Aga Khan Award for Architecture – VIII
Eighth in a series to showcase the 2013 cycle of shortlisted projects from what is arguably the most rigorous and thoughtful architectural award program in the world, encompassing design excellence, historic preservation and rehabilitation, and socioeconomic dimensions; focused on results, eschewing the cult of the hero-architect.
The Met Tower Bangkok, Thailand (2009)
Architect: WOHA Architects, Singapore
Description (from the AKAA):
Rather than adopting high-rise models from temperate countries, this 66-storey central Bangkok development adapts aspects of low-rise tropical housing to spaces in the sky. Naturally cross-ventilated, the apartments require no air conditioning. Open-air terraces with barbecues, libraries, spas and other facilities link the three towers every five storeys and act as structural bracing. The main columns extend on the exterior of the building, creating protected indoor-outdoor spaces for balconies and terraces, and are lit at night, transforming the building into an elegant, vertical screen. The staggered block arrangement gives apartments light and air on all four sides. Thai elements – ceramic tiles, textiles and timber panelling – are abstracted to organise forms. Every horizontal surface is planted, and vertical faces are shaded by creeper screens.
Image credits: all images copyright Aga Khan Award for Architecture; all photographs by Patrick Bingham-Hall; site plan courtesy of the architect