The Bangkok Retreat Artist project is clean, concise, and clearly illustrates its simple central idea. Throughout the building, public and private spaces are staggered and stacked as a series of modules that result in the final spatial composition. Inside each of these building blocks is both a public and private component, and these are distinguished by the variant spatial experiences of the two. The public, visitor-oriented spaces are double-height with a transparent façade and full of natural light while private living and studio spaces are single-height with a brise-soleil façade and filtered light.
While the competition brief made no suggestion of whether to use the existing brutalist façade or not, the judges felt this project incorporated a nice balance of old and new that reinvigorates the brutalist façade without introducing distracting new elements and geometry. This results in the brutalist façade being reborn and repurposed – given new life while maintaining the central historical focus of the building’s elevation.
The diagram and concept are very clearly illustrated via a series of stacked L-shape building blocks that incorporate the private and public functions while rotating around a central vertical axis. The simple spatial L-shaped block arrangement is then resolved at the top with a restaurant roof terrace and public café, affording the public sweeping views across the city.
All in all, it is a project that is clean, clearly represented, and carries the potential to celebrate the future growth of arts and culture in the Bangkok region while still referencing its rich history.