Bustling district of ARI offers a rare and stimulating mix of urban and architectural typologies, complex network of local businesses and proximity to some of the most characteristic places in the city like Victory Monument or Chatuchak Park and Market.
It is home to expats coming from all over the world and members of local, almost vernacular communities. Single-housing residential areas are dotted by shiny skyscrapers with scores of Bangkokians commuting from all over the town for work. They presence requires a whole supporting infrastructure of bars, restaurants, street food carts, a fleet of motorbike drivers, fitness rooms, shops, ATMs etc. This dynamic blend creates unique challenges and opportunities making Ari and adjacent developing area along Pradipat road a perfect testing field for reinterpreting city of Bangkok and its unique character.
While it is fairly easy to arrive to Ari by both public and private transportation, the final part of the journey, namely between destination point and for example BTS station might prove a steeper challenge. According to research by Ajarn Pheereeya Boonchaiyapruek (Phd.) from Silapakorn University there are on average 600 pedestrians per 10 minutes passing through part of Phaholyothin around BTS Ari literally causing pedestrian traffic jams. Adjacent Soi overwhelmed with street food carts offer no spatial relief.
Heavy reliance on pedestrian movement, although potentially healthy, is burdened by the fact that the pavements are exposed to sun, pollution and noise forcing the by-passers to shelter themselves from sun rays behind bags or whatever they have at hand.
Main congestion periods occur at the times of arrival and departure to and from places of work and around noon during lunch break.
The lunch time potentially offers the opportunity for commuters to relax and enjoy the district but lack of truly public, free of charge spaces, where one could freely enjoy the short time away from office means that all the workers are forced to stay in surrounding cafes or flock back to controlled environment of their offices.
The workshop objective is to challenge this narrative by improving the quality of movement within Ari and Pradipat road area and create accessible zones for passive recreation.