Singapore-based feted practice SCDA, led by architect Soo K. Chan, has designed The Banyan Tree Riverside Residences in the Thai capital. The 8,000m² luxury tower stands out as a distinctive architectural statement on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Designed to be an urban riverfront sanctuary, this 45-storey condominium is located just 16 meters from the riverbank, nestled between the Old City District and the Central Business District.
The design strives to achieve a formal simplicity complemented by finer detail such as textures and form along the Bangkok riverfront skyline. The all-glass façade, both transparent and ephemeral, is a tribute to the building’s close relationship to the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok’s legendary “River of Kings”, ensuring that all units have sweeping views of the water.
At the entrance, the main tower and podium curved façades showcase reflective folded diamond perforated screens that take inspiration from the constantly changing reflections of moving water. At night, the screen is illuminated from below to emphasise the undulating texture of the folds, creating a strongly sculptural statement along the city’s skyline. The building comprises 133 apartments ranging from one-bedroom units to a sprawling penthouse duplex.
Long, continuous balconies along the façade further reinforce the concept of tropical riverside living, blurring the boundaries between inside and out, and further drawing the tower’s intimate connection with the river into the residential spaces, all of which have floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Chao Praya River and the Bangkok skyline. Exclusivity and privacy are ensured as each unit’s entry is through a private lift with direct access from the main lobby at ground level.
The arrival experience at the building is unique as one traverses through the narrow and intimate streets of Bangkok before arriving into the private grounds along a tree-lined boulevard, culminating in a formal arrival courtyard with framed views to the river beyond.
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Alternatively, residents can even take a water taxi that docks on the riverfront jetty, and enter the lobby through the landscaped promenade. Lush tropical landscaping embraces the arrival court and envelops the tower as vertical green walls and edge planters. The landscape is crowned by an outdoor riverside sky-terrace at the intersection of the podium and tower. The landscaped podium roof and the riverside sky-terrace are designed with swimming and jacuzzi pools, outdoor decks and lush planting to surround the residents with the feeling of a tropical garden set against a backdrop of sophisticated urbanism.
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Photos: Aey SrirathSomsawat, Aaron Pocock