The official opening of IconSIAM shopping mall on Friday November 9 was probably the Kingdom’s most lavish events of year 2018. It demonstrated the ambitions of the Siam Piwat Group to turn a mall into a true tourist destination aimed at promoting Thai way of life as well as arts and gastronomy.
Icon SIAM is seen by Mrs. Chadatip Chutrakul, President of Siam Piwat, the company behind the new complex, as a city of prosperity and a global landmark with a unique Thai identity. To date, the project is the largest private investment in retail at THB54 billion (US$1.65 billion). It is also the first massive commercial project integrating a luxury mall being built on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, which has been the source of Bangkok prosperity through trade.
According to Chadatip Chutrakul, “IconSIAM is a destination, born out of a great creative effort that united the hearts of Thai people. All share a love and passion for Thailand. More than 1,000 people contributed to a new symbol that can represent the vision of an era, and be something to make Thai people proud of being Thai. This symbol will help preserving and presenting Thainess for future generations, and will impress visitors from around the world and make them fall in love with Thailand.”
The mall showcases the best of Thailand as well as the best of the world. Some 500 shops are there with new tenants such as the first Apple store or Japan department store Takashimaya. They are also some 7,000 Thai brands being present in IconSIAM.
Art is playing an important part in the identity of IconSIAM. Some 100 artists -world-known or local- cooperated in the mall concept, crafting and creating unique piece of arts and design. They are dozens of art pieces to be discovered across the 12 floors of the mall.
Special attractions turn also the mall to an attractive place for tourists to visit and not only for the purpose of shopping. A huge River Park of 10,000 m2 offering a sweeping view over the Chao Phraya is lined up with a multimedia fountain dubbed as the longest in Southeast Asia. Concerts, events and exhibitions will take place in the River Park. Another attractive place is Sook SIAM, a space which gives to visitors the opportunity to discover the best products, services and of course gastronomy of the 77 provinces of Thailand. Visitors will discover them in a setting evocating all the four big regions of the country through recreated houses, sculptures and objects of daily life. Sook Siam wants also to play a social role by giving an opportunity to small enterprises, artisans, artists and performers to access and reach global visibility.
By the middle of next year, two more attractions will come up: True Icon Hall will be Thailand‘s first world class auditorium, equipped with Asia most modern innovations and technologies. The hall will be perfect for MICE events and performances. A Heritage Museum (River Museum Bangkok) will be Thailand’s first world-class museum complex bringing together the historical and cultural heritage of the country in one place.
Next year, a Mandarin Oriental Hotel Residence is due to open its doors.
Last but not least, accessibility to the mall is crucial. Thonburi being on the other bank of the Chao Phraya River, this fact is sometimes deterrent for potential visitors. Siam Piwat put a flow of river boat shuttle at various piers and invested in the construction of a Skytrain (BTS) line. The new skytrain will connect the Silom line at Krom Thonburi but not before 2019!