Setting a new standard for Thailand, the tower provides flexible workspace and activity–based layouts within a faceted, shimmering form.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is pleased to announce the topping out of the new head office for UOB Thailand in Bangkok. The milestone was celebrated at an event at the construction site on March 4, attended by the senior management team from UOB Thailand and the local government; KPF joined virtually. The design of the 59,000–square–meter office building prioritizes the well–being of the individual worker while catering to the needs of the larger organization, combining intimate–scale office suites in a slender tower with a series of large–scale spaces in a low–rise pavilion.
“Our design for the UOB Thailand head office leverages Bangkok’s zoning and sight line rules to create an expressive tower that elevates the architecture of the neighborhood,” said Robert Whitlock, KPF Design Principal. “Our client is set to occupy the entire building, from the ground floor spaces typically reserved for retail up through the office tower. This configuration and our 25-year relationship with the client offered us a unique opportunity to create a holistic experience that reflects UOB’s corporate identity and caters to both their customers as well as their employees.”
“We’re really proud to celebrate the topping out of our latest project in Bangkok, UOB Thailand’s new head office,” said Forth Bagley, KPF Managing Principal. “We are honored to contribute another project to Bangkok’s urban fabric. This new building will be a worthy home for UOB, who have been great collaborators on this project. We congratulate them and the entire consultant team on this important milestone.”
“The sculptural form of the new head office for UOB in Thailand responds to the needs of the organization from a multitude of angles,” said Rutger Huiberts, KPF Project Manager. “Besides offering a striking appearance within the cityscape of Bangkok, it provides a range of spatial conditions adjusted to each of the programmatic elements hosted within. Larger floors at the base foster internal team-building, promote collaboration, and offer organizational flexibility. The base also contains dedicated spaces for training, convening, as well as public events. The smaller floor plates towards the higher zones of the tower offer the best access to daylight and fresh air, and are suited for more intimately scaled working activities, promoting a workspace that combines productivity with personal well-being.”
The complex is situated on Sukhumvit road, one of Bangkok’s prime avenues in close proximity to Phrom Phong BTS station. The building is set back from the street wall to form a large green public plaza. A transparent banking hall catering to customer services fronts the plaza and offers a welcoming presence. Following this sequence of public spaces, an intimate set of outdoor areas lead to the office lobbies and a lushly landscaped garden at the back of the site.
The design anticipates the organizational needs of UOB and its employees. Flexible workspaces that foster activity–based production complement larger spaces for assembly, education, training, and collaboration. Exterior terraces are provided at various floors of the tower.
The tower’s faceted form follows Bangkok’s two sky planes to allow daylight to reach street level, while a side core at the southwest corner shelters the spaces from excessive solar heat gain. The façades take advantage of their northern exposure, maximizing natural light and skyline views while maintaining occupant comfort and efficient energy performance. The scheme is designed to achieve Greenmark Platinum energy performance certification.
KPF is serving as design consultant in a joint effort with Tandem Architects as architect of record. The project is slated to complete in 2022.
The UOB Thailand head office expands KPF’s portfolio of sculptural buildings in Bangkok, including Rosewood Bangkok, a 159-room hotel with a sloping design inspired by the graceful hand movement of the wai; the Singha Headquarters and the Singha Condominium, a pair of adjacent towers defined by graceful bronze curvatures and lustrous crowns; and SCOPE Langsuan, a luxurious residential tower with sleek, modern detailing.
The project builds on KPF’s reputation for high-design headquarters buildings for significant corporations around the world, including the recently unveiled T. Rowe Price Headquarters in Baltimore, a pedestrian-scaled building that links the waterfront with a nearby park; Unilever London Headquarters, which transforms a historic structure to put the working practices of employees at the heart of the design; and the Warner Media Headquarters at 30 Hudson Yards, which marks the development on the New York City skyline as the third tallest office tower in the city.
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