Designing with nature: the forest pavilion’s green transformation

Forestias – TK Studio, Bangkok, Thailand

In Bangkok, Thailand, a 48,000 sqm (516, 668 sq ft) urban forest stands tall in the center of one of the largest property development projects in Thailand, dubbed Forestias. While it may appear, in theory, to be out of place amongst the corporate concrete-laden dwellings, it feels perfectly at home, transforming the traditional rigid form of pavilion into a natural freeform central forest. Developed by TK Studio Co. Ltd., with FOSTER + PARTNERS and leading landscape designer Tawatchai Kobkaikit, the Forestias development includes an impressive Forest Pavilion, creating a testing ground for blending landscape design and interior space design.

“Our commitment is to support happiness and wellness of the users and create an immersive experience of living with nature, which achieved by utilizing the research as design strategies,” says TK Studio.

The project is a “symbiosis of nature”, embracing three stages: planting, immersing, and balancing. Connecting all developments within the site, it evokes inspiration and emotion from its visitors and is an inclusive space for collaboration. The three stages of symbiosis can be tracked and measured, showing how the Forest Pavilion will evolve over time with the current and future generations.
The project includes the creation of an oasis, an all-encompassing ecosystem that includes walking trails, a treetop canopy walk, and a deep forest (reserved for wildlife and forest rangers) dedicated to conservation. This striking landscape weaves its way through the apartment complexes, office buildings, and hotel with ease, blending the environments to exist as one.

The Forest Pavilion, a main component of the development, is no different. Designed so that anyone can interact with this space however they wish, it proves that nature can’t be built, but instead, given a space to grow just as we do, and through that space, an immersion of species can develop. This project is also a testament to how research can be used as a design strategy. This notion would seem like a no-brainer, but designing with climate, materials, and soil specifications in mind is what elevates this project into something concrete, which can preserve the wildlife and the feelings they evoke for years to come.

Over 183 indigenous species have been planted in the Forest Pavilion, including lotuses and ratchaphruek (royal tree), whose small, yellow flowers are widely considered the national flower of Thailand. This pavilion will soon undergo a metamorphosis, becoming the Forestias Ecosystem Learning Center, which will be open to the public for research and education. This change is at the heart of the project’s symbiosis: to balance conservation with experience; understanding the history of this space and the species that inform it, whilst also appreciating it on your own time, in your own way.

Providing a space for this shared knowledge is embodied in this project through its social design (providing an entrance gateway to the broad forest zone of The Forestias) and giving a prototype of living in nature, in an otherwise dense urban environment. This proves that balancing nature and urban populations can take different forms, one of which can be designed as a detour of sorts, off the beaten track and a chance for you to reset and discover what else is out there.

“Happiness—a simple yet powerful manifesto advocated in The Forestias. It is the ideal living sanctuary that demonstrates happiness of dwelling within the urban forest,” adds TK Studio.

TK Studio

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