Yes, I am in love with tall buildings! Not that I ever want to live in one or even work in one, but I love looking at them, thinking about them, and marveling at the expertise of those who design and build them! From my high school years in Bangkok to my young adult years in Chicago, I have adored looking at, walking through, and learning about these monuments that humankind creates as functional spaces for our species to live in and work in. But, while I love tall buildings, the private space I create for myself has absolutely nothing to do with tall buildings. Instead, in my private space, I gravitate toward old buildings – graceful relics of days gone by that just need some love, some paint, some sand blasting, a lot of scrubbing and some help from a few local contractors to be restored to their former glory. Every house I have owned has been some kind of a “fixer upper” and I hope to find another one when I have another opportunity to buy a house.
This last trip to Bangkok, I took some shots of local skyscrapers. Unfortunately, because I don’t live in Bangkok, I haven’t had the opportunity to investigate these. But they captured my eye and my imagination. Now, I have no interest in boxy buildings. Anyone can build one of those. I love the ones that stand out from the crowd because they are unique. In this collection to the right, for example, only one building stands out. Perhaps the curves are only a façade, but it still creates interest that I cannot see in any of the others. (There are two thumbnail close-up photos of the building I like below.)
Sometimes, the unique aspects of the building cannot be seen from the ground. I can remember seeing artistic details in Chicago skyscrapers that could only be seen by the people washing the windows on the upper floors – unless you knew someone who worked there who had a passion for such obscure details. I would love to know the story of the red roof on this building (to the left). It does not seem to fit the rest of the building at all, but then, no one asked me. I took all the photos in this blog from the platforms of the Bangkok Skytrain and Airport Link on a single trip that I took from Bangkok Christian College to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. That means that they come from a very small slice of Bangkok. I hope more trips and more travel will allow me to see more skyscrapers in the future.
There is one more aspect of Bangkok skyscrapers that I would like to share in this blog. Many of them are used as “billboards” for commercial advertising. I really don’t mind if a very boring, boxy building is covered up with advertising, but Thailand has far too many billboards and boring buildings that are decked out that way. In some cases, some very historic buildings are buried behind huge billboards that can’t be read anyway because of the massive electric power lines that clutter the landscape here. And in other cases, some beautiful architecture is lost behind some effort to push a product or a service. But, as I survey Bangkok’s skyline, I can see from the tall cranes that dot the horizon that more buildings are coming to make their mark. I can only hope that they are the product of someone’s creative genius and someone else’s desire to make Bangkok an even more beautiful and unique place to be – someone with pockets deep enough to do that.