I don’t normally take photos inside shopping centres but Bangkok’s “Terminal 21”:https://www.terminal21.co.th/asok/home/th, and toilets, were a photographer’s dream.
The Mall, opened around 5 years ago, is airport themed, hence the name, and you enter through various ‘terminal-style gates’ located around the building. A uniformed ‘captain’ salutes you as you go through ‘airport security’ and at the information desks, ‘cabin crew’ provide ‘passports’ with maps.
The floors are dedicated to a country or city, so we began at the top. There are over 600 outlets, with the clear majority being small independent shops, rather than large chain stores.
6th floor – is known as Hollywood, as the cinema is located here as well as outlets selling IT equipment and gadgets. A huge golden Oscar dominated, and having read that the loos were themed as well, I found that on entering a wall of paparazzi greeted me. On each loo door was a director’s clip board.
5th and 4th floors – had a huge model across the atrium of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge complete with cars. Food and beverage outlets abounded with a huge area dedicated to street food and a central shared space for eating. Huge wooden rolling pins hung from the loo ceiling and recipes were printed on the walls.
3rd floor – we were transported to Istanbul with the small shops and alleys resembling a grand bazaar with wonderful coloured lamps dangling from the ceilings. The shops sold shoes and bags, jewellery, gifts and souvenirs.
2nd floor – was dedicated to London with the alleys bearing familiar names such as Carnaby Street, King Street, Burlington Arcade. The entrance to the loo was like a tube platform and the doors were covered with the tube map. I was pleased to see our local station, Walthamstow Central having a prominent position. I’m reliably informed, a sign near the urinal in the gents advised people to ‘mind the gap’. Another tube map cleverly adapted all the tube stations to household product/brand names: Putney Bridge to Pizza Hutney Bridge, Turnham Green to TurnH&M Green, Acton Town to Actimel Town. Shops on this floor sold menswear, t-shirts and jeans.
1st floor – Tokyo, with its Japanese lanterns and a huge statues of sumo wrestlers and a geisha, was dedicated to ladies’ wear. Our people watching took in one of the security guards giving a sumo’s bottom a playful pat on passing!
Mezzanine – had fashion brand names and some larger shops. Here we were in Paris, where for some reason, the loos had black doors and elegant chandeliers hung from the ceiling.
Ground floor – for Rome we had Da Vinci paintings on the ceilings of cherubs, marble columns and statues and again this floor had fashion brand names.
Lower Ground floor – we were in the Caribbean with a supermarket selling all manner of foods and further food outlets.
Whilst we didn’t buy anything, it was a fun way of spending a couple of hours during midday and escaping the heat.