Jin Wellbeing County by Shma Company Limited & Openbox Architects
December 7, 2023
It is not often that one comes across a project that is developed with the older population’s well-being in mind, let alone one that does so with deep consideration of the physical, ecological and hydrological conditions of the site, making them central to the whole architectural and landscape scheme.
The Chao Phraya, deemed the most important waterway in central Thailand, is a major river that flows through Bangkok. Its low alluvial plain forms the centre of the country.1 Jin Wellbeing County is located in the Chao Phraya floodplain, specifically in Pathum Thani. This suburb of Bangkok is previously known for its agricultural lowland, and as such, has undergone seasonal flooding. However, as the area becomes increasingly urbanised over time with more manmade structures, the natural flow of water gets disrupted, leading to critical flooding. An example of the severity of flooding could be seen during Thailand’s 2011 flood, affecting Bangkok and its suburbs, considered one of the most devasting in the country’s modern history.2
The project is designed thoughtfully with a consideration to the surrounding site—it adopts the polder system, which helps retain water before releasing it to public areas, aside from employing typical landfill methods. This approach potentially helps manage flood levels in urban areas, which could in turn make them more resilient in future similar events.
INTEGRATING A NATURE-BASED WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The landscape design is integrated with a Nature-based water management system to prevent flooding at the site while helping the city retain stormwater before discharging it to the public drainage network. Its detailed design contributes to the irrigation needs in line with sustainable principles. The plan includes a creek, which flows through the middle of the site and plantation, as a main drainage and treatment system—it collects, drains and purifies the water naturally. Around the creek, bioswales gather the run-off water from the outer parts. The primarily infiltrated water from the bioswales flows into bioponds that are used for retention and secondary water treatment. Such a system also helps supply adequate water for irrigation during the dry season.
HARMONISING WITH NATURE FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
A harmonious relationship with Nature enhances people’s physical and mental health. As such, diverse types of plants are grown along the water bodies—mixed planting is done all over the softscape areas rather than in an orderly composition to imitate a forest. Such an ecosystem becomes a food source and natural habitat for urban wildlife such as aquatic animals, native birds, insects and squirrels. This strategy keeps the project green all year-round, maintaining the area’s ecological diversity while enhancing the residents’ well-being.
Jin Wellbeing County
Rangsit, Pathum Thani, Thailand
Phase 1: 2020 (Date of operation: 24 February 2020)
56,659 square metres
(Landscape Area Phase 1: 20,518 square metres)
Gross Floor Area
164,000 square metres
Number of Rooms
Thonburi Wellbeing Co., Ltd.
Openbox Architects Co., Ltd.
Shma Company Limited
Design Director: Prapan Napawongdee
Landscape Architects: Napajorn Srichatsuwan; Worawe Jamsomboon; Pawida Bualert; Prueksachol Chutchawanchaiphan; Thita Cherdkiadtikul; Supika Sukjamsai
Horticulturists: Supaluk Paorik; Tanee Sawasdee
Construction Manager: Thitiwat Chintanavitch
Siam Multi Cons Co., Ltd.
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Mitr Technical Consultant Co., Ltd.
Civil & Structural Engineer
Wisit Engineering Consultant Co., Ltd.
Panoramic Studio; Napon Jaturapuchapornpong; Shma Company Limited
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