A walk in The PARQ: Bangkok goes green with mixed use

With its green credentials and high-tech trimmings embodying modern office development, The PARQ provides an urban oasis in Bangkok for its tenants

The building, which topped off in 2019, runs on a premium filtering system, with indoor air cleaner than international standards

In a garden at The PARQ in Bangkok, a pithy quote is debossed on the ground. It reads: “A healthy outside starts from the inside.”

The phrase encapsulates the new mixed-use development. The THB8bn ($255m) project, being developed by TCC Assets Co., Ltd. with Frasers Property Holdings (Thailand) Co., Ltd. as development manager, is tracking for both LEED and WELL certifications—a duality rare for mixed-use Bangkok projects of its scale.

With The PARQ, TCC Assets crusades for what the project’s slogan calls “Life Well Balanced”, offering urbanites a sustainable, healthy spot to earn a crust.

“Many people spend more time at their workplace than they do at home,” says Kamolnai Chaixanien, executive director of TCC Assets (Thailand) Co., Ltd. “According to our extensive research, these individuals are looking for a working environment where they can experience a more effective, enjoyable way to have a better work-life balance.”

The built environment has a profound impact on people’s wellbeing and productivity—and the world requires sustainable changes—so we created The PARQ as a place where a high quality of life and sustainability all cohabit the same space

TCC Group gained the rights to develop The PARQ on a 38,400-square-metre (24 rai) leasehold plot owned by Thailand’s Crown Property Bureau at the corner of the Rama IV and Ratchadaphisek roads, also known as the Klongtoey intersection. “PARQ” pays homage to the verdant landmarks nearby: Benjakitti Park and the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, whose namesake MRT station exits straight onto the development.

Together with neighbouring developments like FYI Centre and ThaiBev Quarter, The PARQ adds to the Queen Sirikit Centre node, a blossoming MICE hub with TCC Group at its helm.

“The built environment has a profound impact on people’s wellbeing and productivity—and the world requires sustainable changes—so we created The PARQ as a place where a high quality of life and sustainability all cohabit the same space,” says Kamolnai.

The PARQ received WELL precertification from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), and it has proven prescient in the pandemic era. The building, which topped off in 2019, runs on a premium filtering system, circulating indoor air rated 30% cleaner than international standards. Autonomous robots roam the premises, dashing pathogens with UVC rays.

Visits to The PARQ are contactless, with the help of a proprietary mobile app, smart self-service registration kiosks, and facial recognition technology. Lifts run on an up-to-date destination control system, reducing waiting times and decongesting the lobbies. Washrooms contain touchless fixtures, including faucets that double as hand driers.

Linked to positive health outcomes, contemporary sculptures and permanent art installations maximise the potential of spaces in and around The PARQ

The 130,000-sqm edifice guns for LEED Gold v4, the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) next-generation benchmark for sustainable property development. Codifying The PARQ’s eco-conscious design concept is Palmer & Turner (Thailand) Ltd., the architecture practice behind TCC Assets’ LEED Platinum-certified Park Ventures Ecoplex.

“Each design team member must provide a thorough review of the credits that they are responsible for, to provide confirmation of their feasibility and to provide information to the other members that such solutions may be incorporated into the overall design,” explains Sern Vithespongse, director at P&T Thailand.

Waves of laminated low-E glass, lined with vertical and horizontal fins, clad the L-shaped, interlocking towers comprising The PARQ. By employing such a high-performing curtain wall, P&T was able to cut down solar heat by as much as 75%.

The facade also embodies the paradox of the Klongtoey intersection, famed for the chaotic market of the same name and the serene green lung of Benjakitti. “It was against this backdrop that we created the building, which reflects the old Chinese philosophy of yin and yang as the design concept,” says Sern. “The two main towers are seemingly opposite and contrary, yet they coexist and complement each other in harmony.”

