Australian Embassy, Bangkok

Designed by: BVN
For client: Overseas Property Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Floor area: 15450.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Governmental Interior of the Year

Public Score
4.73 Function
4.76 Innovation
4.72 Creativity
0902001 000 N626
© John Gollings

The atrium enables direct sunlight to enter the centre of the chancery. The translucency and opacity of the glass planks and the solid materials enable a range of privacy and secure settings.

About the Project

The proposition for the Australian Embassy in Bangkok is that the land upon and within which the diverse cultural realms exist binds us all. The ubiquity of the concept of “land” defines the experience of living in Australia, whether in the agricultural, desert, coastal or urban realms.

The primary material palette of bricks, stone and timber are all imported from Australia and showcase the visceral and expressive qualities of natural Australian materials. To express the cultural and political synthesis between Australia and Thailand, the brick colours were derived from traditional bricks, timber is used with reference to Thai tradition and the rich verdant landscape of Thailand creates the expression of the embassy grounds.

The form of the chancery and ambassador’s residence brings to mind the ancient landscape of Australia blended with the smooth and luscious forms of traditional architecture of shrines, stupas and traditional Thai public places.

These are unique and imagamatic environments and are the conceptual foundations of the new Australian Embassy in Bangkok.

What’s unique about it

The experiential character of the embassy which is an aggregate of form, materiality and architectural intent results in a building that Professor Tom Heneghan in a review for Architecture Australia describes as a building from another time.

By this he means that the delivery of the building was undertaken with great care in construction, detailing and selection of materials that was due to the commitment of the entire team - from client, designer to contractor - to ensure the design was delivered with the highest of intention and to deliver a timeless outcome - the design brief called for a building that will have a 60 year functional life.

This is partially due to a lump sum contract, partially to the quality of finish delivered and partially to the commitment of all the participants in the process.

Tom’s characterisation therefore points to a building delivery environment that is by far the exception in these days and demonstrates that the rich skills, striving for quality and attention to detail of the building industry have been lost to commercial expediency. The benefit for this project is a building of presence and dignity.

0902001 000 N697
© John Gollings

Cafeteria opens to chancery atrium

0902001 000 N683
© John Gollings

HOM Residence reception room with north facing skylight

0902001 000 N682
© John Gollings

HOM Residence dining room adjacent to an internal courtyard with Australian Emprador ceiling

0902001 000 N733
© John Gollings

Chancery lobby void

0902001 000 N649
© John Gollings

Steel and concrete portals facilitate meeting and social spaces providing varying degrees of transparency and function in a secure environment

0902001 000 N617
© John Gollings

Multipurpose room ceiling

0902001 000 N737
© John Gollings

Multipurpose room in auditorium mode

0902001 000 N616
© John Gollings

Chancery lobby with imported Pilbara Red stone and Blackbutt

0902001 000 N653
© John Gollings

The atrium enables direct sunlight to enter the centre of the chancery. The atrium is lined on both sides with glass planks, timber battens, steel plate and concrete - all materials that contribute to the abstraction of the Australian landscape character

Australian Embassy Bangkok video


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