If you travel on the Chao Phraya River near Taksin Bridge, you will likely notice an enormous construction site with a peculiar-looking facade. The ICONSIAM is a future multifunctional shopping complex and expected to become the next biggest draw in Bangkok. Will it stand out among other super malls in the Thai capital?
The ICONSIAM is a joint venture by Charoen Pokphand, Magnolia Quality Development and Siam Piwat who owns the popular Siam Paragon. Its strategic location makes it attractive for both local and international visitors. According to the developers, three million residents and more than 10,000 hotel rooms are located within a radius of 5 km. The ICONSIAM will comprise two shopping malls, a museum, an auditorium and two residential condominiums. Moreover, it will feature 7 attractions or the so-called “7 wonders”.
A large variety of Thai products under a single roof
New shopping malls in Bangkok try to stand out through new unheard-of dimensions. It has to be bigger and fancier. But shopping opportunities are already more than abundant in the Thai capital. The fact that the ICONSIAM will accommodate two distinct shopping malls is therefore hardly a selling point.
However, the new shopping complex wants to provide a shopping experience that is familiar to Thais from OTOP events. In Sook Siam, the visitor is supposed to find a broad range of typical and authentic Thai products that are sold by artisans from every corner in Thailand. But as opposed to OTOP trade fairs which are held twice annually, the ICONSIAM wants to provide a glimpse of what the country has to offer all year round.
The Chao Phraya under the spotlight
Two of the 7 wonders will center on the Chao Phraya River. The River Park is expected to provide an open space of 10,000 square meters to host large events directly by the riverbank. The second attraction is a 400 million baht investment in one of the biggest water and fire shows in Southeast Asia.
Focus on MICE
MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) is a branch of tourism that pertains to visitors with professional and/or educational pursuits. It is a growing industry in Southeast Asia, but Bangkok is currently lagging behind other major metropolises in terms of its facilities for MICE travelers. The True ICON Hall may be a game changer. The ultra-modern auditorium will provide 3,000 seats and adjust automatically to cater to different kinds of events.
An innovative museum
The ICONSIAM also wants to satiate the visitor’s appetite for culture. In a unique collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Finance, the ICONSIAM plans to open the Heritage Museum and provide three separate spaces for art exhibitions. The National Heritage Gallery will display precious artifacts that are part of the Thai national identity. The Temporary Exhibition Gallery will showcase international master pieces. And finally, the River Gallery will accommodate contemporary art works by local and international artists.
A transportation hub
Last but not least, the new shopping complex will benefit from its convenient location by the Chao Phraya to draw visitors from almost every corner in Bangkok. More than 40,000 people use the river daily as a mode of transportation. In addition, the Gold Line which is also under construction will connect the ICONSIAM with the Green Line (BTS Skytrain), the Purple Line (MRT) and the Red Line. The ICONSIAM will thus become the first transit hub in Bangkok to allow transportation by land, water and rail.
The 7th and final attraction of the ICONSIAM has yet to be revealed, but there are already a number of things to look out for. The future shopping complex promises some distinguishing novelties from other super malls. Whether it meets the high expectations should be clear very soon. The ICONSIAM is expected to open in the final quarter of 2018.