The grand opening of the much-anticipated IconSiam by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindorn saw another addition to the city’s world-class landmarks, but in years to come will the mall be seen as a heritage icon of the 21st century?
It is the mall of all the superlatives, a total investment of 54 billion Thai Baht, the equivalent to 1.6 billion US dollars, and the most significant private investment to date in Bangkok. Yes, IconSiam has finally arrived.
The 525,000 m2 of retail shopping space includes 500 brands spread across 12 floors in two different malls, dedicated to luxury brands. Talking brands, IconSiam does not forget its role in promoting Thai brands. There are some 7,000 of them displayed in the mall.
Urban Architect Co., Ltd. were appointed to create the overall design, with the exterior mimicking folds of silk while the facade on the river, reminiscent of a giant Krathong (crown). The piece de resistance, however, can be found inside the mall: two transparent pavilions with their golden ceilings supported by 16-metre gilded pillars. The pillars are covered with delicate patterns from Thai national artist Preecha Thaothong. The patterns follow the aesthetics and philosophy of the mythical Suvarnabhumi—the “Golden Land”—which described this part of the world in ancient times.
Another artist, Thavorn Koudomvit, created the elegant ‘Pillars of Auspiciousness’ decorated with real leaves and covered in gold powder. There are also sculptures and unique chandeliers as well as Thai traditional arts. Culture is also expressed through temporary exhibitions. Until the end of the year, four leading designers: Jirat Subpisankul, Wisharawish Akarasantisook, T-Ra Chantasawasdee and Platt Srilalitsoi will showcase their art installations made of silk fabrics called “Concentration”.
The ambition of Chadatip Chutrakul is to showcase the best of Thai culture and lifestyle. A river park offers surrounding communities and visitors an open space with fabulous panoramic views across the Chao Phraya River. The mall’s most spectacular attraction is a multi-media water and fire installation created by Spanish company, Ghesa. The multi-lighting coloured fountain is Southeast Asia’s longest and definitely a fairy-style draw at night.
Located on the ground floor of the mall, Sook Siam has recreated the atmosphere of Thailand’s regions, from silk and cotton clothing to jewels, design
Here is the question though: will IconSiam one day be considered a heritage site of Bangkok? Who can really say, but let’s all enjoy it while we can.