Yin Lingkong
Monolith & Fragment:
The concrete symphony of Bangkok

Thesis Supervisor: A/P Erik L'Heureux

The discipline of architecture has constructed concrete as the primary contemporary building material. However, most of the time, concrete is painted and covered as a structure or internal filling material. In the 1960s and 1980s, a series of modernism buildings with exposed concrete as the major material appeared in Bangkok. Most of them have a thick envelope, a monolithic shape, the form of the design to deal with the relationship between the building and the exterior tropical rainforest climate of Bangkok. 

Nowadays, the notion of the monolith has been replaced by the desire of

the opposite: transparency and fragmentization. However, in the tropics, the outdoor environment is sweltering, and the rainfall is dense and dense. The demand for stable temperature and sheltering weather will never change. Concrete is one of the most durable materials in tropical environments. The iconic casting method of concrete also creates a unique particular that is entirely different from wood and steel.

 

The study reconsidered the order of architectural language, materials and construction techniques in these concrete buildings, and examine the role that this ubiquitous material plays in an increasingly changing world.  

Bangkok Brutalism

Brutalism architecture in Bangkok can be roughly divided into two categories: Monolithic Brutalism and Fragmented Brutalism. Each one has an intention to express the texture of the concrete and the heaviness of the structure, but it does in different ways.

Monolithic Brutalism is a single large-scale building, using large building blocks and distinct hierarchy to form a sense of sublime. While Fragmented Brutalism is a structure that uses a large number of small structures repeatedly to form a vast whole.

 

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Monolithic Brutalism and fragmented Brutalism conflict with each other, but there is the commonality between the two. The two often coexist and contain each other. Monolithic architecture is more sublime due to the comparison with fragmented details.

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The Resting Dome
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The Dwelling Ring
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