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USAID Bangkok by Orbit

The new Southeast Asian HQ showcases USAID’s key mission and values through design.

USAID Bangkok by Orbit


August 10th, 2011

The US independent federal government agency’s new Southeast Asian headquarters in Bangkok has sustainability and core organisational values such as ’teamwork’, ’empowerment’ and ’accountability’ factored into its design.

The project also incorporates ethically sourced materials from the region.


USAID’s Bangkok headquarters covers 6,000 sqm across 4 floors, and holds 3 general offices and 1 training centre. The floor plan is designed to accommodate up to 200 staff, allowing for expansion and change over time.


“The workspace is open and highly connected, designed to encourage collaboration and interaction,” says Phantipa Ketsamphan, senior designer at Orbit Design Studio.

Following the brief, a feature staircase made from sustainable Lignia timber links the 3 main office floors. Multifunctional meeting spaces can be easily reconfigured to allow for small groups or large staff functions or displays.



The lobby contains a sweeping Corian reception desk that sits opposite a custom built mirrored map of the world. “Seating for guests is provided by way of custom built stainless steel chairs and tables designed and manufactured by Orbit,” says Ketsamphan.

The reception areas also feature rugs made from sustainable materials that were designed by the firm, and produced locally by the Doi Tung Development Project, which works to help Thailand’s ethnic minorities improve their livelihoods and reforest watershed areas.



The training centre is a lively and engaging space with touchdown areas and circular breakout pods that enable smaller group activities to take place.

A sustainability centre, located in the main office, also aims to communicate to both staff and visitors the importance of environmental responsibility to USAID.



“It gets staff involved in the process by showing them the thought that has gone into their own environment. It displays LEED information, actual material samples, and details in methods of the construction of their furniture,” says Ketsamphan.

Sustainability has been considered in many aspects of the design, from furnishings to lighting to waste management, and the Bangkok headquarters is expected to be the first USAID overseas office to attain LEED status.

Photography by Owen Raggett

Orbit Design Studio

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