Among 20 projects shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture is WOHA’s high-density residential tower in tropical Bangkok. Unlike typical high-rises developed for temperate climates, the Met is a self-sustained, densely-populated tropical paradise that makes the most of its configuration and materials to adjust to Thailand’s high temperatures and high levels of humidity.
The Met was designed following the logic of low-rise tropical housing, with a layout that allows cross-ventilation and establishes communication between the inside and the outside through the introduction of open-space terraces, verandas and gardens. It incorporates typical Thai elements such as ceramic tiles, textiles and timber paneling. The building is dominated by two design strategies- populating horizontal surfaces with vegetation and walls with creeper screens for shading. A staggered arrangement of blocks diversifies the climate within the building and creates gentle breezes which reach deep into the living spaces.
Common areas are scattered all over the tower, offering a variety of experiences and ambiances: inhabitants can enjoy the stone and vegetation on the ground level, the indoor-outdoor facilities around the pool area, libraries, small resting places and sky terraces.
The Met will be competing for a part of a 1-million dollar fund and a place among five or six finalists which will be selected and announced at a ceremony to be held in Lisbon in September 2013.
Photos by Patrick Bingham-Hall