Thammasat University Urban Rooftop Farm (TURF)
Tambon Khlong Nung, Thailand
236,806 sf Greenroof
Greenroofs.com Featured Project February 16, 2021
The visionary Thai landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom and colleagues at LANDPROCESS, the company she founded in 2011, are to be highly commended for such an important, resilient, and downright culturally beautiful project with its design of the Thammasat University Urban Rooftop Farm (TURF)!
You might think TURF’s massive scale could play down its thoughtfully executed details, but it certainly does not. From a landscape architecture viewpoint, it “reads” as beautifully from above and as it does when people meander and flow through its terraced roof levels and gathering places. And, Yes, these are actual photos, not graphics!
I felt this project was obviously so special I included it in the “Greenroofs.com’s 2020 Plus a Look into 2021 Top 10 List of Hot RESILIENT Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design” Video in the Category #5: Resiliency Through Diversity & Cultural Identity.
Excerpt from Greenroofs.com Project Profile:
Thammasat University has introduced an adaptive climate solution with Asia’s largest organic rooftop farm— the Thammasat University Urban Rooftop Farm or TURF. Designed by LANDPROCESS, the $31 million TURF incorporates sustainable food production, renewable energy, organic waste, water management, and public space within its 22,000 square meters.
A century ago, King Rama the fifth created the Rangsit rice plantations and a vast network of canals here, but it was paved over as Bangkok expanded.
Integrating landscape architecture with the ingenuity of traditional rice terraces, the rooftop farm is an excellent example of cultural adaptation and reuse. Carved into the mountainous architecture, TURF maximizes the terrain to create multi-functional public spaces.
Employing modern greenroof technology, diverse cascading plantations mitigate flood risks while growing food to feed the community. Located at the main axis of the campus, the H-shape architecture stands for humanity, divided into four equally-accessible sections representing a core element of democracy— people, liberty, equality, and fraternity.
At the ground entrance a terraced amphitheater welcomes everyone, and a large sky amphitheater rewards those who climb to the top, offering a 360-degree panoramic view of Bangkok. As rainwater zigzags down the slopes, each level of TURF harvests runoff, forming unique micro-watersheds. At the end of its journey, four retention ponds at each wing mitigate and store excessive rainfall, capable of holding up to almost 3.1 million gallons of water once combined.
And, the roof is equipped with solar panels which can produce up to 500,000 watts per hour to irrigate the urban farm from the retaining ponds and power the building beneath it. TURF grows more than 40 edible species, including rice, indigenous vegetables and herbs, and fruit trees. Up to 20 tons or 80,000 meals of organic food are produced each year.
TURF provides a platform to learn and share across various disciplines and 12 individually designed areas on the slopes serve as oval-shaped outdoor classrooms.Through year-round workshops on sustainable agriculture, it leaves newfound knowledge for 40,000 campus residents and the surrounding community to use at home.
Lessons on Thai agriculture, landscape and native soil are embedded into the 1.7-acre Thammasat University Urban Rooftop Farm, educating future leaders to adapt and embrace climate challenges by building sustainable cities for generations to come.
Owner: Thammasat University
Location: Tambon Khlong Nung, Thailand
Building Type: Educational
Greenroof Type: Intensive
Size: 236,806 sq.ft. greenroofs
Slope: 1 ~ 5% (approximate)
Access: Accessible, Public
ARSOM SILP INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS
DEGREE SYSTEM CO., LTD
TPM CONSULTANTS CO., LTD
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