TROP : terrains + open space: There are 3 things that matter in real estate : Location, Location, Location. In Bangkok, best locations do not need a panoramic river view. All people need is convenience. Bangkok’s traffic is one of the worst in the World. At the moment, there are more than 8 million registered vehicles on the roads of Bangkok. Here, an average person spends at least 2 hours a day in his car. Those who can’t stand this any longer start moving from suburbs to live in the city instead. Trying to get enough supply for this new demand, Thai developers are competing hard for the better plots of land in the city. In this case, those plots are located along the BTS (Bangkok’s Sky Train) route.
In 2010, Trop got a commission to design a garden for Pyne by Sansiri, a high-end condominium in Bangkok. As mentioned earlier, its location is just superb. Located right in the middle of busy urban district, just 5 mins walk from the city’s biggest shopping malls, the plot is about the right size, 2,900 sqm. It also has a BTS station right in front of the property, which really helped selling residential units (all sold out in 1 day).
Convenience-wise, the site is perfect. Considering everything else, it is a nightmare for designers. Surrounded by 3 sides of old ugly buildings, including some noisy nightclubs, it is hardly a high-end location. To make it worse, the train station basically makes the whole space look even more crowded. It is designed as a huge structure, about a hundred meter long, 3-4 storey high. Basically, it is like placing a huge building right in front of your door steps. Together with other surrounding buildings, our project is tightly trapped among concrete boxes by all 4 sides.
Basically, our main task is to divorce our project from these not-so-good-looking neighbors. In order to separate the private space from the busy outside world, our first move is to create a 3m tall wall with planters on the top. From the outside, the wall appears like a normal straight white marble wall, but, looking from inside, the wall is changed into a curvy line to get rid of the boxy feeling space. Green area is strategically located behind the wall, in between the train station and the condominium. Instead of typical functional garden, an urban forest, with 10m tall trees, are proposed to reduce the impact of the station. Underneath the trees, a series of small green “hills” are created all the way from the boundary wall right next to the lobby. To maximize the soft surface, the hills move up and down, so the residents can see more greenery than they do flat garden.
Perpendicular lines were avoided, replaced by angled ones with round corners. Steps are integrated into the hills for the easier walk, dividing the hills into some topographic patterns. To animate the forest, we designed some special sculptures, the Dearest Deers, as the inhabitants of the forest. On the flat area, a series of concrete pathways are orchestrated from one side to the other of the property. The contrast between green lawn and concrete paths creates delightful visual for our residents who live above.
Project: The Forest @ Pyne by Sansiri
Landscape Architecture: TROP : terrains + open space
Design Director: Pok Kobkongsanti
Project landscape architects: Theerapong Sanguansripisut, Ekitsara Meedet
Architects: Palmer & Turner (Thailand) Co.,Ltd.
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Area: 2,900 sqm
Photographs: Wison Tungthunya, Tinnaphop Chawatin