THE NEW PTTEP-S1 BUILDING BY OFFICE AT BRINGS WITH IT TWO OUTSTANDING ‘SIGNS,’ BOTH OF WHICH ARE IN MANY WAYS NON-VERBAL.
PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) Siam is a company that carries out exploration for oil and oil drilling in Thailand who recently found themselves in need of a space to accommodate larger and expanding business activities. The new PTTEP-S1 building by OFFICE AT was therefore designed to include a main area composed of the offices, a meeting room and a hall, all made to surround a “court” that had been dug out right at the center of the building.
The concept that the architects wanted to convey brought with it two outstanding ‘signs,’ both of which were in many ways non-verbal – with the design language traversing through an empty space and utilizing various architectural components.
The first sign was meant to convey reference to the earth and soil and was carried out through the arrangement of the ground surface and utilization of the space as they meet at a glass box on level two, further providing comparison to the creativity of the organization. The grass surface on level one was designed as an analogy representing the earth and soil while the architects suggested that it was similar to the notion of one going underground to explore for oil.The second ‘sign’ was related to the identity of PTT itself and the company’s desire to utilize less energy via construction of an encompassing external shell made of two layers of walls, the internal of which is composed of glass that provides for sufficient natural light to enter in. The sunshades, composed of vertically aluminum screens, are set at a distance of 30cm apart from one another and allow for the initials of the organization PTTEP-S1 to be spelled out within the design if and only when one looks from a slanted angle, the wordings on the shell changing according to the visual angle and distance as well.