The Forestias of 63.68 hectares mix use development is currently one of the largest property projects in Thailand that covers a series of developments, including Whizdom condominiums, Mulberry Grove condominiums, Mulberry Grove Villas residences, The Aspen Tree residences, Six Senses Residences, Six Senses hotel, commercial complex and a large medical center. Developed by Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC), at the center of The Forestias is a 48,000 square meter of urban forest connecting all developments within The Forestias and create a healthier and happier living for all residents.
Located within the urban forest of The Forestias—the Forest Pavilion is the entrance gateway to the broad urban forest zone. The Forest Pavilion currently functions as the sales gallery, and will be converted into a hub of residence society for sharing of joyful moments.
Happiness—is a simple yet powerful manifesto advocated in The Forestias project of living close to nature with urban forest at the center of the development. We believe this social hub can achieve multiplied efficiency of wellbeing for all users.
Our commitment is to support the happiness and wellness of the users and create an immersive experience of living with nature, which achieved by utilizing the scientific research as design strategies in order to increase the environment benefits of landscape, with the Biophilia theory as foundation to achieve symbiosis with nature in the project.
The Forestias is located adjacent to the Bangna-Chon Buri Expressway, 20km away from the Suvarnabhumi Airport. The site of The Forestias is relatively flat and is surrounded by residential areas. With the existing clayey and poor drain soil on site, several design measures have been applied as solutions for the site constraints—including flood and water tolerant plants, and tree pits have been designed to ensure an effective sub-drain system. Plant species has been meticulously selected to ensure that they will thrive successfully at the project site, and some tree have been planted on berms to have their root balls raised above the underground water table.
To maximize the privacy for visitors and residents within the Forest Pavilion, dense vegetation along the site boundary and landscape elevation have been incorporated to create a visual buffer for the best exclusivity.
The benefits of natural environment for mental and physical health have been summarized from a series of researches that interaction with nature and neighborhood with vegetation cover can enhance human’s emotion, reducing stress, have lower levels of depression and anxiety. Also, a journal from the Environmental Science & Technology stated that a 15-20 minutes exposure to forest and natural environment will significantly help to lower their blood pressure, pulse rate and cortisol levels, as people will feel more calm, comfortable and refreshed. In the research paper from <European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education>, it suggested that physical activities performed in outdoor environment, such as walking at least once a week have more benefits than moderate to vigorous physical activities indoor. And the increase of biodiversity and linkage to healthy green environment will also enhance the immune system of people and the social interaction. Galilee Medical Center in Israel has discovered that presence of Vitamin D is the key for protection and recovery against the coronavirus. Moreover, Vitamin D can help reduce depression and other related health issues.
We have integrated all mentioned knowledge to become the design strategies for the Forest Pavilion. Therefore, we have proposed the concept of symbiosis with nature in the landscape design of the Forest Pavilion. The landscape design concept embraces three objectives: planting the future of symbiosis with nature, immersing the wilderness, and balancing the human activities and the growth of an urban forest. The outdoor landscape and planting have been designed sustainably to support human interaction with nature—it integrates and encourages visitors to access to nature through direct and indirect connection.
The Forest Pavilion is surrounded by eco forests with balanced light and shade areas, and also provides interactive landscape for benefits from being outdoor. Hence, the conditions of the site have been carefully analyzed and make the most out of those conditions in order to design a landscape that attracts people go outdoor and to enjoy the quality of natural environment. Users will achieve the benefits of exercising without feeling forced to do so. At the Forest Pavilion, people will have a glance of the prototype of living with nature. We value the opportunity to design this landscape for showcasing the benefits of living with nature.
The landscape design at the Forest Pavilion demonstrates exactly those potential benefits of nature. We decided to dedicate the majority of area as green space that can be seen from every angle of the Forest Pavilion project and creating multifunctional landscape features to minimize the functional space. The outdoor landscape has been designed to support functions, which will set in nature among lush planting design, and pleasant landscape features.
As visitors arrive the Forest Pavilion, they will come in at the canopy tree plaza or reach the parking area with EV charging stations. When they enter the grand drop off plaza, visitors can see the special pavement design of leaves-shaped tiles imprinted on the plaza pavement, which represent the falling leaves from the feature trees—scattered and mark the threshold to the urban forest, with the background of the iconic building. The south wing will be used as reception lobby and administration; while the north wing will be used as show units of Mulberry Grove Condominium, Whizdom, and the Aspen Tree residence.
The iconic sales gallery building with the shape of Sala Thai (Thai style pavilion) and butterfly roof structure represents the mixture of local culture and nature. Inspired by the form of architecture, the main landscape design idea is to transform and soften the rigid form of architectural grid into the natural freeform of the urban forest. Consequently, the butterfly-shaped building will be brought to life with the natural landscape setting, revives to the delightful form of nature.
The glass cladded building will provide panoramic nature views looking out from the Forest Pavilion building. Nature will be reflected on the glass cladded building, seamlessly connecting the space indoor and outdoor. Meanwhile, the glass cladding of the building allows abundant natural light into most spaces of the Forest Pavilion. Landscape elements, such as plaza, water feature, open lawn, and step have been simplified from the form of architecture to the loose form of nature, resulting a seamless flow of design between architecture and landscape.
After the sales period, the Forest Pavilion will be converted to an exhibition center for both the residents at The Forestias and the public. Separated circulations and security control will be implemented to ensure the privacy and security. In addition, separated skywalk systems for private residences and public will be designed to lead people from the ground floor up to the second floor and overlook to the urban forest at The Forestias. They are designed to attract people to explore the outdoor landscape—when people are overlooking the space from the skywalks, it gives pleasant feeling of vastness, broad vision, self-contentment and refreshing perspectives.
