Concept As the Asian arts market expands rapidly, the need for a commercial art gallery has become increasingly imminent. In the past, commercial art galleries in Bangkok were mostly situated in convertedshophouses where the rent is affordable and the space is adaptable with limitations.
Bangkok CityCity Gallery is one of a few purposely built commercial art galleries in Bangkok. It is situated in the heart of acommercial area of Bangkok, in one of a few rare open spaces in this dense capital. Conceived as a blank canvas both inside and out, the gallery is designed to stand out of its contextual environment, at the same time maintaining the interaction with the passer-by by unveiling some of its content through a large opening at the pedestrian’s eyes level, inviting them to come in and explore its exhibition.
The purpose of the design is to create a space of Nature and Simplicity. Natural light is allowed to come inside the main gallery from the top via the skylights, from the bottom via the linear openings at floor level and from the side via the surroundings around the entrance door. Depending on the artist’s intention, these openings can be opened and closed to let the light in to suit the needs of different exhibitions.
The idea was conceived from modern interpretations on traditional Thai architecture – a cluster of buildings are connected by a patio with a courtyard that is elevated above the ground. The gallery complex is divided into two sections. The main gallery is designed to house large-scale installations, while the small gallery serves as both a reception area and a teaser gallery for the exhibition inside the main gallery. Steps in the small gallery functions as a casual seating area. The outdoor patio connects the two galleries and also leads to the courtyard, which is designed for outdoor performances.
The building also expresses the simplicity on the exterior to encourage the artists to engage the arts with the architecture.
Technical Information The architecture is divided into two distinct buildings connected by a patio. The main building consists of the Main gallery, which measures 10 meters by 20 meters. The art storage space and the loading dock, which are connected to the main gallery towards the back, measure 5 meters by 5 meters. The smaller building contains the small gallery (with dimensions of 5 meters by 15 meters)and the services.
The structure is a combination of reinforced concrete and steel structure. The structure from the floor and below is reinforced concrete while above the floor is steel structure with ferro-cement block wall. On the interior of the gallery, the walls are made-up of a layer of 9 millimeters plywood under a layer of 9 millimeters gypsum board.