Vistec Observation Tower / Architects 49
Text description provided by the architects. Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC) observation tower project is located in Rayong province. VISTEC is a research and development campus for various agencies in the Wangchan region and is part of a larger Eastern Economic Innovation Corridor project (EECi). The 6-story observation tower features a panoramic observation deck on the top floor, offering sweeping views of the surrounding Wangchan Valley, including the entire VISTEC and the entire EECi campus.
The main concept was to create an iconic observation tower for the institute. Standing atop the lush vegetation on one of the hills overlooking the entire expanse, the design aimed to create a structure that blends in with and enhances its surroundings.
To minimize the structural footprint of the tower, a structural beam and elevator core surrounded by open-air stairs are designed to support the large observation deck. Walking around the perimeter of the platform, visitors are treated to a 360° view of the site. By cantilevering the stairs, we have optimized the amount of materials used in the project, while creating an engaging and dynamic experience as you ascend to the observation deck through the different perspective angles of each level.
To speed up the construction due to time constraints, we opted for a steel frame structure and ready-made materials, such as concrete planks for the deck material. The tower is clad in bare finished fiberglass reinforced concrete to reduce the weight of the observation tower. Wooden ceilings and stone tiles, complementing the concrete finishes, are installed at the main observation deck and at the ground floor entrance, to bring warmth and elegance to the public space. The curved edges of the main roof and the floor of the observation deck have been designed to soften the solid appearance of the imposing steel structure. Using contrasting materials, color selection and mass processing, we have created an iconic piece of architecture that blends in with the surrounding context.