The 314 m (1,030 ft) tall 78-floor King Power MahaNakhon, located in the centre of Bangkok’s central business district, strikes an impressive pose on the skyline as Thailand’s tallest building.
In English, the mixed-use development’s name translates as Great Metropolis. As well as being home to the Ritz-Carlton Residence and King Power Retail and Duty-Free, the King Power Mahanakhon also boasts the SkyWalk, a 360° observation platform and glass-floored gantry that deliver stunning views of the city all around them and immediately below.
According to the development’s owner, the building’s design and ‘pixelated’ appearance was conceived to reflect the ambition and excitement of one of the world’s most dynamic cities and is a showcase of one of the most significant examples of contemporary architecture and urban design in all of Thailand.
The 14 x 4 m (46 x 13 ft) glass platform, cantilevered from the building, has been called one of Bangkok’s must-see attractions. And it is thanks to the strength and clarity of SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer from Trosifol that has made the whole thing possible, catering not only for the staggering views, but also the strength to stand up to visitors and significant wind loads.
According to the architects, Büro Ole Scheeren, MahaNakhon’s glittering stacked surfaces, terraces and protrusions simultaneously create the impression of digital pixilation while echoing the irregularity of ancient mountain topography. The distinctive cut that snakes around the building gives it an unfinished appearance from a distance, but reveals planted terraces, balconies, and cantilevering living rooms when viewed in detail.
“Working closely with façade consultants Front Inc. and Buro Happold,” Chang continues, “we proposed an energy efficient high-performance façade for the observation deck, laminated, insulating glass units (IGUs) in the façade, laminated glass handrails and the multi-laminated structural glass floor.”
The 14 x 4 m glass floor, constructed and laminated by Sedak, is fabricated from six multi-layered panels, each measuring 4.14 x 2.69 m (13.6 x 8.8 ft). Each panel comprises seven pieces of 12 mm heat strengthened low-iron glass alternated with 1.52 mm (60 mil) SentryGlas®, creating a 13-ply glass/interlayer construction, which still offers excellent clarity.
Buro Happold, which acted as the specialist structural engineering consultant, helped the architects realize their vision, while also taking into account not only the structural concerns, but also the logistics, which defined the maximum panel size due to the fact that the main cranes had been removed before the panels were installed.
Each panel has four 80 mm (3.1 in) mechanical fixtures at each end, which are necessary due to the potential wind uplifts being greater than the weight of the panels. These end fixings are the only non-glazed element of the floor’s structure, maintaining the unobstructed view so desired by the architect and loved by the visitors.
Something bright to appreciate in these darkest of times…
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