With the intense pressures of day-to-day life, there is a growing need for health and wellness to be at the forefront of our daily practice for well-being. In Bangkok Thailand, His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn Rama X reopened a popular attraction at the Suvarnabhumi Airport and named it the “Happy and Healthy Bike Lane” in September of 2018.
The Suvarnabhumi Airport Cycle Track project or Sky Lane Thailand is a Corporate Social Responsibility project made possible through the cooperation of like-minded people who care deeply for public health. Highly popular with bicyclists, the eye-catching track is a world class cycling experience that is a major tourist attraction for both Thai and foreign cyclists.
SL+A Bangkok worked with the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) to create the Charoensuk Monkolchit – a spectacular space that fits the international standard for bicycle tracks with a main closed cycling track length of 23.4 kilometers. In addition, the training track measures 1.6 kilometers around the Suvarnabhumi Airport, utilizing the original construction road around the airport. This Recreation AD project brought together amenities and top-notch facilities complete with safety systems, added parking and comfortable rest areas for cyclists. Our team also re-imagined the use of space by adding retail and food outlets to compliment the administrative and H & S facilities spread out over 1,904 square meters.
Working with Aurecon Engineers and L 49 landscape design, SL+A was environmentally conscious and opted to install solar powered lights for flood lighting on the track. This precaution also ensures that no lost airlines are tempted to land on the well-lit bicycle track. The design language of the airport, with tensile fabrics and a super lightweight roof was utilized to create a bike friendly, barrier free space that simultaneously reminds users of the adjacency to the airport and the strong connection with the rest of the world. The original track was quickly widened an extra 3.2 meters to accommodate the heavy demand and cyclist flow. Along with the main track, there is also a 1,400 meter warm up track which has a rubber chip-top jogging track for those interested in running or jogging. Most recently, a new 250 meter “pump track” was installed for children and young cyclists to build and hone their cycling skills.
What makes this project so outstanding is that we can perfectly fulfill a public need while encouraging health and wellness and helping the community re-connect with the outdoors – making it special and unique from other CSR projects. The elegant cycling bridge connects the new 1,500 car park space to the existing long-term car park and also provides spill-over parking for up to 10,000 cyclists who convene on the cycle track every weekend. The ‘Sky Lane’ provides an opportunity for more people to enjoy health, happiness and an improved sense of well-being.
“Our aim was to make the bike lane the best in Thailand, a place where cyclists can ride happily, healthily and safely while making new friends”
– Prasong Poontaneat, Chairman of Airports of Thailand (AOT)