Though it lost its distinction as Thailand’s tallest building to Magnolias Waterfront Residences (only a four-meter difference!), the 314-meter-tall King Power Mahanakhon is still, unquestionably, one of the most recognizable structures in Bangkok thanks to a distinctive pixelated exterior designed by architect Ole Scheeren. The higher floors of this 77-story high-rise are home to 200 Ritz-Carlton Residences units while the lower floors are set to house Accor's first Orient Express Hotel. Crowning the structure are sky-high eatery Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar and Thailand’s highest observation deck.
Bangkok’s Old Town boasts a diverse mix of traditional Thai structures and European-inspired heritage buildings. But architectural buffs will tell you that the city’s urban landscape has more to offer than grand temples and converted colonial homes. If you take time to research, walk around the city or even just look up, you’ll realize that Bangkok is home to a number of beautiful buildings bearing a variety of architectural styles, from neoclassical to modernist to postmodernist.
Modernist architecture arrived in Thailand after the Second World War when young Thai architects returned home after years of studying or living in the States. The rapid economic expansion during that time provided these architects with opportunities to create their masterpieces—iconic structures like Indra Hotel, Holiday Inn Hotel, State Tower and the Robot Building were erected during these glory years. Sadly, the Tom Yum Kung crisis in 1997 ended this building boom and it wasn’t until the last decade, when the economy picked up, that the quest to build some of the city’s grandest high-rises resumed. More recently, Bangkok has seen the unveiling of postmodern structures such as Central Embassy, King Power Mahanakhon and the Rosewood Bangkok.
Now that there are fewer cars and people on the road—and provided you practice social distancing—this is probably the best time to go out with a camera and get your fill of Bangkok’s many modern architectural wonders.