About IDEO Morph 38, Ashton Tower
The Ideo Morph 38 development is located away from the high density and congestion of Sukhumvit Road, in a blissfully green low-rise residential area. Its ordered, pixellated facades provide a contrast to the visual clutter characteristic of central Bangkok. The development is separated into two towers to maximize the building plot ratio, with each building targeted to different demographics.
The lower tower of the two, Skyle is targeted to singles or young couples, offering the smaller footprint of the two. However, the duplex units are expressed vertically to achieve a generous 5.4-meter floor-to-floor height. Due to limitations on unit size and variety, the balconies and the air-condensing units on the outside of the building contribute to create a “pop-up” effect through variation in the façade.
In contrast, the taller tower, Ashton, emphasizes the horizontal and cantilevered spaces, which are targeted to families. The unit sizes and types vary from a single bed with a reading room to duplex units with a private swimming pool and a garden on the eighth floor and a four-bed duplex penthouse at the top level. A 2.4-meter cantilevered living space projects from each unit on the north side, made up of a glazed enclosure on three sides, providing the maximum, unobstructed view. Each unit, facing south, has a semi-outdoor balcony, which acts as flexible space. The double layer of sliding windows allows for a transition between a conventional balcony and an extended, indoor living area.
The two towers are visually interconnected through a folding “Tree Bark” envelope that wraps around the both towers. This outer skin is a combination of precast concrete panels, expanded mesh and planters. The functions of the skin vary from acting as sun-shading devices to covering air condensing units, while the “bark” elements on the west and east side strategically support green walls in accordance with the tropical sun’s orientation. The green walls provide the residences and neighboring buildings with a comfortable visual and natural environment. The buildings are oriented in the east-west direction, helping to reduce solar heat gain. The sky gardens found on both buildings at regular intervals also contribute to this design language, where the development becomes a “vertical landscape” and a part of the natural green surroundings. The addition of significant planter-based trees on cantilevered balconies adds the option of standing at height outdoors under a canopy, and some variation to what otherwise could be a monolithic exterior appearance. This also produces a special sensation on certain of the balconies: that of standing out apart from the building, yet enclosed beneath the shelter of leaves. Additionally, the parking garage in the podium is shielded by green walls.
The green walls are fed by planter boxes located behind expansion mesh, and are installed approximately 625 millimeters from the building envelope, permitting natural ventilation and providing a service corridor for maintenance. A vine system was selected for the green wall, due primarily to the fact that it is easily maintained and cost effective. The vine vegetation is also able to withstand the strong winds and robust weather conditions of Bangkok.. The height of each floor varies from 3-6 meters, which provides sufficient height for the plants to climb and merge into one continuous, green surface.