Garden of Innovation

But for a couple modest patches of lawn, the site for the garden of innovation is surrounded by a hot built-scape of roads, office buildings and parking structures. When the garden of innovation competition threatened to fill one of the last remaining tracts of undeveloped open space with still more buildings, the architects of S+PBA proposed a design that would introduce the Park into Science Park.

The original competition program was actually modeled on a karaoke complex. It envisioned 700 sqm of offices scattered about the site in a constellation of buildings linked by interconnecting gardens. Though, perhaps, conceptually charming as a building concept, the aesthetics and pragmatics posed many problems, including access, excess light, privacy and security.

The winning design completely abandoned the competition’s vision, favoring instead a cohesive square of offices that appear to emerge out of the earth, extruding the landscape into smooth hill-like contours that allow public access from the surrounding soft-scape to the building’s green roof. Nestled into the earthen green roof and walls, each office enjoys a temperate climate with drastically reduced energy loads, despite (or even to spite) its location amidst Bangkok’s sweltering concrete jungle. Visually, too, each tenant enjoys the impression of a workspace far removed from the Bangkok’s metropolitan madness. Every office has two glazing walls that either look out onto the surrounding ponds and park-space, or that open onto a warm communal piazza where workers can socialize, collaborate, or just indulge in some quite fresh air. The best of public and private, builtscape and landscape blend together into a garden of innovation that productively redefines what we think of as a working environment and an office park.