ONE is a boutique design studio that specializes in high-end contemporary landscape architecture, urban design, public art and environmental planning in China, Southeast Asia, India and Middle East with head office in Hong Kong. ONE’s design philosophy of ‘land-culture’ is to draw inspirations from the culture and texture of the origin of site, and develop into one ‘big idea’ that transpires into physical spaces and tangible design elements which could be experienced by visitors and users, enhancing the awareness of the spatial and development identity. This ‘big idea’ becomes the source of series of further ideas that brings unique identity to the project.
This philosophy of ‘land-culture’ is a direct response to the standardized design solutions with complete disregard to local context and cultural heritage in this globalized world. ONE team acknowledges the rich cultural heritage and context of the sites in different countries and each design is a celebration of this heritage articulated via contemporary landscape design language. Through this narrative ONE team successfully creates a new dimension to cultural interpretation where culture becomes part of physical experience for the users in the landscape. Landscape features developed become artworks deeply rooted to the original narrative integrating culture, architecture, landscape and arts. A seamless connection is further forged between indoor and outdoor environment where spaces flow effortlessly blurring the edges to create memorable ‘art-scapes’.
Environment conscious landscape design is another aspect of ONE’s design approach and philosophy. ONE has experience working on LEED requirements, including platinum and gold LEED projects. ONE sees itself playing a bigger role in addressing current environmental challenges and hence it works closely with the client and the stake holders in propagating a strong green agenda. ONE’s unique approach in bringing local art and culture in the design is the first step towards a socially sustainable design. Then through rigorous site analysis ONE identifies key design elements that fosters environmental friendly design and then implements them. ONE works with local planting palette and locally available material.
Water efficiency remains vital to ONE’s design through use of permeable paving material wherever possible to recharge ground water along with use of swales and drainage channels to manage storm water run-off. ONE also works closely with architects and engineers in ensuring usage of grey water for landscape irrigation and energy efficient LED or solar lighting for landscape lighting.
Developed by Vietnam’s premier real estate company INDOCHINA LAND, boutique waterfront residential project INDOCHINA VILLA SAIGON in Ho Chi Minh City is an upcoming high-end villa development of 8 ha. Inspired by the linearity of the vast paddy fields that marks Vietnam’s dramatic landscape, the design includes a series of vibrant community spaces that are interconnected through a safe and secure public realm based on “access for all” philosophy. The community spaces – a linear waterfront park, community swimming pool plaza, neighbourhood park and children’s play park are all linked together with the unifying geometrical abstraction of rice grain, thus an extension of the paddy fields concept.
The INDOCHINA VILLA SAIGON experience begins with the entry statement at its frontage to the main road. Inspired by the rice pattern the boundary wall is unique in creating a strong identity and character. The boundary wall further merges with the art wall – the most important feature of the entry experience. The wall with its sculpted pattern with deep shadows changes character in the evening when the light box installed behind the wall softly glows to create a dramatic statement.
The rice inspired pattern unifies and manifests itself in a series of scales throughout the project especially in the community pool area located just after the entrance. Designed as the key gathering place, this area visually connects the adjacent lake with its infinity swimming pool featuring a linear deck canopy structure. With its rich patterned panels as both horizontal and vertical support elements it is an elegant structure of sculptural qualities. A shaded corridor of similar design character connects the Tai Chi Plaza with the waterfront BBQ deck and feature children’s water fountain. Inspired by the lotus and conceived as a feature play fountain the sculptural installation is more an artwork than a water feature. Dramatic lighting in this area highlights the sculptural elements and brings a boutique resort feel to the development.
Further down the development is the neighbourhood park, the other key park space within the project. Conceived as green oasis and also accessed from the linear waterfront park, it is a space with many unique features. The shape and pattern inspired by the geometrical abstraction of the rice grain finds new forms, the most common being the feature screen. Set against lush planting the screens create a new setting within this park. A series of platforms with linear benches act as places for relaxation and contemplation. The park also contains a central floating canopy hovering among the tree layer, its elegant floating plane in complete contrast to the tree foliage. Supported by a series of slender metal columns its sculptural quality is further enhanced by a series of cutouts in shapes of the pattern, not only to reduce load but also invite exciting play of shadows on the ground. A series of stepping stones on the lawn in the same geometric shape adds unity to the theme and creates the illusion of the pavilion cutouts being are mere subtractions only to appear on the ground as stepping stones. A series of sculptural seats as extrusions of the geometric shape appear among the greenery as contrast against the backdrop of lush foliage. Lighting further creates drama in highlighting these key landscape features within the park.
ONE’s approach of integrating art and culture in this project creates a unique landscape to be enjoyed both the residents and its visitors, making INDOCHINA VILLA SAIGON a landmark development of Ho Chi Minh City and creating a new benching in resort style city living.
Located in Chennai on a spectacular site along the Bay of Bengal Shanthi Nivas is a private beach residence designed to maximize its unique landscape setting. The house being conceived as a pavilion and set against a vast garden of contrasting beauty, the landscape becomes the primary design driver.
Inspired by the idea of creating gardens of contrasts, the distinct west and east garden become spaces with diverse character and experience linked with a feature central axis.
The east garden faces the sea and is designed to celebrate the uninterrupted view of the spectacular seascape. Incorporating the main pool and associated large party lawns it is a series of spaces with a combination of hard and soft surfaces. The pool forms the heart of this space with a small pavilion acting as an anchor. Hovering above the pool is the dramatic cantilever deck – element of the key feature axis connecting the east garden with the west garden. Conceived both as an outdoor feature dining space and a viewing deck the timber deck floats above the pool extending indoor spaces to outdoor and beyond.
