The Est 64 is a 1000 sqm office building project, converted from a 40-year-old warehouse on Sukhumvit 64, Punnawithi Railway Station. The former warehouse building was built as a two story reinforced concrete structure, with one mezzanine level and one flat roof. It rests along a long and narrow plot of land of 10m in width and 40m in length.
The front of the building is west facing with a 10x10 sqm open yard. The building is parallel to a local road and opposite an international school’s parking lot. The back of the building is in close proximity to the roll house that opens to Sukhumvit road, which makes Est 64 a very accessible and convenient location. During the construction stage, a single-story building on the left became the temporary site office for the contracting company. Right to the building are warehouses with metal louvre façade, which later on became an inspiration for this Est 64 project.
PROGRAM & REQUIREMENT
The Est 64 project has a total of 1,000 sqm of gross floor area with 9 parking lots, in which 6 of the parking lots could be converted to storage space.
- As part of the design brief, the client requested for a building façade with strong architectural character, with flexi space that will suit different use such as office space, design studio, art galleries, warehouse and storage, etc.
- During each period of time, the new building should be flexible to accommodate single or multiple tenancy.
- We aimed to maximize the rentable floor space with minimal circulation.
- As part of this design process, we extended the flat roof, to gain extra usable space.
By working around the unique features of the existing building, we developed a design that meets the client’s brief that does not require a complete demolition.
PLAN & LAYOUT
The Est 64 project is a 3- storey height building with a mezzanine floor inserted onto the first level. The roof design adopts the Sandwich Roof Structure system. By embracing the open yard, the main entrance is set back by 10 meters. On each level, one can find provisions of bathroom, pantry, and balcony terrace as break out spaces.
The first level enjoys a generous floor to ceiling height of 5 metres, which gave an advantage to be accessible by big trucks, for potential art studio, galleries, and warehouse or storage purposes. The mezzanine floor is a compact 2.5 meters height working space for potential administrative and accounting department. A big terrace floods the vast open plan on the second floor with natural sun light, rendering it as a multipurpose space for general use. The extended roof on the third floor has an exposed roof structure with high ceiling level and small balcony. This space is suitable for potential art galleries, offices or managerial work areas.
As a measure to minimize circulation area and to control user’s route direction, a single flight of staircase links the building from the first to third floor. It is designed as a semi outdoor public area, which requires minimal maintenance and no air conditioning requirement. On one side of the building elevation, perforated bricks are used along this staircase for ventilation and to gain natural light.
We were inspired to create an ‘Old But New’ building that is respectful to the context of the surrounding neighborhood, yet strong in architectural character. By introducing terrace of green recreational space behind the façade of the second and third level of Est 64, we hope to give breakout spaces to prospective users in the idea of creating ‘Work Life Balance’. The rooftop extension of the third floor with high ceiling space is built from the I-beam column, rafter and purlin. These building elements are designed in a modular grid system as individual Roof Structure Units.
As one approach the building, one will be greeted with the folded perforated aluminum sheet that accentuates the building façade. To provide privacy and a nice working environment for users, a 1:1 mock up model was erected to test on various perforation sizes of the aluminum sheet. The 100mm lightweight sandwich roof system is designed using diagonal rafters and column system; this method has effectively reduced the number of purlin and structural elements required. The single flight staircase that connects the building is spatially long and narrow; its spatial division with the office space is treated as a full height feature wall, cladded with artificial timber strips. We treated the main entrance sliding door as a statement art piece, with roasted timber as architectural finish. The wood grain and black charcoal of the timber door were revealed after undergoing a high temperature heat treating process.
Tropical architecture is an important design element for the Est 64 project. The building’s orientation, façade openings, surrounding context were all design considerations during the renovation process. To create an effective energy saving building, the program planning and layout in relation to the sun orientation were important. Staircases and restrooms are strategically placed on the South to create a buffer from the heat. Architectural elements on the façade and terrace acts as a screen filter for the terrace and mini garden, whilst protecting the space from the western sun. The opening at the front and back facade gives a good cross ventilation across the building space.