Lightmos ThonglorEdit profile
Walking around the streets of Bangkok, it is possible to find inspiration from how building owners modify their shop houses. These buildings usually begin as concrete constructions, but owners would later add secondary layers over existing surfaces in order to block out heat and sun. Often the owners would use lightweight metal materials and cut them into panels or pieces to create an overall pattern. These pieces would then be welded on supports that would be connected back to the existing concrete structure.
In the way these ad-hoc facades are conceived, they are the opposite of the typical facades designed by architects and professionals. But despite their humble ambitions, these shop house facades can sometimes provide intriguing and surprising results.
When Architectkidd began this project - a renovation of a shop house on soi Thonglor into a lighting showroom - the design team asked: how can these shop houses be re-interpreted? From this, they sought to create a kind of an ‘accidental’ facade, a design that can reflect on the sometimes improvisational nature of construction in Bangkok.
Converting this building type to provide new retail functions was a significant challenge that required extensive modifications to the interior planning. The resulting approach was to insert new spaces that could connect all the existing floors to provide a continuous circulation and movement. These new elements use steel as their primary structure and were designed to be supported and cantilevered from existing concrete structures, thereby creating a new space that combined old and new elements of the renovated shophouse interior.
While most building facades aim to project the function of their interior spaces towards the exterior surfaces, in this case the opposite approach was needed. However, we wondered whether it was possible to design a facade that can still possess some permeable qualities while mostly functioning as a solid layer to block direct transmission of heat and outside light. After experimenting with different materials and techniques, the resulting facade was developed that attempted to create an in-between condition were daylight would be filtered from the outside, reflected off the facade and “spill” into the interior spaces.