Ole Scheeren's "carved" MahaNakhon skyscraper scheduled to complete this year


The pixelated 314-metre-high skyscraper designed by former OMA architect Ole Scheeren is nearing completion in Bangkok.

A series of photographs snapped by Instagram users reveal the modular cutaways of the MahaNakhon tower, which Scheeren designed before leaving the Rem Koolhaas-led firm, and is now completing with his own studio Büro Ole Scheeren.

Located in Bangkok's Central Business District, the 77-storey building will accommodate 200 serviced apartments operated by Ritz-Carlton, and a 150-room boutique Bangkok Edition hotel operated by Marriot International and Ian Schrager.

It recently topped out – becoming the tallest structure in the Thai capital, ahead of the 304-metre Baiyoke Tower II built in 1997. But it is expected to soon be overtaken by a residential tower also under construction.

The structure's most noticeable feature is the pixelated cutaway that wraps around the exterior of the tower like a ribbon.

Scheeren's studio describes the structure as having been "carefully carved to introduce a three-dimensional ribbon of architectural pixels that coil up the tower's full height to reveal the inner life of the building".

A photo posted by @tsa.p on

The glazed volumes contained with this void, referred to as "glass skyboxes", are designed to provide occupants with indoor and outdoor living spaces that are well-suited to Bangkok's tropical climate.

They will include double-height spaces, boasting views over both the city and the Chaophraya River.

A photo posted by Ben 🌆🌈 (@benstinyplanet) on

The pixelated volume is designed to "gradually dissolve" down to ground level, where the team is creating a landscaped public plaza.

The entire development will encompass approximately 150,000 square metres. Other additions include a shopping centre, restaurants and cafes, a 24-hour marketplace and a rooftop Sky Bar.

Scheeren left OMA in 2010, taking with him both MahaNakhon and The Interlace, the Singapore housing development conceived as "a blatant reversal" of tower-block housing. The Interlace was named World Building of the Year 2015.

The German-born architect was also project architect for OMA's giant CCTV tower in Beijing.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Carved? It looks unfinished!

    • Jess Thinkin

      Or bombed and strafed!

  • amsam

    Well it doesn’t even remotely “reveal the inner life of the building,” but it makes for some excellent balconies and looks ABSOLUTELY BOSS.

  • spadestick

    Fully dystopian.

  • guest

    Incredible structure!

  • Mark

    Reminds me of when I sneezed setting up Jenga.

  • Jess Thinkin

    To all those who really like that kind of style of architecture, there’s some relatively new examples readily available for you to peruse. Check out the evening international televised news showing any number of small cities and towns throughout the Syrian theatre of conflict.

  • pipo

    I like how it looks!

  • Mies

    Damn, that facade ruins the whole design! Would have been so much better with a facade without the human scale/more abstract design.

  • “Scheduled to complete”?

  • agagnu

    Thus the era of architecture of nibbling towards the nature of sweet decay; architecture without architect.

  • vicky nicoll

    It’s exciting having all different designs. Whether they are to ones own personal taste is not the criteria. Time and again the architecture that becomes iconic is the very work scoffed at introduction.