Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Center
Project type: Architectural and interior renovation
Project size: 1200 SQ.M. (aprox.)
Design Team: Supermachine Studio, Pitupong Chaowakul with Rachanone Thaikaew, Krit Parephan, Theerayut Somtua and Napapat Lasavanich
Landscape Designer: Urbanis
Photograph: W Workspace
Supermachine Studio has joined forces with the passionate Landscape Designer Urbanis to craft a visionary new concept for the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Center, a precious institution nestled in an idyllic corner of Bangkok that is not easily accessible. This one-of-a-kind space combines exhibition halls, a library, an auditorium, and offices dedicated to showcasing local and global anthropological wonders. The first phase of renovations focuses on enhancing both human and vehicular accessibility, creating a stunning café, revitalizing the façade and lobby of the main building, and breathing new life into the central garden.
Completion: Designed in 2020 and put on hold due to COVID
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
A “never gonna be realized” project worth sharing of 2020. It is unfortunate that ,like a few other projects, COVID has ended our creations but we think that there are some very interesting elements in this advertisement agency’s office renovation worth mentioned about some time later.
We were approached by the client to firstly design the 2nd floor where the new gathering space and big meeting room will be relocated to. The existing building itself was designed by the late prominent Thai architect from Modern era, Chira Silpakanok. It was one of his small office projects which contain a lot of typical Modern architecture elements in which we would like to preserve. We add a double space transparent cube about the ground floor lobby. It should be a new face of the company that is more connected to the surrounding. We propose to make the façade a multi-layered platforms to plant some green.. a lot of green. This should be some kind of soft surface that staff can rest their eyesight on as well as light filtering purpose.
The main element in the project is obviously the new office steps which the client intends to use it as a new landmark for gathering staff from different departments and generate the new creative energy for the company to drive forward. Since the space is rather small, we would like to have the big steps element that does not block people’s visibility. We propose to build a see through steps made of rebar steel woven together in multiple directions. There should be light installed inside. So not only that it is not blocking view too much but also it is a gigantic main lamp that light the space up.
Around the main step, there are different kind supporting programs. The most important one is the main meeting room. Here our idea is to take the rebar element further. The theme is “IN PROCESS”. The company is in process of rebuilding, the space is in process of creatively reconstruction as well.
Skateboarding has just been picking up popularity in Thailand, strangely perhaps because of the pandemic??? Some say, “Thais can not stop looking for new activities to upgrade their skill while spending so much time with themselves.” In early 2021, skateboard market has been exploding. New skate bowl, tracks & shops have been newly opened in almost every city in Thailand. Pavement has been around in the market of multi-brand street fashion and skateboard relating gears for a while and decided to create a new small store in downtown Bangkok right close to the public park where local skateboarders gather. It is their first stand alone branch considering their previous ones usually in shopping malls.
Our approach is to use ordinary elements we usually see on Thailand’s streets like a concrete electrical poles, steel drainage grille and street light in designing merchandise display and retail items in a store. The space is meant to be as simple and straight forward as possible. The existing walls and ceiling are covered with white soft wall. We want a white box gallery condition made dynamic by custom designed display system.
It was during tail end of 1st COVID wave that hit the world, with long lock down and Work From Home situation, we had a phone call from our client asking if we are interested to design the 3rd Freitag flagship store, the famous F-store, in Thailand. We agreed to the job a few sentences into the phone conversation. Everyone in the office is a Freitag fan. However the whole design discussion process with Zurich had to be done via VDO calls, everyone is more or working together in a new circumstance disrupted by the pandemic.
The site of the Freitag’s newest store is in Silom Soi 8, a few hundred meters from Pat Pong, a famous entertainment district that was extremely dynamic pre COVID era. It is a little peculiar location for a brand retail, but not for Freitag. The street is full of diverse small shops like cafe’, Bank & Thai massage parlors. The space used to be a small pub.