Visual effect has been carefully studied at the sales gallery building. For the 3-storey of show units, the visual study from indoor rooms to outdoor landscape have been examined to ensure the views of varying forest planting scenes as they move up or down the floors. On the ground floor, many tree trunks standing among the vertical water feature will be seen, creating a soothing landscape scenery; on the second floor, visitors will see the top of the waterfall feature and looking up to the sky people will see tree canopies, resulting a pleasant vibe of urban forest; on the highest third floor, visitors will be able to enjoy the dense, lush green canopies, while the visual barrier will ensure the privacy of the residences adjacent to the site. Moreover, at the outdoor garden of the show units, a 5 meters tall waterfall feature and the forest planting create a pleasant backdrop for the show units and screen out the residence pathway behind, resulting a tranquil picturesque landscape.
The atmosphere changed from the rigid, manmade show units building as visitors walk towards the organic, natural landscape near the open lawn area. The signature trapezium unit of stones come from the simplified form of architecture, which will be stacked and arrayed as various combinations of seating areas, paths, and water features. Next to the event lawn, water flows from the water outlets to the stacking of water feature steps. Small water fountain jets have been installed at the lower step area to create a water play plaza for children. Stacks of water feature steps gradually scatter towards the lawn, creating the illusion of water flow and splash on the event lawn.
A series of sustainable landscape design elements will be installed at the Forest Pavilion following the international environmental standards of SITES, WELL, and LEED. Green and blue spaces, including lawn, forest, detention pond, and water features are all located within 100 meters walking distance from the Forest Pavilion building and are accessible to all regular building occupants during open hours of the space. Paving materials have been carefully selected to fulfil environmental and safety design requirements. In addition, all plants species selected will attain the design standard of SITES, with the majority of low maintenance, less water required and non-invasive species.
Special planting design schemes have been applied in the landscape design. At the entrance area, feature Samanea saman (Jacq.) Merr. (Chamchuri tree) will be planted as the landmark of the Forest Pavilion. When moving to the inner courtyard further from the sales gallery building, a mix of plant species will be specifically selected with low maintenance requirement, and with dense canopies to act as visual buffer zones between the Forest Pavilion and its surrounding residences, ensuring the highest privacy of all users.
As we have learnt from the BioScience journal issued in 2017 that people who are more connected with nature are happier in general. In addition, the famous psychology professors, Kaplans, have also proven that as people see a green space, it can improve the health and wellbeing. We have therefore maximized the vegetation cover within the project site. At Forest Pavilion, we intended to create a Miyawaki eco forest with mix of 183 indigenous species and a total of 23,258 saplings. As a result of this, there is 60% of vegetation cover we have provided at the Forest Pavilion, such as 20% of eco forest, 3% of bioswale, 22% of general softscape, and 15% of lawn. With this percentage of vegetation cover, we can ensure the good mental health of all residents.
This dynamic eco forest landscape is a living paradise that will grow and evolve along with the current and future generations, and residents become a part of this evolving ecosystem, where they will have intimate connections with natural processes and memorable experience of the forest growth first-hand.
The Forest Pavilion and the other developments at The Forestias have been designed with solid researches to support the happiness of all users, which provides a variety of amenities and activities. It will be the gathering place for all residents, holding events at festivals, and providing privacy space for relaxing activities. All residents within The Forestias and the surrounding housing projects can come and enjoy these outdoor spaces, creating an inclusive local community.
The scale of natural environment here has been extended further beyond any typical urban environment we usually see. At the Forest Pavilion, visitors will enjoy a refreshing experience of living with nature. It will be the demonstrating place of urban forest living among the urban fabric; hence people will discover comfortable natural environment and the importance of integrated sustainable design with a high quality of modern lifestyle.
Forest Pavilion is the ideal living sanctuary that demonstrates happiness of dwelling within the urban forest. A good quality of environment will lead good health and long life of residents, and it also create a kind and warm society, for generations of families. Residents will share mutual benefits with nature harmoniously, learning how to be part of nature and raising awareness to create a better and more sustainable world.
As the community evolves, we will continue to observe the growth of the community. So that the project will become valuable data and be inspiration to future developments in Thailand. It can be a turning point of the housing developments in the country and lead to a series of high-quality housing projects. Following this prototype, it will definitely create a better living environment for all people.
Website: TK Studio
Lead Landscape Designer:
• Mr. Tawatchai Kobkaikit: Lead Landscape Designer / Managing Director
Landscape Design Team:
• Miss Nantawan Sirisup
• Miss Punyada Klinpaka
• Miss Passaporn Shompoopun
• Miss Nottaporn Gatewattanatorn
• Miss Patcharanat Phokhinthanasiri
• Mr. Nikom Mangiew
• Miss Sirikun Thirawatthanaset
• Mr. Tummanoon Jaitheing
• Mr. Wasin Somsak
Additional Project Credits:
• Architect: FOSTER + PARTNERS
• Local Architect: DT DESIGN
• Interior Designer: BUG & DT DESIGN
• Structural and Civil Engineer: EEC LINCOLNE SCOTT
• MEP Engineer: EEC ENGINEERING NETWORK
• Lighting Specialist: APLD
• Hardscape Contractor: CHRISTIANI & NIELSEN (THAI)
• Softscape Contractor: CPS
• Quantity Surveyor: AECOM (THAILAND)
• Sustainability consultant: ATELIER TEN LTD.
Project location (Street, City, Country): THE FORESTIAS, Samut Prakan, Thailand
Design year: 2018-2019
Year Built: 2019-2020
Manufacturer of urban equipment (if any): –
Manufacturer of playground equipment (if any): –
• Mr. Rungkit Charoenwat
• Mr. Weerapol Singnoi
• Dr. Anong Chanamool
• Research and Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC)