Bangkok isn’t necessarily a green city. Besides a few public parks, such as the iconic Lumpini, there isn’t much green to speak of. While trees and green spaces in the last twenty years have typically been cut down to make way for condos and malls, finally the trend is reversing.
After the opening of Siam Green Sky by Chulalongkorn University at Siam Square One—a 2000-square-metre bio-top garden on the roof of the mall—a brand-new tropical garden recently opened inside the EmQuartier, on the fifth floor of the Helix Quartier. A rather surprising discovery as there has been little advertising about the garden.
Most visitors tend to gather in the mall’s courtyard, around the spectacular waterfall graced by a bouquet of colourful orchards and fake peacocks. They have to head for the sky to discover Bangkok’s newest urban oasis. After passing a few floors of luxury shops, pedestrians pass through the corridor toward the restaurant section of the Helix; the escalators are suddenly surrounded by lush greenery, and then, finally, the entrance to the suspended paradise: 300 square metres of tropical plants and bushes enhanced by colourful spotlights, a large artificial pond, trees, a kind of meadow in which people usually picnic, rattan seats, and swings. A light breeze passes through the open space, where the view over Bangkok provides an impressive perspective of neighbouring Benjasiri Park, adjacent to the Emporium Shopping Centre.
Another discreetly green touch is the beautiful rainforest chandelier. It is the work of the “Pope of Vertical Gardens,” French artist and garden designer Patrick Blanc. The chandelier’s two elegant spires scroll down over the Helix for 100 metres, with ferns and various tropical plants tracing the shapes of the stainless steel wires. It’s an elegant finishing touch to Bangkok’s newest shopping mall, which is at least not entirely focused on luxury.