New Thai Skyscraper Features Glass-Floored Observation Deck 985 Feet in the Air

The 77-story MahaNakhon tower in Bangkok, designed by Büro Ole Scheeren, is topped by an almost-850-square-foot glass platform.
MahaNakhon glass observation deck Ole Scheeren

Courtesy Srirath Somsawat

Soaring atop Thailand’s tallest skyscraper is a newly-opened architectural feat: a 360-degree glass-floored observation deck.

Ole Scheeren, principal of Hong Kong- and Beijing-based Büro Ole Scheeren, says the 77-story MahaNakhon tower aims to change the typical skyscraper’s indifferent relationship to its surrounding urban fabric. “The idea behind MahaNakhon was to take the life of the city and bring it up the tower,“ said Scheeren in a press release. “The very top of the tower is surrendered to the public, so there is not only a public square at the base, but that engagement is brought all the way to the top.”

MahaNakhon glass observation deck Ole Scheeren

Courtesy Srirath Somsawat

The glass observation deck, dubbed the “Skytray,” features almost 850-square-feet of transparent flooring elevated 985 feet in the sky. The deck will be partially inside and partially open-air, a nod to Thailand’s indoor-outdoor vernacular architecture. “People in the tropics live in a fluid condition between interior and exterior spaces. We are making these qualities accessible at staggering heights,” says Scheeren.

In addition to the observation deck, the nearly 500,000-square-foot complex will house an outdoor ground-level plaza, retail spaces, cafes, restaurants, and terraces spread over several levels. The tower will also include 200 apartments and a boutique hotel with 150 rooms. However, it’s the Skytray that will probably do the most to redefine ‘high design’ in Bangkok.

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Categories: Architecture