Snøhetta unveils design for new innovation hub featuring “Bangkok’s largest elevated garden”

Norwegian practice Snøhetta and MQDC, one of Thailand’s leading property developers, have released design for a large-scale mixed-use development featuring “Bangkok’s largest elevated garden” in Bangkok, Thailand

Called Cloud 11, the 254-square-metre development is set to offer “a new standard for sustainable, urban neighborhoods”. The design aims to meet the pressing needs for green public spaces in upcoming CyberTech district of South Sukhumvit in Bangkok.

As Snøhetta stated, construction has already started on site, and the project is expected to complete towards the end of 2024.

Snøhetta is working with Bangkok-based firms A49 Architects and SHMA Landscape Architects on the project. The project area is easily accessible through public transport and offers amenities to cater to the needs and lifestyle of Bangkok residents. 

The Cloud 11 project aims to “re-invent a part of Sukhumvit into a hub for innovation and tech companies in the city”, while providing the area with a large, green public space and spaces for artists, makers, and tech entrepreneurs. 

Image © MIR

According to the firm, the new building will “become more than just a building”, and it will aim to become a landmark – heralding the future of Thailand’s renowned capital.

“Bangkok is known for its buzzing street life and historical and cultural landmarks; however, it also needs green spaces,” said Snøhetta.

“Bangkok has one of the lowest amounts of public green space per capita in Asia, at under 7sqm per resident, compared to an average of 39sqm per resident across 22 major Asian cities.” 

Responding to local initiatives for sustainability and livability, like Green Bangkok 2030 and Enter Bangkok2050, the project is envisioned to offer “a space that will benefit the community, giving the public a 24-hour access to green spaces, cultural institutions, and modern amenities.”

Image © MIR

“We have had the opportunity to not only create a building, but a new neighborhood in the center of Bangkok. An urban artifact providing a thriving place for culture and creation and green public spaces that will improve the quality of life for people living in the South Sukhumvit area,” said Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Founding Partner of Snøhetta.

“With an increasing number of people moving into urban areas, it is crucial to develop communities fit to accommodate the needs of the future cities in a sustainable way, both socially and environmentally,” Thorsen added.

An urban green lung and Thailand’s biggest lawn

The scheme incorporates elevated gardens with a big central lawn, and according to the team, “it will become the largest of its kind in Thailand, and a series of pocket parks, offering a space for diverse activities in the neighborhood.” 

Described as “a resilient hub for the community”, Cloud 11 is set to act as an urban lung that provides a calming space available to everyone. 

The design responds to the existing environmental challenges as well as to meet ecological challenges that “are becoming pressing issues in big cities like Bangkok, such as air pollution and the lack of green space.”

Image © MIR

For instance, while the courtyard becomes the community heart of the project, a particular attention has been given to the design and layout strategy of the planting to enhance the effect of the urban garden without compromising the open space. 

The structure is emphasized with multiple large openings, where the spaces open and allow air flow naturally through the vegetation.

“The water of an adjacent canal will be treated with a deep shaft cleaning system and showcased as an educational initiative towards the public to promote more sustainable solutions,” said the firm. 

“The Cloud 11 landscape will serve as a nourishing ground for various local species and wildlife.” 

The studio added that “small areas of soil and vegetation that differ from the surroundings, known as patches, are strategically spread along different locations throughout the site to create a continuous ecological corridor to attract other species and enhance the site’s biodiversity.”

Image © MIR

The project also aims to create a new lifestyle environment within the site and its surroundings. People daily needs and requirements are met by several restaurants operating from a centralized kitchen, a gym, a wide selection of retail stores and two hotels. 

A variety of cultural offerings such as a library, educational venues, and creative workspaces fit for the modern, hybrid way of working from home or outside the office complement the surrounding of the building. 

The Cloud 11 is also easily accessible for visitors and commuters via public transportation, with the BTS skytrain station just across the street.

Moreover, Snøhetta and MQDC have also introduced a completely new circulation network across different scales, from village-like alleys to streets, plazas, escalators, and stairs. “All the programs are interconnected to construct an efficient, diverse, and logical system beneficial to all its users,” stated the firm.

“With the intention to preserve the best flexibility and adaptability of the building in the future, the project will have a centralized logistic system,” added the studio. 

Image © MIR

An automated warehouse, connected to the central kitchen, is integrated to travel throughout the retail floors, creating an omnichannel system which allows the possibility to reach the office towers and the other public areas of the project. 

With this kind of centralized kitchen solution, the architects aim to reduce food waste, enhance a more efficient use of resources and ingredients, and streamline production. Furthermore, the team added that “a centralized distribution hub will manage deliveries and all loading infrastructure.”

Snøhetta and Danish interior brand Vipp designed nest-like wooden cabins on the edge of Lysefjorden on the Norwegian west coast.  the firm is working on the new expansion of Museum of Sex in Miami, set to be opened in spring 2023.

Project facts

Timeline: 2020 – 2024

Client: MQDC (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited)

Status: Under construction

Typologies: Mixed use, commercial, retail, cultural, educational, hospitality, wellness and recreation, public space

Collaborators: A49 Architects, SHMA Landscape Architects

Top image © MIR.