The owners of the Patong Hotel and Banana Disco
in Phuket have unveiled their plans for the new lifestyle shopping
mall they are developing, scheduled for a May 2012 opening, on
Aptly named Banana Walk, the 3-level
beachfront shopping complex will feature a modern, tropical design
concept which, according to Smith Obayawat, the project’s
architect, will help to change to the face of street-shopping on
The location couldn’t be better. Banana Walk is
situated on the beachfront of Patong Beach Road, just 100 meters
south of Soi Bangla and next to the Banana Disco.
crews broke ground last week on the 4,500 m² land plot to build
Banana Walk and its estimated 30 boutique retail outlets, five
restaurants and rooftop nightclubs. The final building design will
depend on the space requirements and design ideas of the new
“With Banana Walk we have designed
architecture to create a shopping experience that’s a complete
departure from the typical Thai neighborhood or community malls,”
said Obayawat, the founder of The Office of Bangkok Architects
(OBA), one of Bangkok’s leading architects. “This is a very
special location so we need to remember that more is not always
necessarily better. We believe street level mall
design in Thailand needs to allow for more freedom of movement and
flow for these types of spaces ... We’ve done that
with Banana Walk with low density designs that provide ample
outdoor lounge areas where travellers can mingle and gaze at the
shops and restaurants that semi-surround them. It also makes
common sense that when you have a lovely beachfront setting like
Banana Walk that every living space in the complex faces the
Banana Walk is configured for 50% core retail space
and 50% for food and beverage outlets. The anchor food and
beverage outlet will be Baitong Seafood, which is owned by the
Banana Walk developers. The complex is separated into blocks A, B
and C, each with three floors and a roof top area facing the inner
courtyard and beach.
Banana Walk’s architectural design has
a natural and elegant approach but still has a beach feel with
construction elements that include stone, wood, glass and bamboo.
Special design elements also create a less air-conditioned
environment for Banana Walk by using natural ventilation in common
lounge areas. The exterior design uses extensive sun and rain
shielding with natural materials to protect the glass and exposed
areas from the elements.
Phuket passenger arrivals in the first 6 months was up 30%
over the same period in 2010 and domestic arrivals increased by
11%, breaking the one million mark.
According to research conducted by C9 Hotelworks,
a Phuket-based hotel and real estate consultant, mainland China tourists were the top travel producers for the first half of 2011, growing
103% compared to 2010. China holds the number one spot providing 13% of the source market, Russia is second with 12%. South Korean
visits also rose 30% over the first six months of last year.
“When you talk about pure tourism numbers on Phuket,
Patong is still king,” said Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9
Hotelworks. “Patong room occupancy was an amazing 82% in the first
half of this year. With a new supply line of 6,968 rooms coming to
Phuket by 2014, 68% of which will be located on the west coast,
Patong is in for a huge growth spurt.”
Walk is also following sustainable retail practices, banning
plastic bags and all Styrofoam products and is supported by a strong recycling program and efficient energy usage system.
It is also a supporter of the Phuket’s
local Government ban on all single use plastic bags starting from
the HM the King’s birthday on 5 December 2011.
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