Look Down – Way Down

13 Nov

Back in September of 2016, I wrote about a new high rise in Bangkok, currently the city’s highest.  This building, called Mahanakhan, looks as if part of it has been chewed by alien insects.  The architects call it a pixelated design.  The development and construction of this building went through many dramatic and traumatic turns, with the first developer going bankrupt, and the second having further financing problems.  Additionally, there were talks of bad spirits haunting the site based on the history of the previous building on the site. This made it hard to rent space.

Even after the building was opened, there were problems.  The occupancy has not been stellar and rents have had to drop to get new tenants.  So in an effort to popularize the building, outside of it photogenic pixellation, the owners have now added a cantilevered glass floor observation deck on the roof.

The CN Tower has one of these glass floor vomit inducing decks.  There are also other examples in different places like the Grand Canyon and Jasper for example.  This particular deck looks appropriately scary.  It’ll be interesting to see if it attracts enough thrill seekers to somehow elevate the financial outlook for this building as it seems like pixelation has not been quite enough.

I had a chance to go to the building during the evening last weekend. The views were great and there is a very nice bar up there. I have included one photo of my colleague sitting on the glass floor. I also included, in an entry posted a couple of days ago, a photo of the Samyan Mitrtown complex from the viewing platform.

One of the coolest aspects of getting to the first of three floors of viewing platforms is how the elevator works. Once you are inside the elevator and the door is closed, the walls of the elevator turn into a video screen that shows the most popular attractions in Bangkok from a bird’s eye perspective that moves fast. It’s as if you’re flying though these attractions in the city. Because of this video you don’t realize that 50 seconds have passed before you’ve arrived on the 74th floor. This elevator experience is the best I’ve had in a high-rise building. There is also no ear popping as the elevator cabin is properly pressurized.

You can get a bit of a sense of what this so-called Skywalk in the following YouTube video. Most of this video seems to to concentrate on the YouTuber’s teeth, but there are some good shots of what it’s like standing on the glass platform.

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