Thailand’s new building, the MahaNakhon, is the country’s tallest addition to its landscape, standing at 314 metres (1030 feet) or 77 storeys.
The Bangkok skyscraper was launched earlier this week in a huge ceremony, with its exposed “pixels” lit up against the night sky.
With the blocky cut-outs in its facade, the building looks like a graphic file that’s been incompletely downloaded.
The MahaNakhon eclipses the previous “tallest building” title holder, Baiyoke Tower II, which is 304 metres (997 feet) tall.
Inside, the building features luxury boutiques, 209 units of upscale residences by the Ritz-Carlton and a hotel. The largest Dean & DeLuca grocery store is located in the MahaNakhon, as well as the country’s first restaurant run by Masaharu Morimoto, famous as Japan’s “Iron Chef” from the eponymous cooking show.
But while the building celebrates its opening, its German architect is at the centre of scrutiny by the government. Authorities are reportedly looking into whether the MahaNakhon breaches Thai labour laws that reserve architecture and civil engineering among a group of professions for Thai nationals only.
The skyscraper was designed by Ole Scheeren and is potentially in violation of a 1999 law that restricts foreigners’ commercial activities. There is a later act passed in 2008 that controls how much work an immigrant can do in Thailand.