While commercial centers such as shopping malls don’t necessarily evoke a community feel, a Thai architecture firm seeks to flip the script by reimagining the typical Southeast Asian mega-malls as green community hubs.
The design firm, called Architectkidd, has recently completed the first of such transformational projects by building Mega Park, a nature-focused retail connection in Bangkok.
Mega Park was created with the aim of bringing Bangkok’s Megabangna shopping mall into contact with the natural world, by encouraging visitors to go outdoors to enjoy a richly programmed public park. Once outside, the visitors can find a nature park, a treetop walk, and even an amphitheater.
The park connects to the shopping mall with an elevated pathway inspired by local footbridges and pedestrian pathways found in Bangkok. Over the pathway extends a steel column structure that’s designed like a ‘green scaffold’, serving to support vertical vegetation.
The columns are spaced a meter apart to provide sufficient support for the walkways and canopies, and also allow viewers to enjoy the park’s lush, landscaped gardens which feature native tropical species such as ironwood. Perennial plants also provide food and habitat for local pollinators.
Architectkidd’s design brings a vision of change to the shopping center model as well as an opportunity to experiment with new approaches that combine the commercial with the community and the public,” said the architects.