23° Escape

23° Escape

Location
Khao Yai, Thailand
Project Year
2014
Category
Parks/Gardens

Townscapes
Mr. Wison Tungthunya

23° Escape

Shma Designs as Landscape Architects

23° Estate is a mixed-use development consisted of condominium, villas, and hotel, situated in “Khao Yai”, a vacation town located 205 kilometer to the North of Bangkok City.


The name “Khao Yai” which literally means “Big Mountain”, suggested a unique topography of lime stone mountainous formation. The site sits at the foot of these mountains amongst crisscrossing natural water ways and reservoir. The setting which becomes our primary parameter for our concept and site planning in order to blend in with the existing condition and to minimize impact this project might have to the local ecology.


Inspired by the jagged shape of lime stone mountain, we crafted the topography lightly with a strong irregular linear line to channel the water from the hill passing through this development into a constructed reservoir with wetland to filter the water before releasing to adjacent river. We also utilize the crafted topography to define various functions and walkways creating a beautifully composed scenery and journey which reflects the surrounding landscape very well.


Each component of condominium, villa, and hotel is manage separately, though, we propose a seamless landscape boundary (such as reservoir and mound) in order to connect every component visually connect as one whole development.


The arrival court of the hotel welcome guest below leading through the lobby to be greeted with a grand view overlooking panoramic landscape view of the site with large reflecting pond in the foreground, within the pond, situated a fire place for enjoying outdoor living during winter season.


Low rise condominium compound is placed on the high ground at one corner of the site to lessen the visual impact to the 2-storey villas compound. The swimming pool interconnecting with water feature, placed in multi levels, are designed as a simplified interpretation of natural waterway. Cascading water create a soothing sound for this inverted landscape, serpentine court, for condominium area.


Villa zone has its own secluded entrance with relatively much lower density featuring a sizeable private garden for each villa. The orientation of each villa are carefully planned to offer a maximum privacy and also a good view to the mountain beyond.


Planting design is focusing on preserving existing trees and using only species indigenous to the surrounding area to weave and continues ecology pattern at large. Clean simple palettes of ground covers are used not only to emphasize sculptural topography but also to help with the slope protection.


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