Three Thai buildings nominated for world architecture award

buildings1Two community spaces in Bangkok and a coffee shop in Korat were nominated last week for “Building of the Year” in various categories in the World Architecture Festival Awards, billed as the largest architectural gathering in the world, highlighting how Thailand’s landscape is becoming more artsy, cutting edge and distinct in modern times.

The three Thai buildings are The Commons, a community mall in the ritzy Thonglor section of Bangkok, Hubba-To, a creative space in the Habito Community Mall in the Onnuj section of the capital city, and The Yellow Submarine, a coffee shop in Khao Yai Village in Nakhon Ratchasima, the northeastern province also known as Korat.

The Commons was nominated in the category of commercial architecture, Hubba-To in interior architecture, and The Yellow Submarine is competing in hospitality architecture.

The nominations were presented by the Archdaily website, which advertises itself as the world’s most visited architectural website, and it calls on readers to vote online for the buildings they favor. The awards have been handed out for the past eight years. This year’s festival will be held in Berlin, Germany in November.

More than 3,500 projects were submitted from around the world in hopes of being nominated. They were narrowed down to 80 projects receiving nominations in 16 different categories. Thai projects received five nominations in the 2016 awards.

This is the second consecutive year The Commons has received a nomination, garnering a nod in the shopping category last year. “The Commons also provides a solution answering to a classic challenge of a multi-storey retail building on how to draw people upward to the upper levels. The wide ‘Ground’ with its gradual series of steps and platforms connecting the street level to the second floor naturally draws people to walk up leisurely,” Archdaily wrote on its website.

BK magazine, which covers the arts and social scene in Bangkok, said that Hubba-To is “the biggest drawcard at the recently opened Habito Community mall.” It is a ‘maker space’ where freelance creative types and others can work and have access to 3D printing, a food lab and a wood studio. “The intention is to expand their already wide networks, strengthen the concept of being a ‘hub’ and reinforce their ‘co-working’ philosophy,” wrote Archdaily.

The Yellow Submarine, named after the famous song by The Beatles, was designed in harmony with its location, which is near the entrance to one of Thailand’s largest and most visited national parks, Khao Yai National Park. Called “très-chic” by BK, Archdaily wrote “The enclosed space allows users to not only see but contemplate the things they might have overlooked, from simple human interactions to the humble magnificence of nature.”

Whether they capture the top prizes in their categories or not, the nominations are evidence that Thailand’s architectural design and creativity are making significant strides and gaining global recognition as never before.