Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Mirror Market in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand by visiondivision
August 30th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: visiondivision
A client commissioned visiondivision to create a shop for showing and selling goods next to a highway in the Nakhon Ratchasima area in Northeastern Thailand.
The client is involved in many different enterprises, like manufacturing pottery, trading with flowers and garden trees, growing fruits, mushrooms and vegetables and also buying and selling shoes and clothes.
Given the variety of the products, we soon concluded that this spread out variety could be hard to promote successfully in one single shop.
In this region of Thailand, many people has small enterprises where they sell or have a little restaurant in their front yard. The problem for many of these people is that they don’t have any proper location to show their trades outside their homes.
We therefor thought of creating an attractive market where the client can rent out small spaces to entrepreneurs and also sell his own goods mixed up with other peoples merchandise to attract a larger crowd for his products as well as the market.
Since the site is located next to a busy highway, there is a great opportunity to attract visitors to the market that we wanted to take advantage of.
When travelling on the roads of Thailand, you will often see enormous billboards with ads.
These billboards are sometimes so big that small squatter communities uses the steel frame as support for their shacks and takes advantage of the electricity system that the sign has. Sometimes you even see that old commercials have been re-used as facades.
This large scale advertisement, and that the sign can also be the backbone for a small community, was something that we wanted to work with, but instead of showing just an image to lure the bypassing cars in to shop, we wanted to make a sign that directly showed what was going on at the market, like a live stream video that at the same time would draw a lot of attention.
To create this effect, we decided to use a steel structure similar to the huge billboards, but we tilted it forward and clad it with a shiny mirror coating so it would reflect the activity and the products of the market itself and at the same time become a roof for a part of the market.
As the centerpiece of the market, we created an inverted formation of market stands that are formed as the word for “market” in Thai, µÅÒ´. The gold colored mosaic stands are also lit up at night.
Thus, the market becomes the actual sign that will promote it, and as the customers walks in, they also becomes a part of the sign, making it an interactive experience.
The structure itself has two clearly defined areas; one clean advertising side that are facing the highway and one raw backside with the structure that is holding up the sign, and where there also are some no-frills toilets, an overnight lodge for a security guard, storage rooms, solar panels and water tanks that collect water from the corrugated roofs.
The weight of the water tanks also helps the building structurally.
The market itself is a raised cement platform covered with local mosaic tiles that will create a colorfully chaotic kaleidoscope backdrop for the golden market text and the many goods and people that is on show.