TROP is a landscape architectural design studio with a team of designers and construction supervisors. Led by Pok Kobkongsanti, our philosophy is to create unique designs for each project that we work on. We believe that our design process is as important as the design itself, so we work very closely with each of our clients. Our specialty is Clean and Elegant Landscape Design with precise details that are custom-made in each of our projects, trying our best to design a garden specially unique for each of our sites. In TROP we’re not just create the eye-catching unique design, if you look closely our work of arts penetrates nature through landscape design in order to help shaping the more livable environment for a better city.
Botanica Khao Yai is located on the edge of Khao Yai, the most important national reserve forested region of Thailand. The site was an abandoned agricultural land. On the front, it faces a local road, and, on the back, a small mountain just right next to the boundary line. Separated into 2 main plots, the front plot, next to the road, is the residential area, while the second plot, next to the mountain, is reserved as a public park for recreational activities of the residents and visitors. In order to fit all unit requirements into a compact area, ‘The Residences’, a series of residential blocks, were arranged on the landscape platform. Two 6-storey buildings, called Block A and Block B, are located along the edge between 2 land plots. Block B is a simple 6-storey residential block, while Block A is a bit more complicated. It has a V Shape layout. One part of the block has units for all 6 floors, facing the mountain behind. The other part is located in the middle of the first plot, elevated 4 floors from the ground with units only on the top 2 floors, facing the front of the property. The elevated units are built on gigantic concrete columns, leaving space underneath as big opening void. Along the road, 12 2-storey villas are created, with private gardens and pools.
The Garden of Hilton Pattaya
It is always a pleasure to see great design projects built on great surroundings, for examples, on hideaway beaches or extraordinary mountains. However, as a young studio, we do not have that kind of luxury. Instead, what we had was a real problematic site, a shopping mall roof. Pattaya is a two-hour drive from Bangkok. Historically, it was famous for beautiful long beach and unobstructed sea view. However, lacking local regulations, the beach is now crowded with nightclubs and bars. In order to avoid the noisy beach, Hilton Pattaya, a 200 rooms hotel, is built on the roof of a new shopping centre. Our original task was to create an urban sanctuary hidden from chaotic beach below. The goal is to re-connect the landscape with Pattaya’s beautiful sea view. Because of the limited area, we had to re-organize the overall spatial structure of the garden.
Quattro is a High-end Residential Project in the up-scale area of Bangkok. Look at Bangkok now. You can hardly find soil in the city full of concrete and asphalt. Her people have changed their ways of living too. In the past, we may prefer to live in a small house, with small garden, outside the city areas, and commute in and out the city daily. Not anymore. To fit the present time’s fast life style, It is quite normal these days that younger generation of Thais are moving in town and choose to live in high-rise buildings, instead of their out of town homes. Horizontal Living is out. Vertical one is the thing to do. Basically now we live in a box. Stacked boxes, to be precise. Ranging from 30 sqm to larger ones, they are still boxes. Concrete boxes that are put on top of each other, instead of soil. This is far from the ideal “Home” that everyone has in his/her mind. If you ask kids to draw their ideal “Home”, you would surely see similarities between each drawing. It may have a house, a garden of some sort, a fish pond, etc. Compare that to the condominium boxes we are living in, we may still have a house, but a garden and a pond are gone. Well, that is not good, and we would like to change that.
The Garden of Ad Lib Hotel
A few years ago, we got a commission to design a landscape for a new hotel, in one of Bangkok’s busiest neighborhoods. The site was quite compact, with abandoned townhomes on both sides, facing each other. These structures must be kept and transformed into hotel rooms, with windows looking right at drop-off area. The new lobby and restaurant were to be added in between both structures, making the site even more crowded.
Luckily, there is one existing tree right in front of the property’s wall. The tree is Ficus Benjamina Linn., with beautiful branches and a lot of hairy roots. Considering its location, it probably grew here by accident decades ago, and the owner’s grandparents just let it be there. We decided from the very first day that this tree would be the main feature of the hotel. The owner had doubt at first, thinking about cutting or removing the tree, because it made the construction process much more difficult. Thai people normally do not plant a Ficus tree at homes. They think it belongs to temples. We had to convince the whole team that the tree was very critical for our landscape. First, the hotel basically had no view to look at, which made it very hard to attract their potential guests. This tree would be our ‘View’. From everywhere in the property, you could see this wonderful tree.
Second, this hotel was not a typical hotel. The owner wanted to build a long stay hotel here to serve the neighbor hospital’s international patients and their families, who had to be treated for weeks or months. So we looked at the project as their second home instead of their hotel. Because of Global Warming, Bangkok’s temperature is also rising every year. We wanted to create more comfortable living space by reducing the temperature by a few degrees inside the property. The tree’s gigantic shade would significantly help. Also in Thai, the phase ‘Rom Po Rom Sai ’ (literally means ‘Under the Ficus shade’) means someone who protects you and makes you feel safe. Finally the owner agreed to keep the tree, including all of its hairy roots.
GROOVE @Central World
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is the heart of everything in the country, making it an extreme primate city, dwarfing Thailand’s other urban centers in terms of importance. The city has more than 8 millions registered vehicles. Many of those cars are driving crazily around the city everyday. Yet, basically, we do not have any proper public footpath at all. There are more than 15 millions residents and a couple millions more tourists in Bangkok. As a result, every single square inch of the city could be a potential place for setting up businesses. Bangkok’s footpaths are no exception. Street vendors, selling everything from counterfeit products to your dinners, permanently occupy more than half of pedestrian areas. To make it worse, an uncountable numbers of both legal and illegal signage help blocking the pedestrian circulation as well. Some are completely blocked, which force pedestrians to walk on streets instead, increasing the number of accidents every year.