Located in a 1.8-acre site in Bangkok, this residence, a series of extra-large architectural blocks, is a home for just a family of three, each with his/her own interest of activities. The roles of landscape design were to spatially divide the site into several gardens and courtyards serving different purposes, and, at the same time, to unite the relationship between each member of the family. Because of the residence’s gigantic masses, the landscape was composed to help reducing the scale of the building. Luckily, existing Rain Trees were there to give the design team a great helping hand.
When the design team first visit the site at the end of 2013, the construction of the residence’s main structures was about to be completed. At 40,000 square feet of living areas, it was such a large house, compared to its 1.8-acre site. Every room of this house was several times larger than typical homes. It was built as the residence for only a family of three, a young entrepreneur, his mother and his younger sister.
Each member also has his/her own interest of activities, which also brought in different groups of friends. Even though the architecture itself has so many function rooms, they also wanted to expand their beloved activities into the landscape. A male owner loved sports, including boxing, squash, basketball, and training. His mother preferred some quiet areas for meditation and massage. And, finally, a younger sister enjoyed having afternoon tea and chitchat with her group of girlfriends.
To respond to those requirements, making sure each activity would not interrupt with one another, the design team carefully composed a series of gardens and courtyards within the site. 2 main landscape elements were used to divide the site spatially and visually. First, the main road corridor was used as a spatial backbone, hiding the Tea Garden behind its hedge wall and separate the Meditation Court with its tunnel-like green landform. And, second, the Great Lawn, used as the activity center of the whole family, was built with a 2-meter tall landform which used as a screening media for the sports zone, a squash court and an indoor gym.
Even though unwanted by the family at the beginning, because of their falling leaves, the existing Rain Trees (Samaneasaman) were carefully preserved in the Meditation Courtyard. Their gigantic canopies did not only help providing privacy for the residence but also gave cool shades crucially needed during hot Bangkok’s summer. The sizes of those trees, located just across the pool from the residence blocks, were such a great help for the design team to reduce the scale of the architecture.