shma company limited integrates more than 100 trees within the forested house in bangkok
 

shma company limited integrates more than 100 trees within the forested house in bangkok

in the forested house, shma company limited demonstrates a sustainable and low maintenance way to bring back nature into a private residence in bangkok, and still maximize its plot area. in order to integrate as much greenery as possible into the site, the thai landscape architecture practice has utilized the house’s roof surfaces as planting spaces, accommodating in this way more than 100 trees within the 12×24 meter plot. all images via shma company limited

 

 

the forested house project was built to replace a previous smaller one in the same plot, in order to cater for an extended family. in order to integrate as much greenery into the new building, shma company limited utilized the roofs as planting areas, carefully making space for more than 100 trees. ‘according to researches, a tree can produce enough oxygen for two people, trees in the project then provide enough oxygen for 200 people,’ states the company. ‘the amount of oxygen produced even exceeds the need of the seven-people family, and generously spreads to the surrounding neighborhood.’

 

 

during the design process, the landscape architects enlisted a series of strategies to ensure trees in the forested house would be ideally planted, while taking into account also method tree growth with the least maintenance requirement. first, in order to make the most of the rectangular plot of 12×24 meters, they segmented the house in three sections, with two courtyards in between. with this layout, the architects ensured natural wind would flow into every room, while providing courtyard spaces for planting. on the second floor, a planter has been integrated at the front of the house to provide privacy for the bedroom that faces the local street, while another planter has been added in the courtyard to connect the green space to the bedroom. at the roof level, planters reach up to one-meter in height, doubling as railing, and occupying about half of the total area, leaving the other half empty for other functions, such as dining, cloth drying, or urban farming.

 

 

other strategies include planting only one-two year old trees with a trunk diameter of 1 inch, in planters of 2×4 meters and 1-1.5 meters deep, since a young root system has higher chance to adapt to the limited soil condition. to maximize the number of trees in the small planter, only columnar shaped trees have been  selected, while indigenous species typically found in mixed deciduous forest are chosen as they demand less watering. with more than 20 species of evergreen, flowering, fruit barring, and edible trees selected, the architects made sure to create a rich biodiversity for the urban area. ‘the design process allows trees to thrive through years rather than creating an instant thick forest which might not last long,’ shma company limited explains. ‘within ten months after the completion, trees have grown up twice the height of the original size.’

 

 

on top of housing the trees, the roof surface doubles as an ideal space for urban farming, as it is exposed to plenty of sunshine, required for herbs and vegetables. another important function of the forested roof therefore is to produce fresh organic food for the family, including thai fruit trees such as star apple, rose apple, and star gooseberry, which are randomly mixed with other forest trees to avoid attack from insects.

 

 

‘rapid urbanization results in high urban density,’ notes shma company limited. ‘green areas are sacrificed to meet the demand for residential area. the lost green space significantly impacts on environment in many ways, importantly, air pollution. this year pm 2.5 concentration level in bangkok has risen up significantly high that it has visible effects people’s health. research says trees have ability to trap particulate matter and produce oxygen, hence a way to tackle the problem. it is time for us to rethink of how to reintegrate green spaces back into the city. bring back the healthy city, bring back healthy lives.’

 

 

project info:

 

name: forested house

architect: shma company limited

location: bangkok , thailand

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