LANDPROCESS 景观设计事务所 是一家致力于解决或应对城市气候变化问题、改善城市生态的泰国景观设计公司。自2011年创立以来，LANDPROCESS一直坚守尊重自然、造福于民的设计初心，聆听社会需求，通过设计建立自然与人类之间的和谐关系，做真正可回馈社会的公共景观。2019年，他们的抗洪生态公园获得了WLA、ASLA等多项景观设计大奖。之后的生态城市绿地空间设计更是层出不穷，不仅拓展了景观行业的设计思路，也为人们应对气候变化提供了新策略。
Landprocess is a Bangkok-based landscape architecture and urban design firm founded in 2011 by landscape architect Kotchakorn Vorkaakhom. Since its establishment, LANDPROCESS has always adhered to the design concept of respecting nature, listened to the needs of the society, and established a harmonious relationship between nature and human beings through design, so as to create a public landscape that can really give back to the society. In 2019, their Chulalongkorn Centenary Park won many landscape design awards such as WLA and ASLA. After that, green space design of ecological cities emerged one after another, which not only expanded the design ideas of landscape industry, but also provided new strategies for people to deal with climate deterioration.
We focus on landscape architecture industry and devote to spreading the excellent design ideas around the world. In today’s interview, we introduce Kotchakorn Voraakhom, Founder of LANDPROCESS.
总策划：陈科君 / Producer: Kejun Chen
主编辑：陈科君、王兰芳 / Editor: Kejun Chen, Via Wang
Please briefly introduce your work experience and background to Chinese readers.
为了帮助自己的家乡改善洪水灾害、海平面上升及气候变化等不利环境，我创立了两个景观设计公司：Landprocess和Porous City Network。致力于通过帮助、参与和教育容易遭受气候变化影响的社区开发富有生产力的景观，提高东南亚城市生态恢复弹性，做能够解决城市环境问题的企业来回馈社会。
Kotchakorn Voraakhom is a landscape architect from Thailand who works on building productive green public space that tackles climate change in urban dense area and climate vulnerable communities.
Voraakhom never thought her childhood playtime favorite–boat paddling with friends in the floodwaters in front of her house–would later become a catastrophic disaster: In 2011, Thailand suffered its worst flooding in its history, stranding families, including Voraakhom’s. In response, Voraakhom set out to populate the Thai capital with climate-resilient green spaces as buffers against the annual tempests. This park, the Chulalongkorn Centenary Park gives Bangkok a spark of aspiration of how the city can choose to address its threatened future while allowing new landscape architecture strategies to emerge.
After winning a contract to build Bangkok’s first public park in three decades, she created an 11-acre “thirsty” plot capable of absorbing one million gallons of water through a combination of sloped gardens, wetlands and a retention pond. Later this year, her firm Landprocess will open a second 36-acre park featuring the biggest urban farming green roof in Asia.
Building a park may sound easy, but not in Thailand’s capital, where Voraakhom and her team has turned an invaluable commercial property in the heart of the city, into a flood-proof, water-retention public green space, the Chulalongkorn Centenary Park, which won the 2019 World Landscape Architecture Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, The Best of the Best Award from Iconic Architecture by German Design Council and many more.
On a mission to save her hometown from floods, rising sea levels and climate change, Voraakhom founded landscape architecture design firm Landprocess and Porous City Network, a social enterprise working to solve urban environmental problems and increase urban resilience across Southeast Asia by aiding, engaging and educating climate-vulnerable communities about productive landscape design.
In your study and work experience, is there anything or someone that has had a profound impact on you and inspired you in your design after returning your country?
I get a lot of my inspiration in landscape design from Thais’ traditional way of living with water.
I believe the future is in the past–to really understand who we are and what we do here and right now, we need to learn who and how we were back then and there. Before, creating a life on a land that switched between wet and dry seasons, our culture was amphibious. Our infrastructure was natural canal systems and our main mode of transportation once paddle boats.
After returning from my work and study abroad, I’ve gained a better understanding and newfound perspective of the place I grew up in. It turns out that, above our constant yearn for innovation, the answers lie in our ingenious past–not in the history of our excessive industrial development, but in the ways we lived harmoniously with nature. I strongly believe needs to be realized into action.
