LIVING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE
Damansara Foresta, a high- rise condominium that located next to the Bukit Lanjan Reserve Forest in Bandar Sri Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. The development is strategically situated in the midst of 42 acres lush natural greeneries, a 150 million year old rainforest with backdrop of mountainous terrain. The variety of ecological elements within the existing terrain and forest-scape is indeed a perfect topography and interesting natural setting for the designer to experiment and demonstrate harmony of landscape design.
As located 180 metres above the sea level, Damansara Foresta creates vantage points throughout the development, capturing panoramic vistas, mountain ranges, cityscapes, horizons and other picturesque surroundings. With such extensive natural surroundings, Damansara Foresta offers picturesque and tranquil living environment, promoting ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’.
Based on the site study carried out, a variety of plant species was found which some of them were categorized in rare species. The Department of Forestry Malaysia audited the site during the planning stage and decided to preserve over 3,000 trees on site to ensure the balance living biodiversity to the surrounding development is sustain. These trees are Damansara Foresta’s most treasured landscape elements. The site topography could be determined based on a variety of rare plant species.
Yet another element for preservation on site is the natural water spring. Although it is only a small source, its flow is redirected into the landscape water features and ultimately channeled into the development’s water harvesting system. Preservation is a must to keep all the fauna at their own habitats to educate all the future dwellers. Slope provide a green backdrop for the driveway and treated to prevent soil erosion. Big tree to be remained, potential to be one of the attraction.
Designed to blend seamlessly into the existing environment, its aim is to create a safe, serene and peaceful environment, ensuring at all times that conservation efforts are in place. This will complement the master development plan of Damansara Foresta which consists of residential homes and recreational amenities that connect its residents to the various landscape elements.
Preservation is a must to keep all the fauna at their own habitats. All preservation steps must be carried out to educate all the future dwellers to evoke a real, immense and strong feeling of people towards the natural surroundings. Slope provide a green backdrop for the driveway and treated to prevent soil erosion. Small stream need to be well treated and beautify one of the potential spot. Picturesque view to be remain and potential to be a focal point for outdoor activities
FOREST + A = FORESTA
The FOREST “A” concept was inspired by the idea of bringing nature back to the urban fabric of Kuala Lumpur city. “Home within the Nature” was the vision of the development.
‘Forest’ – An area with a high density of trees
‘A’ – The letter ‘A’ means a First Class standards in quality of nature without giving up modern luxuries in urban lifestyle. All the activities and facilities will be based on the nature-like as a foundation to educate dwellers about the natural environment. The concept of FORESTA also derived from 5A’s that include:
i. Actions (analyze of the site)
ACTION brings the meaning that the act of human in analyzing the site including the existing flora and fauna, trees tabulation and also the topography of the site. Such attributes are important in ensuring the development is heading to a truly green way and also to minimize the development impacts to the natural environment. With this, it eventually will further lead to the effective action of preservation and conservation of the green surrounding the environment.
ii. Arts (creativity within the natural environment)
ARTS showed the idea of how the creativity of human is blended into the natural environment such as the proposal of Jungle Trail, canopy walk, hanging hammock, water trails and others. With the proposal of this, it aims to create a more cohesive connectivity of human with the natural environments and further bringing human living closer to its natural environment.
iii. Activities (engagement of human within natural environment)
With the proposal of various elements within the surrounding, difference activities can hence to be injected with the major aim to further engage human to the natural environment. With the injection of various activities within the forest environment, thill will further promote a healthier lifestyle that fits to the idea of green living.
iv. Ambience (mood within the natural environment)
With the proper analysis, proposal of creative elements, injection of various activities within the site, all these will further evoke a real, immense and strong feeling of people towards the natural surrounding. Such environment will calmness to the human where they can be surrounded by a variety of flora and fauna, sounds of the nature, smell of the nature and even the texture of the nature.
v. Appreciations (immense of feeling within the environment)
When all the above aspects are being achieved, this will further lead human living into a truly green way that people will learn through the natural environment and to further appreciate the natural environment.
The landscape design of “Foresta Damansara” provides spacious relaxation zones in different setting to its residents by extending the architectural lines of the residential buildings onto the landscape area, and into the forest area. Activities zone is designed to cater for various activities and functions extended from every corner of the landscape plaza area to the heart of the forest such as landscaped garden, children’s play area, badminton court, pool, skywalk, badminton court, roof deck, viewing tower, resting pavilion, forest trail and birds watching point.
A series of the elevated deck and sky walk are created throughout the landscape area to enrich the flat ground cover and encourage moderate-hiking activities. The connection between the landscape and the architectural design is to be accessible and promote community interaction. The connectivity of water features, which consists of the swimming pool, jacuzzi pool and leisure pool within the landscape recreation space is an effective microclimate cooling system to the surrounding besides offering fun swimming experience to the dwellers. In this garden, the rhythm of cascading water from the pool complements the tranquil ambience.
The hardscape features complemented to the greenery surroundings was introduced to the overall landscaping master planning which comprises the walking path, pave walkways, connecting bridges, pergolas, lawn seating, landscape lightings, playgrounds, themed gardens, bamboo tunnel, tea house, tree house, picnic deck, look-out point, tree swing, viewing tower, canopy walk and hammock garden. A series of the elevated deck and sky walk are created throughout the landscape area to enrich the flat ground cover and encourage moderate-hiking activities.
With the combination of all these features, these further develop a borderless living environment, promote the interaction of the community to the nature surroundings, and derive a better quality of green living at a higher extent.
HOME WITHIN NATURE
All in all, “Damansara Foresta” development truly appreciates and commits to the preservation of existing natural environment. By incorporating the current rainforest ecosystem, Mother Nature’s own landscape masterpiece created over millions years into this landscape design, it is indeed a “Home within the Nature”.
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape Architect Consultant
Other design firms involved:
Architect: SN Low & Associates Sdn Bhd
Civil and Structure Engineer: Zaidun –Leeng Sdn. Bhd.
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: JPK & Associates
Project location: Bandar Sri Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Design year: Year 2010
Year Built: Year 2015