Another feature of the east garden is the linear terraced lawn at the north of the site. Integrating traditional Indian Vastu principles to create the lowest point of site at north east corner, the terraced lawn addresses the change in level through series of sculptural steps and green terraces.
In complete contrast to the east garden, the west garden is conceived as a green oasis with its vast lawns and planting areas. The geometry of the landscape here is dynamic and fluid unlike the orthogonal geometry of the east garden. The extensive greening of the west garden with minimal hardscape is also a response to the harsh west sun of Chennai as the softscapes significantly reduces the reflected surface heat making the building cooler. Dotted with native and shade proving trees the west garden is about bringing natural landscape into the garden and creating a dense vegetal edge to provide privacy from neighbouring properties.
A small linear garden to the south of the plot connects the west garden with the east. Designed as a secondary entry to the grand party lawn of the east garden it is planted with a series of flowering trees framing a feature sculptural seat set in the landscape. This journey also features the auspicious Tulasi Madam – the traditional beautifully sculptural planter for Indian basil plant. Meant to bring good luck and fortune to the family Tulasi Madam remains an example of poetic integration of traditional element in a contemporary setting.
The west and east gardens are linked internally, through the house with the central axis. At the either ends of the axis two Buddha sculptures create dramatic termination of the vistas – one with the sea as the backdrop and the other lush greenery. This central axis connects the outside with inside in an overall design where architecture and landscape are harmoniously integrated with the site’s unique context and setting.
Located in the outskirts of Chennai at Mahabalipuram, India, Confluence is a unique project in its scale and aspiration.
Conceived as a resort destination the masterplan of the project has three distinct zones- A, B and C. Zone A is the first zone upon arrival and is primarily occupied by the convention centre building. The landscape around the building presents itself in form of large planters integrated with the ceremonial steps and bringing human scale and softening the edges. Within the convention building there is a small courtyard designed to bring light and greenery inside the building. Overlooked by the long pre-function corridor and the banquet dining it is designed as a minimalistic garden. A group of specimen Plumeria forms the key focal point of the courtyard while layers of shrub planting sit along the edges of the garden.
Along the side of the convention building runs a linear park all the way till the other end of the site connecting all the three zones. This linear park acts both as green buffer along the development as well as a garden integrating a linear swale as part of sustainable drainage strategy..
Zone B is about the grand lawn separating the convention area and the villa resort zone. The lawn with its vast green carpet forms an ideal venue for outdoor events. It also forms the perfect foreground for the impressive convention building.
Beyond the central lawn lies zone C, the villa zone, the key landscape zone of the masterplan. It is this zone that lends the development its intimate resort feel and character. Overlooking a lush central garden with series of pavilions and platforms, it acts both as a refuge as well as a green setting for the villas and chalets. Though the landscape structure of zone C is kept simple an elegant pattern, inspired by the logo of the development and sculpted by local traditional sculptors and artists, acts as a key additional layer superimposed on the minimalistic landscape features of walls and pavilions. These sculpted patterns add depth and character to the landscape features and transform themselves as art installations within the landscape. An extended rectangular landscape pavilion set at the edge of the pool frames the central garden and acts as a viewing gallery. With its carved sculpted pattern a unique set of shadows created by the sun add a dramatic layer of texture on the wall and the floor. In no other area of the project the lighting is as important as this. Subtle lights highlight key features within the landscape and create a sublime atmosphere for the guest to enjoy and contemplate.
The Mahabalipuram area, where the site is located has a strong history of granite sculpture dating back thousands of years. In this project local artists played a critical role in creating the sculptural forms of the monolithic seats in the landscape as well as the rich textures on the walls and pavilions. The landscape design in this project displays the fact that local art and culture can be woven intricately to a design which is very simple yet contemporary.
Azuela Cove in the cultural city of Davao is a unique project in its scale and aspiration. Conceived as a waterfront destination the landscape concept is to link the city with nature. Overlooking spectacular Shamal Island the landscape design weaves the industrial history of site with the indigenous cultural heritage of Mindanao Island through sensitive space making and landscape elements inspired by the local traditional fabric patterns of T’nalak. The pattern becomes three dimensional in forms of screens, benches, sculptures and ads an unique identity to the project.
The overall landscape experience is divided into three well defined zones – the urban gateway park, the central valley park and finally the waterfront park. Each of the three zones, distinct in their articulation, be it feature arrival plaza, central park with detention lake among existing grove or waterfront events lawn, are all finally interwoven and unified through the rich cultural patterns of the T’nalak.
The lakefront central park in the city of Nha Trang is designed for public to celebrate the ‘Sea Festival’ and to promote local music and arts. The landscape design for the park is directly inspired by the rich history of the city. As the ancient capital of famous Cham Empire, the city of Nha Trang is dotted with ancient Cham temples with their unique character, texture and geometry. The design of the park is a result of the articulation of this temple geometry, its delicate curves and lines juxtaposed in a contemporary setting as paths, walls and benches. In order to further enhance the dialogue between the rich cultural past and present, panels inspired by original temple façade forms the backdrop of the central water garden and plaza designed for live musical events and performances- a modern interpretation of the stage of the famous traditional ‘water-puppet’ show of Vietnam. A series of shaded gardens and plazas further make the park a space for all ages and groups to enjoy. Conceived as art-walk’- an outdoor gallery for local artists to display their sculptures, a shaded continuous canopy from the entrance plaza all the way to the lake connects all the key spaces and form one the key features of the park.