Australian Embassy, Bangkok

Reece Barker
The new embassy is designed as an emblematic presence for Australia in Thailand.

Australia's embassy in Bangkok represents a significant overseas mission and acts as a hub for other Australian missions in the region. The current chancery building was constructed in 1979 and is now being replaced by an iconic new complex on a larger site.

The Australian government has leased a new site in the Pathum Wan district of Bangkok, adjacent to the Embassy of Japan, to create office accommodation for embassy staff and for the ambassador’s residence. The 16,000-square-metre facility will provide public spaces, conference rooms and outdoor areas, accommodating official receptions, exhibitions and trade displays, meetings, lectures and business missions.

As well as meeting the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s physical security requirements for the protection of staff and visitors, the new chancery has been planned to meet current and future tenancy operational and technological requirements. The building configuration facilitates future expansion space if required.

The design is intended to reflect a cross-cultural presence, referencing the landforms of the Australian desert alongside Bangkok’s network of khlongs (canals). There are three buildings: the chancery, ambassador’s residence, and the entry and guardhouse pavilion. Three brick colours signify the different functions of the buildings, with Australian brick and craftspeople used to achieve the required intricacies of the design. An interesting curved design has been used for the chancery, with the interior created around a central atrium.

The secure compound also includes all infrastructure to provide full support facilities such as emergency power, sewerage treatment, potable and fire-fighting water storage, potable water treatment and basement car parking.

Quality is a priority as, unlike many buildings locally, the new embassy is designed to last for 60 years. Construction safety standards are high, as the project complies with Australian standards as well as local Thai building codes.

Australia's embassy in Bangkok represents a significant overseas mission and acts as a hub for other Australian missions in the region.

Construction commenced in 2014 and is due for completion in Q1 2017. Faithful+Gould has been involved since tender stage, representing the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, as project managers.

We are guiding our client through the challenges of a less mature local construction environment, ensuring that quality, safety standards and scheduling are kept on track. Issues to be overcome include the competition for skilled construction workforce resources, the lengthy lead times for specialist materials from Australia and elsewhere, and the lengthy approval processes.

Throughout, we are drawing on our longstanding expertise in embassy buildings, having successfully delivered these facilities in countries including Sri Lanka, Cambodia and India.

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