How can Nature Facilitate Design?
Article by Domenico Pistone – A review of Coro Field: Phase I, by Integrated Field Co.,ltd., in Suan Pheung, Ratchaburi, Thailand, helps us answer the question, how can nature facilitate design?
This new design uses a simple, straightforward intervention, which is reflected very well in the project. Everything is marked by nature, the true protagonist of the project, a nature that takes its time and that gives to visitors. Perhaps this is the beauty of the project: Coro, in the local language means “time” and the name itself hints at what the purpose of this place is, that is not a simple farm or even a simple restaurant; it is an experience.
Coro Field is now a place that has about 2,000 visitors a day, a place where time becomes liquid and is able to irrigate organic plants that, with patience and love, flourish. This represents a return to origins, but without taking one’s feet off the ground, looking towards the future. That’s Coro Field: a bank of time, in which to put in the safe serenity.
Coro Field: An ‘Experience for the Five Senses
Let’s try, now; close your eyes and imagine an agricultural field over a large area of Suan Phung (we are in Thailand),. We imagine the cohesion between the simplicity of design and the power of the sprouting of a plant, we listen to the 15 staff people who care, without chemicals, for every plant and fruit. We savour the smell of the air. We open our view onto different visual levels; the parallel grooves of the ground, the light that filters through the horizontal lines of the structures, the inclusion of nature in the project and the branches of the wind-lulled trees.
We open our view onto different visual levels; the parallel grooves of the ground, the light that filters through the horizontal lines of the structures, the inclusion of nature in the project and the branches of the wind-lulled trees.
Experience, we said, that boasts of being among the first in the world. An organic body, because he lives through every part; the structure of which, the skin, the services, the various spaces you argue with each other, a system of modular parts to each other which helps to better enjoy Coro Field.
A design that is inspired by a book; “How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built“, by Stewart Brand (an American writer), in which appear the key elements such as “seasonal objects” or “Grid System” or “movable surfaces”. The relationship between these spaces, furniture, interchanges, and lives, generates and encourages, in those who experience it, creativity and diversity.
Coro Field is divided into two main areas: the built area of 1,345 sq.m and the landscape, an area of 8,548 sq.m.
The built region is divided into ten areas; information, Coro cafe, market Coro, playground, house Coro, Coro garden, ampitheatre (defined by sunken topography), Coro me, bbq Coro, and parking.
Eat Better, Feel Better
In Coro Field nothing is left to chance, the physical and mental well-being of those who visit and live side by side in direct contact with the earth and its productions. The German philosopher L. Feuerbach, already in 1862, said “man is what magic”; so he who enters Coro Field and is lost among the fruit scents of the season and the soft colors of the furniture or the ground-level curves that surround the amphitheatre and definitely will come out renewed.
In the Coro Market, it will be so easy to find wisely and patiently cultivated fruit in season or out-of-season, preserved by the Coro Field staff. The Coro Market is accessible to all visitors, and has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from all over the world.
Minimal Design, Maximum Pleasure
In the greenhouse, whose roof is removable, the space is divided by vertical steel pillars 1.5 m apart (the proper distance for farming); it has pathways that have an inclination to favor the gradual drainage of water (according to the principles of permaculture). The greenhouse, with its paths and where they mix the scents of Hokkaido melon, of Holland Cherry Tomato, or simply of freshly cut grass, leads to the Coro Cafè.
The café is a simple space, tidy, never the same. A natural extension of the fields onto which it opens, it becomes a place of encounter, dialogue, exchange, and cohesion. A place founded on the idea of nature, upon renewal of an idea could not fail to have a suitable place for the exchange of ideas, dialogue and friendship.
In each space you see the will to interpret the movement of nature, a nature never the same and always dynamic. IF architects reinterprets this dynamism through a study of portable, modular objects. It lulls Coro Field between the clean lines and unfussy orders, with a minimal design that culminates in mobile kitchens or social white metal tables with wooden floors, portable and light which we can find within the first area and can be transported, thanks to the wheels, to the fields to enjoy the scents and colors, the roof of the Coro Cafè can be reduced to let nature into the built space.
Coro Cafe, in its refined simplicity, is a place to be taken for an example, a space that facilitates integration and happiness.
Exploring, Living, Learning and Sharing
As we understand, Coro Field is not “just” a great use of the architecture of the landscape, but a way of living, thinking and acting in a world mistreated by ourselves.
Here one senses a strong and powerful thinking behind the creation of this structure that can be summarized in; exploring, living, learning and sharing.
Coro Field, with sensitivity to the world and to more sustainable agriculture and intelligent food production, tries to create a new way of life whose essential elements are home, food and care.
Knowledge and learning are essential to Coro Field and every process comes from experience, from study, and from ideas. What most honors Coro Field is to share this policy. They are in fact convinced that sharing with as many people as possible could lead to the creation of a better world.
Better Places for Better World
We have seen how Coro Field is not just a Farm, but an experience that attempts to offer beauty and simplicity to those who visit. It is an example to follow and share in order to know ourselves and our planet. Coro Field helps us to know each other and respect each other as a result, we learn from this magical place and we share this healthy idea.
Full Project Credits For Coro Field: Phase I :
Project Name: Coro Field: Phase I
Location: Suan Pheung, Ratchaburi, Thailand
Owner: Coro Brother Co,.Ltd.
Architect: IF (Integrated Field Co.,Ltd.)
Interior architect: IF (Integrated Field Co.,Ltd.)
Landscape architect: IF (Integrated Field Co.,Ltd.)
Lighting designer: Kullakaln Gururatana
Corporate Identity: Symbolist Co.,Ltd.
Structural engineer: Kor-IT Structural Design and Construction Co.,Ltd.
Electrical engineer: Kor-IT Structural Design and Construction Co.,Ltd.
Sanitary engineer: Kor-IT Structural Design and Construction Co.,Ltd.
Main contractor: Rattanaphon development Co.,Ltd.
Interior contractor: Rattanaphon development Co.,Ltd.
Modular furniture contractor: The Brick Design and Construction Co.,Ltd.
Softscape contractor: New TL Nature Co.,Ltd.
Signage contractor: Beetwart CNC Co.,Ltd.
Area Architecture: 1,345 sq.m.
Landscape: 8,548 sq.m.
Design: Dec 2013
Completed: Oct 2015
Photographer: Ketsiree Wongwan
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
Article by Domenico Pistone
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