WOHA’s climate-specific tower in Bangkok, Thailand
Hello, and a happy friday to you!
Okay, so I am going to skip Colorful Fridays (just this week!) to tell you about a really cool architectural design I recently discovered. The Met, a structure designed by Singapore architecture firm WOHA to incorporate housing, hotel and retail was completed in 2009 and is the first of its kind to consider its local climate. It rises up 69 stories from the highly congested, urban environment of Bangkok but is different from most other skyscrapers because it has perforations and focuses on indoor-outdoor living.
Originally, high-rise towers were modeled after ones built in cities like New York and Chicago where winters are cold and winds howl. The structures were built as barricades so residents could go inside and feel protected from the outdoors. But, in Bangkok, the climate is tropical year round with fairly gentle winds. WOHA figured that they could use this climate to their advantage, and they built The Met.
The Met is designed with staggered blocks, separated by large perforations in the building that are conducive to cross-ventilation and light penetration. All units in the building face north-south and have balconies with living planters and screens. The exterior of the building is protected from direct sunlight by green creeper screens and overhanging ledges. When the breezes flow through the building, they cool it off enough that most residents don’t need air-conditioning.
There are sky terraces that link the blocks together and provide communal areas that have barbecues, libraries, spas and other facilities. There are sky gardens and pools on some of the terraces. The apartments interact with this outdoor environment with full height glazing and many of them are high enough to feel separated enough from street-level where pollution, dust, and noise are more noticeable.
I think designing a structure that is built around vertical open shafts is such a brilliant idea. It allows the building to essentially breathe on its own so we don’t have to pump it full of air-conditioning. Architecture should always be in response to its local environment, that way it’ll be the most efficient and well-designed.
The Met also has this glorious looking pool that just makes me want to jump in. Wouldn’t you want to live here? I do.