And if I had to choose a person who inspired me, it would be our beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. Many of his royal projects were associated with water and agriculture, demonstrating the ways in which he understood their significance in our culture and well-being instead of copy-wasting unlimited developments. Even despite the complexity of these systems, His Majesty was always able to digest the concepts of nature and teach it to us in simple definitions. I’ve learned so much from His Majesty, who was not only an inspiration to me, but forever an inspiration to the whole nation.
As we all know, LANDPROCESS has been committed to restoring urban ecology. You have built many flood prevention parks, green roofs on buildings and urban farms in Thailand. Is there any common point that you have been pursuing in this series of design works?
All our work demonstrates the significance of “living with water”, not only in the sense of harmonious coexistence, but also in terms of handling its future uncertainties during this climate emergency. In our modern world, our cities have become like paralyzed bodies, no longer resilient or flexible to seasonal changes, let alone disaster. Our lands are no longer porous, all our agricultural fields unable to breathe any air or absorb any water.
To address the issue, I am working with the land to bring back its porosity and create a language of physical design for development which offers a solution to more sustainable development and improved well-being, as well as communication and understanding between humans and nature.
▼可呼吸可渗透的绿地公园 Pathumwananurak Park
▼曼谷屋顶康复疗养花园——将盐水袋转变为可循环利用的容器，用于垂直绿化 Sookwana Healing Garden – The saline bags switch from disposable to recyclable containers for planting to create a tree wall
Last year, the Chulalongkorn Centenary Park project, which your company deeply shared with our website has been favored by many readers. Some readers also asked, how long will it take for people to reuse the green Spaces after storing rainwater?
That is up for the park’s maintenance crew to manage. They can choose to store the water and wait for it to seep into the ground, or if the park holds too much water, they can also wait to drain it out into the public sewage system when it’s available.
The park actually follows a concept called the “monkey cheek”, a term coined by King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand for water retention systems he innovated as part of the “New Theory” agriculture. Just like monkeys when they fill up their cheeks with excess food–in which they keep, then chew and eat later when they’re hungry–the park stores the water for later use whenever it’s needed.
How is the Siam Green Sky that you designed in 2015 working now? It is understood that you contributed to this project, why did you design the pilot of urban agriculture in the bustling shopping center?
Siam Green Sky is an urban farming and agricultural learning center in a commercial district at the heart of Bangkok. It serves as a model showcasing a way to reclaim unused spaces on concrete roofs to reduce urban heat island effect, as well as introduce urban agriculture to densely-populated and highly-developed urban areas.
Originally formed upon an agrarian society, Thailand has today drifted and grown disconnected from its humble past. This project demonstrates the potential of wasted spaces in the city to create greenery in an urban environment, in this case as an urban agricultural center.
The place also provides recreation, education, and advocacy. With an outdoor amphitheater, the center is open to the public to attend workshops and learn about how food gets from the ground to the table. Also home to a variety of edible plants, it also attracts native birds and pollinators which have become a rare find in the city along with their food sources. Just steps away from high-end malls and supermarkets in the city’s heart, Siam Green Sky has brought about a change in general perception on agriculture and diet among urban dwellers, putting landscape architecture design in an unfolding solution for this growing concrete city.
As a green infrastructure of the city, how do you carry out your work in this kind of large-scale comprehensive park project? Can you give an example?
In a project, landscape architecture is part of the planning, part of the construction and also part of the engineering, integrative rather than segregating. Not only learning the system, but also adapting to changes and staying flexible is in the job description of landscape architects. I do agree that we need to think systematically but implementations are really dependent on how one can see the opportunity and choose to execute it. Yes, it’s called design.
An infrastructure is a system. So compared to all the concrete buildings we have going on around the city, my park, my implementation is really small–in order to fight the gray with the green. When I speak about big or small, I don’t mean the size, but instead, the impact. It can be something small, but it has to leave an impact that ripples throughout the entire system.
As one of Thailand’s best architects of impacting social change. What impact do you think your works have on social changes?
As architects, we really do have a lot of impact on the society based on how we design and what materials we utilize and how our work will last through time. After all, architecture leaves everlasting structures behind for people throughout their lifetimes and well beyond their generation. That can go both ways, for the better or for worse, but I try my best to keep it on the better side. And you cannot go wrong with planting more trees. Native one.
People’s well-being are inevitably connected with their environment and their health is a reflection of their cities’ state. I want my work to leave the kind of impact that will better the quality of living for people, and that includes myself and my loved ones, by embracing natural and ecocentric solutions in the dense and industrialized cities we now live in.
