Private Garden is The Envy of Bangkok Residents
Baan Ladprao private residence, by Landscape Architects 49 Ltd., in Wang Thonglang District, Bangkok.
As one of Thailand’s premier landscape architecture firms, Landscape Architects 49, a subgroup of Architects 49 Ltd., has been designing unique and innovative spaces since first opening in 1989. According to its website, the firm’s philosophy is to “apply its knowledge of urban design, landscape architecture, site planning and environmental analysis to solve design and planning problems, as well as to create innovative and workable environments.” Baan Ladprao, a stunning private residence in Bangkok, is an award-winning example of this philosophy.
According to the design team, the client — the owner of Baan Ladprao and an artist — asked for a clubhouse to be situated among existing trees that are more than 20 years old on the 7.9-acre site. The owner also asked that the new structure be connected to the existing house and appear as if it had always been there. Finally, he asked for a parking area to accommodate about 20 cars, with access to the clubhouse from the parking area, and overflow parking, but separate from the main gate.
Baan Ladprao private residence
The designers were thoughtful of the owner’s requests and also created a space that can be enjoyed during the day and also for nighttime gatherings. Using simple hand sketches, they created an architecture that seamlessly flows from the clean lines of the interior to the lush green of the outdoors by overlapping spaces and mimicking materials. They also performed multiple drawing studies using function and form to come up with a design that reaped the largest benefit of each.
In the end, they came up with a design that fulfills all the needs of the owner, as well as being aesthetically pleasing for all who use it.
The Inclusion of an Outdoor Kitchen
To begin, the design features a modern outdoor kitchen meant to be a work of art in and of itself. The geometric concrete counter and seating wall were built to replicate the concrete and wood benches placed throughout the adjoining lawn. Both the benches and the countertops feature simple lines and strong angles, representing one aspect of the use of flow achieved by the designers.
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Protecting and Complimenting the Existing Trees
The pattern created by the counter and the seating wall was both thoughtful and intentional. It was designed to mimic the shadow of one of the owner’s favorite trees. The giant Angsana tree was left to cast its shadow over the lawn in the form of an outdoor carpet that can be seen from every outward-facing access point of the clubhouse.
The designers specified that during construction, concrete pipe would be placed around the trunk to protect this tree, along with others on the property. Their idea worked, as they were able to protect every single existing tree.
The Use of Geogrid Paving
In another effort to be conscious of the land, the designers opted for an alternative to the use of concrete or paving for the parking areas. Instead, they used geogrid paving filled in with grass to create a surface that was green, permeable, and functional.
The designers also maintained the overall garden theme of the outdoor spaces in this area by incorporating a grove of trees to create a long vista from the second-floor exercise room to the parking area. The trees also provide much needed afternoon shade for the clubhouse.
To further accentuate the idea of flow and lines of sight, concrete lines were placed in one section of the lawn to lead the viewer’s eyes where the designers wanted them to go — to a large focal tree.
The Desire for Low Maintenance
Per the owner’s request, only simple, low-maintenance plants were used to fill in the already lush landscape. The designers incorporated as many shades of green as they could find, starting with a very light green for the canopy and moving to a deeper shade for the shrubs and groundcover to create a calming effect for the entire area.
Finally, the space called for an intricate lighting design to accommodate the owner’s nightlife. The designers created a lighting scheme that not only accentuated the planting, but that also cast interesting shadows from the many sculptural elements throughout the space, while maintaining a functional space that can be enjoyed into the wee hours of the morning.
Visually Stunning and Highly Functional
In the end, the designers created a master plan that included nine distinct areas: the clubhouse, a fitness area, a dropoff area, parking, both left and right gardens, a pool, an outdoor barbeque, and a connection to the existing house. No one area stands alone, as each space is connected to its adjoining spaces through the use of flow and shared materials. The end result is an estate that is both visually stunning and highly functional for all who have the pleasure of using it.
The design received an Honor Award in the 2015 TALA awards in the private residences category for its innovations and planting design.
Full Project Credits for Baan Ladprao private residence:
Project: Baan Ladprao private residence
Location: 155/55 Ladprao 80 Wang Thonglang District, Bangkok
Designer: Landscape Architects 49 Ltd.
Cost of Construction: 10MB
Client: Private Residence
Size: 20 rais (7.9 acres)
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Article by Erin Tharp
Erin is a registered landscape architect and has a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is working for her own firm, Tharp Design.
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