If you happened to find yourself on bank of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok on Friday evening, you would have failed to notice the throngs of Bangkok’s great and good, decked out in all their finery to gain entry to a shopping mall.
A shopping mall, why would they be doing that? After all, Bangkok as well as being the City of Angels and the Big Mango, could also be easily described as Mallsville, BKK — thanks to the seemingly endless rows of glass and concrete erected, all in the name of retail convenience, across town. So why celebrate such a banal thing as shopping mall opening?
“ICONSIAM is a destination — not a mall”
Well, there are 1.65 billion reasons. That’s right the new ICONSIAM mall, is the result of a USD 1.65 billion sunk into the project by investors Siam Piwat — owners and operators of big-top retail developments in the Thai capital like Siam Center, Siam Paragon, and Siam Discovery; and Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC)– owner and developer of residential and mixed-use projects and the multi-national conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group.
Chadatip Chutrakul, director of ICONSIAM Co, said: “ICONSIAM is a destination — not a mall or a mixed-use development — and it is born of a joint creative effort that has united the hearts of Thai people from many different walks of life. They include experts from many disciplines and from many countries who love Thailand and want to contribute to a new symbol of Thailand, making Thais proud while also making visitors from around the world fall deeper in love with Thailand, and its stores.”
“A global iconic attraction”
Among the features at ICONSIAM is the River Park — a 10,000 sqm riverside community space — open to the public every day. “There is also multimedia water feature, which is the longest in Southeast Asia, that is designed to be a global iconic attraction and do for Bangkok what the London Eye does for London and the Gardens by the Bay at the Marina Bay Sands does for Singapore,” Chutrakul said.
On the ground floor is a four-acre space called SookSiam where communities from Thailand’s 77 provinces present their creative capabilities, whether it be in products or performances. SookSiam aims to be a platform where provincial products can benefit from professional merchandising and marketing to help them penetrate international markets.
There is also Thailand’s most technologically advanced auditorium that aims to boost Thailand’s international incentives and convention industry. It is scheduled to open in July 2019, at the same time as ICONSIAM’s ‘River Museum Bangkok’ which will be the first world-class museum in Thailand and capable of hosting top world-touring exhibitions.