- Design Team:Prapan Napawongdee, Jinnawat Borihankijanan, Napon Jaturapuchapornpong
- Engineering:Mr. Chonthit Siwavech
“Forest House”, located in Chatuchak, Bangkok, has challenged the trend of the rapid urbanization of the city, as green areas are sacrificed to meet the demand of residential areas causing impacts on the environment in many ways, importantly, air pollution. We can see from the fact that Bangkok has been facing a PM 2.5 concentration levels of air condition throughout the year, leaving visible effects on people’s health.
To solve this issue, growing trees seems to be a straightforward way that helps to trap particulate matters and producing oxygen according to the research. Hence, “Forest House” aims to utilize this approach and find a sustainable and low maintenance way for bringing back greenery into a private residence while maximizing plot area.
A new bigger house is built to replace the previous smaller one in the same area to accommodate a larger family. Its layout is segmented into 3 sections providing 2 courtyards in-between, enhancing good wind flow to every room in a rich green environment.
With careful design, the limited space - 3 floors (including the rooftop) of 300 square meters in total can house more than 100 trees. It has provided far enough oxygen for 200 people, even exceeding the need of a 7-people family since 1 tree can already produce a sufficient amount of oxygen for 2 people.
Here, only 1-2 years old trees with a trunk of 1-inch diameter size are selected due to their young root quality, having a higher chance to adapt to limited soil conditions. The chosen species are basically indigenous trees that demand less watering, resulting in a space with rich biodiversity that consists of more than 20 species including evergreen, flowering, and fruit-bearing plants. All trees will eventually thrive through the years, rather than initially being an instant thick forest that might not last long.
The rooftop has then become an ideal space for urban farming as it exposes to plenty of sunlight. As a result, this space is occupied by 1-meter high planters, where Thai fruits and traditional herbs can be grown to serve fresh organic food for the entire family. Moreover, it can also be used for other functions such as dining and cloth drying.
In the long run, simple maintenance is planned to ensure this compact forest’s growth with no need for excessive resources. The slow drip irrigation system is chosen for water-saving, along with perforated tubes running through the topsoil layer to maintain an adequate amount of humidity. Dry leaves fallen from trees are also collected to fill up the forest floor, and will gradually turn into natural nutrient-rich fertilizer during the degradation process. In addition, pruning is required quarterly to provide enough space for trees with a slower growth rate to become fully flourished. With this thoughtful and effective design, Forest House’s lush greenery has thrived beautifully, reintegrating trees back to the city once again.