Architects in New York have designed a massive expansion to the U.S. Embassy compound that incorporates shaded outdoor Thai terraces and Lanna features from the north.
Ground was broken Friday in a ceremony overseen by Charge d’ Affaires Michael Heath and Thai VIPs on what’s modestly coined an “annex” to the embassy property on Wireless Road, a US$625 million (THB20.21 billion) development aiming for a 2025 opening.
The New Office Annex, dubbed The Nox, will be used to house additional diplomatic, security and commercial services while also modernizing the 1960s-era embassy’s consular services. It will also house U.S. agencies currently spread across Bangkok, with the embassy saying it will help centralize operations and strengthen bilateral ties.
Why a price tag rivaling Thailand’s overwrought new parliament building? We can only hope it includes one gigantic Faraday cage to protect the brains within.
Behind the design is premier New York firm SHop Architects, whose works span from Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards to Uber HQ in San Francisco. They also built another embassy property in Tegucigalpa. In Bangkok, the planned structure reflects heritage from traditional architectural touches to forms evoking the capital’s peak of mid-century modernism.
According to the embassy, the state-of-the art building will be silver LEED certified, meaning considerable investment in environmentally friendly design elements such as a rainwater management system and energy recovery air conditioning to ease the burden on Bangkok’s utilities.
A permanent art collection inside the building will encompass works in a variety of media, including paintings, photographs, textiles and sculptures by American and Thai artists.