Location: Bangkok, Thailand [MAP]
Project Type: Street, Urban, Ephemeral
Completion Date: N/A
Access: Take the Sukhumvit Skytrain Line to Nana Station, walk in a south easterly direction, a short distance along Thanon Sukhumvit and turn left onto Sukhumvit 11. If the second left hand turn brings you into an alley way of lush green plants, then you know you are in the right place.
One thing you will notice whilst in Thailand is the lush green planting that seems to appear from nowhere. Suk 11 is a grand example of this notion. As you turn onto the street, it becomes enclosed by greenery and feels like you could be stepping into a jungle.
There are outdoor eating spaces that feel extremely peaceful set within this green oasis.
Look a little closer and you will see the origins of the ‘jungle’. Countless pots filled with vegetation are balanced on window ledges, terraces and are even hanging from the building or invading the roads. This shows a conscious human intervention, however completely unruly with no design in mind that in the end shows a beautiful outcome.
The transformation of space with these temporary interventions is a fairly radical idea, and allows people to be more involved in their environment. Furthermore, in established places like Suk 11, the vegetation is willing to take over and morph these bland streets into an urbanized jungle full of adventure and promise.
Actually in Thailand people are very creative with their use of ‘space’. Parasitic temporal architecture is at work here. As we have seen with the greening of spaces with potted plants, there is also a huge concept of street food in Thailand. For example, street vendors can come and go like the tide. They can create a mini restaurant as such, filling the space with tables and chairs, the aroma of a dish, the theatrics of cooking, the sites and sounds of what they are doing. But no sooner are they done than they are packed and gone without a trace.
Just around the corner from Suk 11 there are two temporal scenes. Charlie’s bar [MAP] an establishment that at night spills out onto the road, its boundary mark by rope on the ground.
Further along the street are portable VW beetles [MAP] that transform into mobile bars with flashing lights and blaring music, creating a vivid nightlife associated with Bangkok. However, come morning it feels like a dream as the street has shifted back to a residential, touristic street.