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What does your dream office space look like? Many people said they would love flexible offices space where they don’t have to sit at the boring desk all day. Some people prefer the green spaces where they can relax while looking away from the screen and watching nature scenes. And many people wish for a community space where they could do other activities and chill.
Since a relaxation, either an hour or a minute, can increase work efficiency. All the aforementioned dream office ideas, thus, becomes a concept around the corner for the new home office of Trop: terrains + open space, a landscape architectural design studio led by a landscape architect, Pok-Attaphon Kobkongsanti. This new home office is designed by June Sekino, his close friend, from JUNSEKINO Architecture & Design. June aims to fulfil this new home office with a feeling of relaxation and to enhance the better working life of TROPsters.
If we remember the Residence Rabbit, Khun Pok’s private residence, we would have imagined the simple white box-shaped building, and, most importantly, neat. But TROP’s new office is different. It is cosy and blends with nature. “I think Khun Pok is very neat. But he doesn’t prefer such a neat office. He likes to feel more like home. It could be messy. It should reflect the landscape. It can be trees and mosses in the area. In other words, he is ok with a little mess but must not be dirty.” said Mr. June.
Open Space that is hidden under the name T.R.O.P.
Many people may not know that these four English letters T.R.O.P stand for Terrains, which means land, and Open Space, which literally means open space. Both words perfectly reflect the scope of landscape architecture. In designing a building to express the identity of T.R.O.P, these two words will undoubtedly become the elements.
An open space has become an integral part of the building. There are many open courts around the corners of the building, like a small green oasis that comfort the employees. The first court is the Welcome Space which can be view from the parking lot to the meeting room and the workspaces. It could be used to welcome guests or potential customers from time to time. The environment in the midst of nature from the open space is therefore ready to welcome and thoroughly reveals the identity of T.R.O.P.
Next to the main entrance is the open space that leads to a hidden large open court, acting as a Common Area where Tropsters can mingle, chit-chat, and take a break from their desk and refresh themselves with nature.
This court area also consists of interconnecting stairs, Khun Pok’s first intention was to build all the corridors outside as a forced Open Space that allows the employees could get some fresh air instead of sitting in a stuffy square room all day.
“Another thing is that Khun Pok always dreams of having an 8-meter-long working desk that opens up a wide perspective. Both his employees and he can be able to see the greenery outside or feel the fresh air outside in this privacy area without being seen by the outsiders.” Khun June illustrates the layout plan that he designed.
On the second floor, there are a large office for employees and a director’s office. These two rooms are designed to be in separated corners with the green court in between. The working areas are separated but still visible to each other. By doing so, it gives a view to the greenery common space to every room and also diffuses the tension from being working in the same room with the supervisors as well.
The top floor is designed to be a Pantry and activity area for the employees. It is also including a rooftop garden that can be used for doing activities and recreation, hosting a party or an outdoor BBQ.
Simple, yet detailed
When asked about the problems or pressure working with the famous designer, Khun June told us that “working with the designer, sometimes, intimidated him as it’s all in my head that my design would be “nothing” to him. Actually, this word is interesting. Khun Pok told me that this is what he looks for. This design is just right, not too much and not too little. It doesn’t have to be “something” that would make it unreasonably.
The simplicity is reflected through the architectural design by adding hidden details in the style of JUNSEKINO Architecture & Design. This time, Khun June uses bricks as a material to complete the story and details, and to create a gimmick for the building with vertical and horizontal brick constructions. The line frame is installed using thin metal sheets to edge the walls and make it look neat, perfectly indicating the character of T.R.O.P.
Bricks also have the advantage for both exterior and interior. Khun June also used bricks for flooring design to convey a sense of nature. The floor doesn’t have to be smooth and perfectly neat. It gives a completely different feeling when walking on a tiled floor.
It can also create privacy while easing natural ventilation. As time passed by, mosses and moisture from the various plants in the area will gradually change the orange brick. It complements the sense of nature and softens the strength of the architecture.
Simple architecture that lets the landscape play its role
The sense of nature in the landscape design complements this box-shaped building and create an interesting contrast. The very artificial rectangular box architecture, thus, looks lively and free form. The building is also softened by the natural greenery.
It can be said that half of the architectural design is done by an architect. Those buildings can be completed by the users. The liveliness of a building is therefore not a space but is a user and nature that is always growing and moving. As the building is designed for a landscape architectural design studio, the green space is a must-have aspect. Khun Pok, then, decides to add nature into the remaining architectural space such as the entire open space of the building, including the Green wall that envelops the building. This is to serve on the perspective and the relaxation need.
Mr. June concluded that “a building could not stand alone with only an architecture. But it must include a landscape, an interior, a contractor or a good lighting design. I want to design not just an architecture, but I prefer to create a building filled with green space where the people inside can enjoy or even its shade and shadow can also convey the nature within the space.”
One can indeed work with a computer, a desk, and a chair. But how good would it be if the surrounding is designed to enhance our white collars working hours? We could look away from the computer screen and relax by the green space. We could move from a tedious stuffy room to work outside in a courtyard surrounded by nature. The flexibility and relaxation from the environment and architectural design would have fulfilled the dream work hours for many people.
Location: Lat Phrao, Bangkok
Built Area: 740 Square Metres
Architects: Junsekino Architect and Design
Interior: Junsekino Interior Design
Landscape Architect: TROP: terrains + open space
Contractor: G.A. House
Interior Contractor: A2J
Photo credit: Spaceshift Studio