Our idea is pretty straight forward, present to the customer as many bags as possible at the first glance. One side of the shop is to be filled up with floor to ceiling F-boxes containing in each of them a unique bag. They are franked by 2 big mirrors to create the endless illusion.
Approximately at half of the store height, we insert the catwalk by suspending it from the new steel beam. The new structure is in famous Freitag green. Customer can access to the mezzanine by the new staircase attached to the catwalk.
Coming down from mezzanine level, customers can choose how they are comfortable with. We provide 2 methods, one is to walk down the same staircase they climb up or they can jump down the whole using the fireman pole which expected to be more exciting. One that decide to jump will be welcome with the unique yellow tarp crashing pad that is the collaboration work between Freitag HQ and A gymnastic pad making specialist. The small element is one of a kind.
Towards a far end of the store, situates another important element, the “SWEAT YOURSELF” , Freitag’s very own D.I.Y. product line. Here we incorporate 2 elements into one, tarp display and sewing table. The display cage is suspended using mechanical hoist. When customers want to choose a specific tarp to create their bags, the cage can be lowered to hand level. While the custom bag is being made the display cage is hoisted us freeing space below for a bag maker.
Welcome to Supermachine Studio’s official blog. (***Don’t look for official Supermachine Studio’s website. It does not exist) Sorry for not updating the blog for a while, the COVID situation brought us a strange latency, which should not be an excuse. We are slowly bringing this blog back to LIVE. Please stay tune.
The content in this blog is all related to the projects we are involved. They are published and updated according to what we are doing at that moment of time (pre-tagged with the year that project starts).
You can now follow Supermachine Studio on Twitter @supermachinestu as well as Facebook page : www.facebook.com/pages/Supermachine-studio
Collaborating with SKETCHBUK, our cool graphic designer friend who turned into glass gilding guru, Supermachine would like to give a new flavour to our 20 year old studio’s door. Our brief to him was to get the door the express our active lifestyle and passion both at work and not. He came back with cool graphic design for a central piece and illustrations on 8 of the smaller panels. We can’t wait to get the new glasses installed into the door!!!
Right before the pandemic, Thailand was excited about the belated environmental campaign “No plastic bags.” as the country played catching up with the world’s situation. AP as one of Thailand’s leading real estate developer, attended Bangkok Design Festival 2020 challenging the event attendances with the campaign “AP SUPERMARKET”. The core activity of the event is to give away a super durable paper bag for people to use when they do their typical supermarket shopping. Moreover people can also customize their bags with free stickers and rubber stamp.
We create a half circular pavilion using a mixture of steel and wooden structure with 1,200 arms jutting out to hang the paper bags themselves. So the skin of the pavilion is an primitive installation that move and interact to the wind and surrounding. On the front side, the pavilion act as a white backdrop of the Thai post founder’s monument. On the back it is widely opened as an opened-door for people to come in making their unique bags. In one of the wings, it is compartmentalized into a staff capsule that manage the paper bag giving-away event .
Design Team: Pitupong Chaowakul with Theerayut Somtua, Sujinda Khawkham and Krit Parephan
Big Wing is Honda’s space for big bike line, a popular product among enthusiast segment. In the last years, it has been expanding around Thailand’s provinces that have demand. Pitsanulok is one of the cities embracing the big bike culture. We were asked to design a compact showroom + service facility for the brand. Taking the “Black Swan” theme, we propose to divide the building facade into smaller black planes composing a more dynamic geometry. The mass is tilted up creating a big opening for a large motobike display. The adjacent tower is angularly cut open to create entrance for visitors. The showroom occupies 40 percent of the building whereby the rest is a motobike service facility that span to the back end of the plot.
Today, our team visited the construction site of Speck Hostel. It has been a while our lovely client building his hotel due to many unforeseeable factors. However it is more promising than ever that our project is reaching the finish line. It could take a few more months till SPECK is in full operation we think.