Ixora Design Limited - An workplace that unites the harmony of nature and city life

Ixora Design Limited is the preeminent landscape architecture firm that sticks out in the design of residential groups, resorts, and tourism design. Today, Ping-Pongsak Laomanacharoen, one of the office’s key leaders and a former president of the Association of Landscape Architects of Thailand, told us about the office’s beginnings and various projects ranging from a housing project like Saransiri Prachauthit 90, urban agriculture project De Farm, and TRIBHUM, a theme park project in a department store, to the city’s green area.

Work experience from aboard

Ixora Design Limited was founded in 2003 through the union of Chanchai Jarungruengkiat, Pongsak Laomanacharoen, Piyachanok Wichan, and Mungkorn Chaicharoenmaitri, classmates, seniors, and juniors from the Department of Landscape Architecture at Chulalongkorn University. The name Ixora is derived from the scientific name of the “red needle tree,” which represents knowledge, teacher worship, or an expression of gratitude.

“Everyone went their separate ways to work after graduating. After gaining some expertise, we moved on to study and work at well-known landscape architecture firms in America, such as EDAW and AECOM. When everyone has had experience both locally and globally, we all have new and distinct ideas, so we decided to establish an office together to produce excellent landscape design for Thailand.”

Landscape architecture began to be widely known

Landscape architecture has been considered a new profession in Thailand over the past 40 years, with pioneers such as Professor Kittikhun Decha Boonkham and many other Chula seniors, leading Ixora Design Limited to follow the path that has been barred while always striving to create better landscape architecture.

“In the early days of opening offices, landscape architecture was quite slow to develop and grow, but over the last ten years, this profession has developed and grown more due to technology and construction innovation. There is also a new generation of environmentalists, and a new generation of landscape architects has arisen with more diverse concepts, offering landscape architecture a design dimension that has never been seen before.”

Build trust through the design

The majority of their work focuses on the Residence group, which includes hotels, resorts, and residences, as well as the Commercial group, which includes stores and workplaces, as well as master plan works like project plans and housing estate plans. To be successful and acceptable, they began by designing modest resorts in the provinces and then attempted to do more varied work to gain the trust and credibility of the clients.

“In order to build trust with customers, we must first be confident in our experience and knowledge and operate in accordance with the right thing, telling the truth in every aspect, whether it be problems, pros, and cons, by using the concept and the right process to solve those problems until we create the decent design. However, it takes 1-2 years to complete each project. Hence, it is a matter of times in building trust.”

Works that establishes a brand both locally and globally

Saransiri Prachauthit 90

The Saransiri Prachauthit 90 village project, designed by Piyachanok Wijarn and Amornrat Jintanawilas’ team, employs a contemporary farmhouse idea in European style, with the living space serving as a tourist attraction in and of itself. As a result, the Sale Gallery building was built to look like a European country house, but with curved and more delicate lines to feel contemporary and link to the project’s entry until it appears to be the same section with a multi-level English-style garden design to emphasize the entrance area. When the selling of the house project concludes, the Sale Gallery will be converted into a Co-Working Space where residents can rest, work, or tutoring. Additionally, the master plan for the building includes ponds, streams, and forest-like regions to give a better sense of the ambiance of the European landscape.

De Farm

De Farm is an initiative in Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai Province, to convert the land into agricultural and residential areas. The project’s owner desires straightforward organic gardening in an urban setting. As a result, the landscape architect devised a project layout that incorporates rice fields, vegetable plots, horse sheds, duck and buffaloes houses, and people’s housing, as well as water management systems and weirs to store water for watering plants, raising animals, and using in residential areas, thereby achieving a balance between nature, ecosystems, and modern human life. Furthermore, landscape architects have decided to keep all the original natural plants. Only a few new plants have been added to add aesthetic appeal, and new trees can also be used to generate renewable energy. With an interesting concept and design, this project won two awards: MUSE Design Awards and German Design Award.               


TRIBHUM is a theme park project located in Central Foresta Phuket, which is a landscape architecture design and atmosphere set up as a Himmapan forest surrounded by a replica of Mount Meru, which is the main highlight of the area that combines both real trees and replica trees designed to be various characters by the placement of elements and overall view according to the main concept of TRIBHUM.

“There are also projects involving various types of contests and government projects that differ from private projects in terms of requirements, problem clarity, and work styles that affect the difficulty – ease of work. However, our workplace has the benefit of being quite powerful in study and design, allowing us to handle all kinds of work. Every event, however, has always been focused on the concept of striking a balance between a balance between the city and nature.”

Commercial initiatives that include urban natural areas

Ixora Design Limited’s landscape architects team noted that, while workplace design is primarily commercial, they can produce both information and people well-being. It can also be enjoyable and contributes to the city’s green area in another manner. Creating a natural place for the city, on the other hand, may not be the solution, because urban landscape planning must consider the setting and climate of that region to determine what the requirements are.

“Some areas of the city may require different forms of green space, such as plazas with shade trees and paving materials to make them suitable for foot traffic and waiting, which must consider the proportion of green space as well as the use of environmentally friendly building materials. But in Thailand, we may see some space design conflicts with usability because the law does not facilitate the process of sharing concepts that are appropriate for the area. Measuring the quality of green spaces or open spaces of cities and communities, therefore, does not measure only the amount of grass planting area, but also measures the function that responds to the surrounding context. However, design work in our country, whether commercial or public spaces, has started to move in the right direction, which the profession has always supported and pushed forward.”

Designed to have more water retention areas

When we speak about cities, we can’t help but mention Bangkok’s inundation because the reason is caused by many factors, including climate change, rising seawater levels, and the ground level deteriorating every year, as well as the larger the city, the less the water seepage area. Therefore, landscape architects must evaluate and research at the Macro Scale level, which ranges from vast regions of Bangkok to the entire national level and delve into the details at the Micro Scale level or in a tiny region to see what the source of the inundation at each location is, such as heavy downpour, inundation, or the area is the area that the water flows through. The information is then taken to conceptualization and design at the next level.

“Another important issue that professionals must address is urban flooding, as cities are increasingly encroaching on natural areas. As the city grows together with the development of economics, people lose sight of the environment, such as the project group in the suburban neighborhoods, which is the entire catchment area, resulting in inadequate natural water catchment areas for water to rest or percolate into the earth. When a significant amount of water arrives, it must be drained out. So, we must go back and study the geography of the city, including policy and regulations, to create urban and natural spaces that balance each other. In water management, we should integrate knowledge from experts in related fields to bring knowledge to the design.

The value of nature

Landscape architectural design nowadays is becoming more valuable as evidenced by the common areas, residential areas, and various projects that are increasingly used as a selling point. However, the dimension of landscape architecture does not end with beauty and commercial greenery, there are also dimensions in public space, environment, ecosystem, and water system management that the landscape architecture profession strives to promote and push for everyone to have a better quality of life and environment.

Watsapon Vijitsarn

Watsapon Vijitsarn