TROP Office – is a landscape design office located in Bangkok. It was started from the idea of a new adjacent working box next to the old office building. The box was designed to be a 3-story building and developed to have 4 parts of function. The first is public area of working, meeting and recreation. The second is private working room. The third is a court area for garden and soft landscape and the last one is main circulation connecting all spaces together.
Architizer chatted with JUNSEKINO ARCHITECT AND DESIGN to learn more about this project.
Architizer: What inspired the initial concept for your design?
Junsekino Architecture & Design: The architect conveys the characteristic of the office by portraying it through the building form and space. The white empty box filled out with function and landscapes harmoniously revealing the main protagonist of the building which is nature.
What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?
In order to break through the boundary of a typical office building, the architect create a homey working space by using ‘terrain’ and ‘open space’ as a main element. Greens and nature are assigned to be part of the design which this is also reflected the identity of the organization as a landscape architectural design firm. Without negligence of local climate condition, the building response well to the tropical quality of the region.
What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?
As a landscape architectural design firm, the owner requires a working space with a visual connection to the nature as well as maintain some privacy. The architect designed an enclosed space with a permeable brick façade that allow natural ventilation and light penetrating through the building in an appropriate amount. Moreover, with terrace and landscape, the building is not only a place but also the flexible background for variety of people’s gesture and imagination.
How did the context of your project — environmental, social or cultural — influence your design?
The project site is in Bangkok, adjacent to the original office. Located in residential and office districts, the building blends in harmoniously with the surroundings in terms of scale but still maintain some privacy. Moreover, the building is designed to response to the tropical conditions of the region. The façade, courtyard and landscape that is introduced within the space create some thermal comfort condition for the users.
What drove the selection of materials used in the project?
The place represents simplicity with non-materialistic finishing of walls and floors. The space is filled by part of the boxes with plain and void. The building maintains the user’s privacy without depriving the connection with the environment. Bricks were chosen as a main material for integrating the architecture and landscape. Nevertheless, nature is designed to become part of the building with void working as a light well allowing natural elements including light and ventilation to illuminate and flow throughout the whole space. The variation of shade and shadow cause by the penetration of natural light through the façade become part of the interior space which will be shifted throughout day.
What is your favorite detail in the project and why?
We belief that architecture and interior design are intertwined, equally important and inseparable. With a working style that values every detail in all elements and dimensions, it believes in unique touches and essences for individual projects and emphasizes on methodical approach of thinking process and overall proportion It focuses on tropical-style environmental management. Sincerity and attentiveness are core values of our firm.
How important was sustainability as a design criteria as you worked on this project?
The architect considered the tropical climate condition as one of the main constrain. The adaptation of vernacular architecture principle has been applied in many aspects to minimize the energy consumption and create a thermal comfort for the users. By inserting courts and landscape, all working areas of the building could receive enough natural light and allow the users to experience the variation of environment during the day. A semi-outdoor spaces and terraces which are the main circulation route of the building become a heat absorption and create a comfortable interior environment by allowing enough natural air flow to ventilate within the space. Moreover, the architects utilized the durable elements and material and could be replace easily especially the façade. The system was delicately designed and concerned on its maintenance.
In what ways did you collaborate with others, and how did that add value to the project?
Collaborating with interior, contractor and landscape designer has conveyed the unique characteristic of the building. The architect using terrain and open space as a main element for create a homey working space. In some areas, interiors or landscapes have been used to give the area more specific uses.
Were any parts of the project dramatically altered from conception to construction, and if so, why?
During the construction work, we found the distinction between conception and construction. Therefore, we consult with contractors and owners to adjust the space or some details to suit the actual use.
How have your clients responded to the finished project?
As an office space, the owner requires a working space as well as a recreational area for the employees. With some courts and landscape scattering around the space, the users are allowed to enjoy a difference scenery from a difference space. The white empty box filled out all the rooms is for easily recognizing the volume of the space and observed the time of the day. The architect controlled an appropriate number of details and elements to represent simplicity which is an identity of the company. The intension of the owner is to allow his employees to be able to enjoy the greens and nature without being deprived of their privacy. The architecture is properly designed to responding all the requirements well as it allow all the user to have a visual connection to the nature from all different spaces.
What key lesson did you learn in the process of conceiving the project?
We have acquired about the distinction of design and collaboration in detail that differently from the other projects. This project has characteristic and requires to showcase their corporate identity that changes the standard conformation of our operative.
How do you believe this project represents you or your firm as a whole?
We believe that our projects can represent the designer as well the thoughtful of thinking and design in any detail that emerges from our projects.
How do you imagine this project influencing your work in the future?
T.R.O.P Office is another project that we intend at every procedure. In the future, we believe that every project is created, regardless of the building type, it will be an architecture to present to everyone.
Is there anything else important you’d like to share about this project?
The architect aimed for designing a distinct working space from a typical office building for an effective working environment. The relaxation become one of the most crucial keys of the project. Nature is introduced as part of the design and grown through time along with the people. The vibrancy of the environment become part of creativity and inspiration for the users. The combination of all the simple material selected by the architect reflects the simplicity of the project. Owing to the collaboration among the architect, contractor and engineer, the team were able to experiment on a variation ideas and construction method which create a satisfying outcome.
JUNSEKINO INTERIOR DESIN (interior), TROP : terrains + open space (Landscape designer, Owner), G.A. HOUSE (Contractor)
For more on TROP Office, please visit the in-depth project page on Architizer.