Just as important, is to remember the voices of those most affected by climate change. And so, it has become part of our job description to fight for climate justice and narrow today’s growing inequality gap.
You have also participated in a series of public campaigns in Thailand by urban residents and conservationists to require the authorities to provide state-owned land for parks and entertainment places. Can you tell us your opinion on this matter?
Public space should be for the public, and so as corporations take up these properties to build more concrete buildings, it’s become more crucial than ever for us to give back these lands to the people. Our rapid urban development is sinking our cities everyday, and one day there will be no ground left to stand on.
While turning increasing public green space is good for urban dwellers, it’s also good for business. Returning nature to the city helps reconnect people with it, but it also boosts productivity, adds aesthetics, improves city mapping and lots more.
I am only doing my part in contributing to the solution as a landscape architect. Whether it’s in confronting our climate crisis or tackling social inequalities, anyone in any profession can use the best of their skills and knowledge to create a better world for everyone.
▼把土地还给公众——在朱拉隆功大学百年纪念公园举行的音乐活动 Give back these lands to the people – A music activities held in Chulalongkorn University Centennial Park
We understand that during your work at LANDPROCESS, you have also taught landscape design at Chulalongkorn University since 2010. So, which aspect do you pay more attention to guiding and training students?
Our youth are our future, and so I don’t think my work as a landscape architect would be complete if I am not part of shaping the new generation of young designers. It’s always fulfilling to bring my students to climate-vulnerable communities and teach them about our neighboring countries, while enabling to come back to explore and learn more about their own city and its risks.
I do think there needs to be a particular design academic system which equips students with news skills that open up their minds to become not only sharper, but also more generous and hard-working landscape architects on ground. While they can dive deep into excelling at the professions in which they’re passionate about, I also want them to remember that the world, as it changes and unfolds from generation to generation, holds endless challenges outside of what they learned about their field for them to take part in.
Have you participated in any interesting projects recently? Could you share them with us?
Our Puey Learning Center at Thammasat University, once it’s completed, will be the biggest green roof in Asia. The Rangsit Campus where it’s built is designed under the core values of people and sustainability. Located in Upper Bangkok, originally filled with marshlands and floodplains, the Thammasat University Park aims to reclaim the ecology of the “Rangsit Swamp” of the past, and revive its biodiversity for the next generation to learn from.
To do so, we turned a 36-acre plot into a structure incorporating a building and park able to store more than 2.5 million gallons of water. The design concept resembles the architecture as a mountain, whose skin are the rice terraces mimicking farmers’ agricultural methods of slowing rain and runoff to grow food on steep terrains. With a water system of four retention ponds, the park holds runoff and floodwater in all four directions at each wing the green roof.
The cascading features were also meant to serve social functions and increase life and activities on the campus. The greenroom phase will finish in December 2019.
▼泰国法政大学Puey学习中心平面图 Master Plan
▼屋顶雨水径流管理 Roof Rainwater Runoff Management
▼水稻和蔬菜的种植加强了土壤的肥沃度，减少了暴雨期间的水土流失，并有效防止从排水系统和自然水体中进入的污染径流和空气中的毒素。The cascading layers of rice and vegetable plantations enrich the soil’s nutrition, reducing the amount of soil mass lost during heavy rainfall. This prevents polluted runoff as well as particulate airborne toxins from entering drainage systems and natural water bodies.
Another exciting project we’re about to complete is a green pedestrian bridge, which we created by revitalizing a failed government mega infrastructure project. Collaborating with the BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) and UDDC (Urban Design and Development Center), along with several other partnerships and local communities, this project will be the first bridge park in Thailand. The city will unveil this new landmark by New Year’s. Stay tuned!
▼新作：泰国的第一个桥梁公园项目-连接城市两岸的新曼谷公共绿色空间 Phra Pok Klao Sky Park-New Bangkok Public Green Space Connecting the Two Sides of the City
As an urban landscape architect, what are your worries?
I am worried about the kind of world we’ll be leaving for our next generation. I’m worried about challenges like our changing climate and how much they can exacerbate if we don’t adapt today. And since humans have caused all these problems, we, too, should be the ones doing our best to fix it. I’m afraid we are forgetting that.
更多 Read more about：LANDPROCESS