about the right size, 2,900 sqm. To make it even better, it also has a BTS station right in front of the property.
Architecture-wise, most condominiums in Bangkok are quite similar. The residential tower is built on top of parking structure. Normally the parking part has a bigger floor plan than the tower, leaving the left over area as its swimming pool. The Pool @ Pyne by Sansiri is no different. It is designated to be on the 8th floor, which is also the roof of the parking structure. The area is a rectangular shape terrace, around 370 sqm. Having the train station right in front really helps selling residential units (sold out in 1 day). However, space-wise, the station is a nightmare for designers. It is designed as a huge structure, about a hundred meter long, 3-4 storey high. Basically, it is like placing a huge building right in front of your door steps. Together with other surrounding old buildings, our project is trapped among concrete boxes by all 4 sides.
In order to get rid of that boxy feeling space, our first move is to create a "loosed" floor plan. Instead of a typical rectangular pool deck, we proposed a series of smaller terraces integrated with the swimming pool. Perpendicular lines were avoided, replaced by angled ones with round corners. A series of "green" planters were also inserted here and there, combining all 3 elements, water, terraces and plantings seamlessly. Again, most pools in Bangkok share the same name. They are called "Sky Pool", because of its location on top of the roof. The first couple ones sounded very exciting, but, after a while, it got boring. Our design task was not only to design a pretty swimming pool, but we also wanted to created a unique landscape feature that can identify the character of our residents.
To make our pool difference than others, the "Skeleton", a light cladded structure, was proposed to "frame" the swimming pool 3-dimensionally. Before, the so-called sky pool is just flat piece of water on top of the building. Sure, swimmers can enjoy a great prospect view outside, but, looking back to the building, nobody recognize the presence of that pool from below. With the "Skeleton", the pool was fully integrated into the architecture. Now the BTS passengers can look up and see the special space inside the frame. At night, the "Skeleton" glows, giving the architecture some "lightness" it needs badly in the crowded surrounding.