Chulalongkorn Centenary Park is the first critical piece of green infrastructure for the city of Bangkok, designed to mitigate detrimental ecological issues and add much-needed outdoor public space to the grey city. The Chulalongkorn Centenary Park is designed to face future uncertainties of climate change. Bangkok is a
climate-vulnerable city with little green space, and this park, which contains the largest green roof in Thailand, is an invaluable addition to the ecological landscape. The park addresses major environmental issues facing Bangkok as a rapidly developed, hard paved city: water management and the urban heat island effect. The design and environmental effects of the park reach beyond its boundaries into the surrounding neighborhood: a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly road extends beyond the park in both directions, linking major roadways directly to the park’s walkways, and water from neighboring areas is treated by the park’s filtration system. Located on a large university campus in central Bangkok, close to residential, entertainment and major retail facilities, The Centenary Park is a showcase for the ecological and social impacts of landscape architecture in dense urban areas.
The 30-rai (12 acre) park with 1.3 km. green avenue is designed with many ecological functions that sustainably collect and treat water, decrease flood risks, reduce the urban heat island, and promote pedestrian and bicycle transportation.
Centennial Park acts as tree roots for the city to absorb and control water, and as a tree canopy to provide shade and climatic relief to the neighborhood. The park-as-raintree helps to reclaim the landscape’s natural ecology. Elements of the park reach into the neighborhood to continue water drainage patterns, plantings for water absorption and shade, and sustainable transit networks.
Recognizing that successful landscape design maintains maximum open space and spatial flexibility, the physical design of Centennial Park is an open area with activated edges. The park contains eight landscape “rooms” along two sides, adjacent to the wetlands lining the main lawn. Each space is based on a different material and contains a distinct program, like a herb garden, amphitheater, meditation walk, and reading area. Each area provides a different opportunity for students, communities, and visitors to engage with the space. This edge condition forms a visual connection from the park to the neighborhood.