The evolution of the capital's mushrooming commercial districts
From a few modest low-rises clustered on Silom and Surawong roads in the 1980s, office development has expanded along mass transit routes and brought mercantile monoliths to much of the city
Bangkok now has more than eight million square metres of office space, 84% of which has been developed in just the past two decades. Of the total, 41% or nearly 3.33 million square metres was completed during the economic boom years of 1991-95. The pace slowed in the next five years, understandably because of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, but developers still managed to add 2.3m sq m to the capital's office market, with another 1.1 million sq m completed since 2000.
The first area in which office buildings emerged in Bangkok was around Silom and Surawong roads, which has expanded over the years. Most office buildings completed before 1980 were in this area, which was home to the vibrant gold market and other trading businesses. None of these first buildings were large _ the average is only 8,000 sq m, with some smaller than 4,000 sq m.
Many modern office buildings with larger floor plates or building areas of more than 50,000 sq m were begun in the 1990s on other main roads such as Sathon, Sukhumvit, Rama IV, Ratchadaphisek, Rama I and Witthayu. With the growth of commercial activity, office development has continued to expand.
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