It was only a matter of time, perhaps, before Bangkok boasted it was going to erect the tallest tower in the land. And where there’s bravado, there’s often the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). This fall construction is to begin on MahaNakhon, a 77-story, 1.6 million-square-foot tower, designed by OMA partner Ole Scheeren. The hotel plus luxury abodes plus retail is a joint double marriage between developers PACE Development Company and Industrial Buildings Corporation for the residential portion (managed by The Ritz-Carlton), with the 150-room hotel spawned by 2008 newlyweds Marriott International and Ian Schrager.
The gleaming tower appears strategically gnawed in a spiral, rising from the 7-story retail base to a Sky Bar triplex and affording all kinds of terraces and mid-air living room scenarios. In language very similar to that used to describe the once delirious, now-stalled 23 East 22nd tower in Manhattan, the MahaNakhon’s “pixilated and carved presence embraces and connects to the surrounding urban fabric,” according to the official description. Back in New York, Shohei Shigematsu, OMA partner in the US, described the Madison Square tower as avoiding slick angles in favor of “a more pixilated and contemporary look.” Whether either gets built, at least we will know that pixels are the latest unit of conversation when it comes to describing luxury development.