Thailand’s capital is to get its first city observation tower; a new city landmark alongside the Chao Phraya River. The 459-metre-high Bangkok Observation Tower will rank 6th among the world’s tallest towers as well as be the tallest observation tower in Southeast Asia.
The tower is being jointly built by two foundations, the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation and the National Identity Foundation, after the Thai cabinet recently gave approval for the country’s new landmark project to proceed. The cost of construction, totalling approximately US$ 138 million is being funded by more than 50 private sector organisations who are contributing to the project.
Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the Bangkok Observation Tower is set on a 6,400 sq. m plot of land owned by Thailand’s Treasury Department and leased to the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation for 30 years. The Foundation is required to deliver ownership of the tower and all other structures on the land to the Treasury Department when the construction is completed in 2019.
Local residents in the vicinity of the tower have been very welcoming of the initiative, believing it will lift interest in their communities, creating new employment and boosting their livelihoods.
The building of the private sector sponsored “Golden Line” mass transit rail line that runs in front of the community and the observation tower was also a factor that would enhance the community’s fortunes. Also, this location in Klongsarn District is reputedly the historic site on which a flag would be flown, several centuries ago, as a symbolic marker to foreign vessels navigating the river to tell them that they were in Siamese territory.
An unprecedented array of Thailand’s foremost architectural and engineering firms as well as architectural experts came together to design the tower in a show of national solidarity. The Inspiration for the candle-like design of the Bangkok Observation Tower is drawn from the popular celebratory tradition, observed by millions around the country, of lighting candles on the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as a symbolic gesture of lighting up the country with prosperity.