Robot Building

Article

May 19, 2022

The Robot Building (Thai: ตึกหุ่นยนต์) is located in the Sathorn business district of Bangkok, Thailand, where the headquarters of United Overseas Bank in Bangkok is located. The project was designed by architect Sumet Jumsai for the Bank of Asia to reflect the electrification of the banking industry. The building's architectural style is in response to high-tech neoclassical and postmodern architecture. Building features such as the receding stacking walls, antenna tree and eyes contribute to the robotic form and practical function of the building. Completed in 1986, the Robot Building is one of the last examples of modern architecture in Bangkok. The work was selected by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art as one of the 50 important buildings of the century.

Design

Thai architect Sumet Jumsai designed the Robot Building for the Bank of Asia, which was acquired by United Overseas Bank in 2005. He was asked by the Asian Bank's board of directors to design a the building reflects the modernization and computerization of the banking industry. He found inspiration from his son's toy robot. Sumet designed the building to express the opposite perception of postmodern architecture at that time, especially Renaissance classical architecture and technology. high is shown as in Center Pompidou. Sumet both hailed the birth of postmodernism as a counterpoint to pure but tasteless modern design, and saw it as "a boycott movement that sought alternatives without offering a material object." to replace". Sumet dismissed Renaissance classicism in the mid-1980s as "a loss of knowledge" and criticized "a list of meaningless architectural motifs" representing Renaissance classicism in Bangkok. In addition, he also dismissed high-tech architecture, "order takes up everything in machines, while secretly...loving...crafted artifacts and honest manual workers", likening it to it. as a movement without a future. Sumet writes that his building "doesn't have to look like a robot" and that a "series of other variations" are sufficient, as long as they can "liberate the soul from deadlock of present wisdom and carry it into the next century". He writes that his design can be seen as post-high-tech: instead of showing the interior of a building, he opts to embellish a finished product with abstract mechanical parts. . The architect states that his building goes against the vision of 20th century machinery, as a "separate entity" that is often "put up on a pedestal", by becoming "a part of our daily lives, a friend or ourselves", it erases the path of mixing machine and human in the 21st century. The building was completed in 1987 with minimal cost. fee of 10 million US dollars. By the mid-1980s, modern architecture was in decline in Bangkok; The Robot Building is one of the last examples of this architecture.