Text description provided by the architects. Mega Food Walk is an extended semi-outdoor expansion zone at Mega Bangna. The project teams completed the expansion project near the end of 2017 in a collaborative effort of design and engineering that contains an enjoyable landscape courtyard with a relaxing amphitheater and experiential boardwalk that brings visitors into a vibrant F&B commercial space and through interactive landscape features within a comfortable micro-climate. The microclimate within Mega Food walk is controlled by the integration of landscape design and innovative engineering resulting in a waterscape that is a successful catalyst of activities, where adults can enjoy the atmosphere while children line up for the interactive water features.
The water features are also used as a cooling system by circulating cold water generated from solar-powered chillers. The cool water flows along various features in the landscape, as the changing physical form of meandering flows, ripples, and cascades of water deliver unique forms of water splash and an evaporative cooling effect at each bend. In addition, concealed jet fans create a breezy airflow which distributes cool moisture from the water features’ surface. As a result, the microclimate is adjusted to an ideal human comfort zone while also providing added moisture for plants to grow.
An integrated cooling system provides additional benefits to the space by controlling the humidity and temperature at an ideal temperature for growth of a softscape scenery inspired by the Scandinavian forests of Småland, Sweden. The designed ‘forest’ uses a softscape palette of plants indigenous to a sub-tropical to a tropical climate, including finely textured ferns and moss, to create a unique commercial landscape that blends the surrounding restaurants with natural greenery. User-based landscape design creates a new way to experience both the landscape and shops that are located at different levels. The lower level is dropped to create a sunken plaza space for various events.
Amphitheater seating with genuine wood finish provides cozy spectator seating throughout the day and night, but more importantly, serves as generous crowd access to the lower level plaza from the higher main entrance level of the mall. The pathways are friendly to all users with gentle slopes that are handicap accessible. The experiential boardwalk that floats above the water features and traverses through the forest green is intersected by crossing granite stone pathways and giant slate slabs stacked to display the contrast in form and color of the refined and unrefined material.
The landscape design is a very interactive and experiential space that encourages visitors to be in contact with its material design. A major highlight of interactive design can be seen with the water levers made of stainless steel. The handles of the levers were specifically designed for users to feel the cool rush of water carried through the thermally conductive pipes. The landscape for Mega Food Walk attracts its visitors throughout the site, including the dancing fountain plaza at one terminus of the site extension. The expansion zone represents a marrying of different disciplines to create a unique commercial experience that engages at nearly every corner and path.