What Lies Behind the High Concrete Wall and Gate of T. Residence in Bangkok?
T. Residence, by LOKOH=Co, Bangkok, Thailand.
The tops of large trees and the side of an arbor just behind a high perimeter wall may prompt a visitor to ask what hidden delights lie beyond the large rustic wooden gates of T. Residence in Bangkok, Thailand. A lush vine rambling along a trellis and a bed of groundcover resembling dwarf Schefflera offer a clue.
T. Residence, designed by LOKOH=Co Landscape Architects, was nominated for the 2015 Thailand Landscape Architects (TALA) award for best private residence project. Criteria for winning projects include innovation, outstanding planting design, beauty, functionality, and representation of Thai landscape. An article of this length can only cover some of the features of this complex garden.
Creative Divisions Add Functionality and Atmosphere
Upon passing through the wooden gates, visitors find themselves in the arrival courtyard, an open space between two discrete gardens. From here, one can travel along extensive walkways to explore different aspects of the garden that combine modern and rustic elements.
Dividing the Space
Changes in levels, plant combinations, water features, timber decking, walls, rocks, pebbles, paving, and other elements have all been combined to transform a simple rectangular plot into a tiny tropical wonderland. The garden has been carefully divided into three living areas, each with its own atmosphere and functionality.
Creating a Jungle like Atmosphere
The main entrance abuts the Living Courtyard, where tropical foliage plants of contrasting colors and textures combine to create a jungle-like atmosphere. The axis approach pond — a long narrow strip of water at right angles to the main entrance — lies along a grand axis that extends through to the Private Garden beyond. By the boundary wall is a stone garden, where a series of stones are juxtaposed with tufted grass.
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A wooden platform extends by the axis pond, which is next to a higher pond stepped up one level. A detour from the wooden platform leads to a living terrace, a cozy timber deck between the water and the house. From the living terrace, one is treated to a view of ponds in the foreground, as well as a crafted wooden screen wall by the boundary wall.
Creating a Space to Create an Experience
Beyond the gateway pergola, the visitor is offered a tantalizing glimpse of the Private/Guest Garden beyond, a lush garden with many tropical plants reflected in the nearby decorative pond. Timber platforms facilitate easy movement through the garden to the wooden terrace at the other end, which holds another entertainment area.
The far side of the terrace is bordered by a stepped, raised green terrace containing a low-maintenance, lawn-like space of tufted Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicas). At the end of the garden is an accent wall and garden sculptures.
The Tranquillity Backyard
The visitor reaches the Tranquillity Backyard via a cool corridor between the house and the perimeter wall, known as the moss/fern garden, which is shaded by the perimeter wall and a grove of very large trees. Underneath, various mosses and ferns flourish on top of and between large rocks. With its fish pond and brightly colored tropical fish and its secluded wooden terrace, the Tranquillity Backyard invites the visitor to wind down and contemplate.
Mature Trees and Lush Undergrowth Bring the Tropical Rainforest to the City
Large, mature trees create a cool, moist microclimate underneath which layers of tropical shrubs and ground covers flourish.
Epiphytic Staghorn ferns (Platycerium alacorn) cling to tree branches underneath which moss on large rocks thrives beside bromeliads (Bromeliaceae spp.), birds nest ferns (Asplenium spp.), and jasmine (Jasminum spp.), all reflected in the many ponds.
Specialised Planting Selection
Foliage plants include heliconias (Heliconiae spp.), with their paddle-shaped leaves and pendant-like flowers; elephant ear-shaped plants (Alocasia spp.); the sword-like leaves of dracaenas (Dracaenae spp.) and pandanus (Pandanus spp.); as well as frangipani (Plumeria spp.) and fleshy palmate-leaved philodendrons (Philodendron spp.).
Some of the large trees resemble Thailand’s auspicious species that are traditionally planted in large gardens or on temple premises. These include the Pink Cassia (Cassia javanica), an umbrella-shaped tree with pink blossoms; the Golden Shower tree (Cassia fistula), with cascading yellow blossoms; and the Coral Tree (Erythrina orientalis), with bright orange/red blossoms.
Every Square Inch a Tropical Treat
T. Residence incorporates key elements of the traditional Thai garden to create a riot of foliage around a well-planned structure with focal points of shade pergolas and accent walls. Trees are strategically placed to provide shade and beauty, creating a microclimate underneath which lush tropical foliage thrives. Natural elements such as rocks and pebbles are placed near paving and retaining walls. Numerous ponds, including fish ponds, are traversed by timber decking that leads to quiet hideaways. Almost every inch of land serves a purpose and contributes to the overall ambience of the garden.
Full Project Credits for T. Residence
Project Name: T. Residence
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Awards: 2015 TALA Award for Best Private Residence Project
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