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A high-efficiency chiller plant, along with low-maintenance mechanical and electrical systems, also helps The PARQ meet its green marks. An IoT platform meanwhile detects sunlight and room occupancy, automatically adjusting the brightness of the lighting system.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, TCC Assets also invested in waste management facilities and technology. These include a cutting-edge “dust drum” that extracts liquid from waste, making it lighter for transport.

“It was challenging for us to meet USGBC’s LEED Version 4 requirements at the beginning,” relates Kamolnai. “We learned a lot through the design and construction process. We believe LEED will elevate standard practices in Thailand, so we are proud to be a pioneer in achieving this new version of LEED.”

Now a conspicuous landmark above Rama IV road, the PARQ appears like gentle, continuous waves of smooth laminated low-E glass, which serves to reduce the heat load of the L-shaped, interlocking towers

Thai Obayashi Corporation Limited began construction on The PARQ in 2017. By June 2019, the building was structurally completed, and tenants from Minor Group to 3M followed.

P&T designed the rectangular, column-free office plates comprising The PARQ Workplace to be some of Thailand’s roomiest, at 5,200 sqm per floor. They span around 14m in width from glass wall to service core wall, with ceilings reaching heights of three metres.

“This allows greater flexibility for tenants to design their floor plans and layout,” says Sern.

The PARQ Life, the building’s retail podium, formally opened in September 2020. Interior design firm PIA styled the three-level podium, offering 12,000 sqm of leasable space occupied by the likes of Jetts Black, the first in Thailand. The Q Steps, a staircase-like public area intercut with platforms and seating, occupies the soaring atrium.

The third floor of the podium spills outdoors to a 3,400-sqm common area called Q Garden, where meandering pathways take harried workers to leafy, secluded pockets of nature—or at least give them instant pep talks via inspirational quotes scrawled on concrete.

Landscape architecture firm Shma Company Limited curated the flora carpeting The PARQ—all 7,000 sqm. Nourished with recycled water through drip irrigation, the plantings include edible, cookable vegetables.

The developers are as much invested in the culturing of The PARQ occupants as their well-being. The site permanently houses some modern art installations, like “The Cocoon” by Sanitas Studio, on display at the Q Garden. The garden itself lies next to an exhibition space by the Bangkok Art Biennale.

Occupying the building’s lower floors, The PARQ Life contains retail offerings curated to match everyday needs and promote work-life balance—from healthy F&B options to an upscale fitness centre—in well-landscaped lettable spaces with quality indoor air

“Exposure to art is associated with relief from stress and mental fatigue as it could help people refresh, recharge and refocus,” Kamolnai says, citing research from Exeter University. “Displaying art in the workplace can boost positive emotions and creativity and elevates team cohesiveness.

“For us, art pieces have become very important elements to maximise the potential of the space as well as promote corporate values,” he adds.

Tenants find more visual reprieve outside the site. P&T configured the central core design to have tenants face the outer perimeter of the glass curtain wall, affording them panoramic views of the city.

The PARQ will eventually bud into a 320,000-sqm project in advanced phases, to join a “forest district” encompassing the ecological corridor around Benjakitti. Plans include a hospital, finally fledging the project into a medical destination.

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“This will turn The PARQ into a complex of small communities and further enhance its ‘wellness’ concept,” comments Sern.

The PARQ also plays into TCC Group’s grand scheme for Rama IV Road. Through affiliate Golden Land Property Development Plc, the company opened late last year the student-oriented project Samyan MitrTown on a leasehold plot by Chulalongkorn University. One Bangkok, TCC Assets and Frasers’ 104-rai integrated district at the corner of Rama IV and Wireless roads, could open by 2025.

Such mixed-use projects will establish Rama IV Road as an “important commercial corridor”, according to Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi, Group CEO of Frasers Property Limited.

Back at Q Garden, one of the quotes on the ground seems to read in agreement: “You just have to get it going.”

The original version of this article appeared in Issue No. 166 of PropertyGuru Property Report Magazine