Blog : house

“Huean Tham,” Local Thai House in a Japanese Tradition

“Huean Tham,” Local Thai House in a Japanese Tradition

This home connects architecture and life in a beautiful, serene composition at one with nature, hence the name “Huean Tham” (House of Dharma)

/// THAILAND///
Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul /// Owner : Somyot Suparpornhemin and Usaburo Sato /// Design:
Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architect /// Project Consultant : Teerapon Niyom /// Architect: Nuntapong Lertmaneetaweesap /// Contractor: Pratiew Yasai

The Huean Tham house has a depth that makes it much more than just a place to live. It’s actually a group of buildings and rooms, each with its own particular use. The Thai word tham (dharma) is integral to the words thammachat (nature) and thammada (natural), and suggests tranquility in life.

Local Thai House

Huean Tham is a residence, a design workshop for naturally dyed fabrics, and a storehouse for Usaato brand fabrics, all in 6 buildings. First is “ruean yai” (the large house), residence of owners Somyot Suparpornhemin and Usaburo Sato.

Just to the north is ruean lek (small house), where the children and visiting friends stay. More or less in the center of the complex is sala tham (dharma hall), a place to socialize, with a shady multipurpose yard for activities such as dharma seminars and trainings in woven fabric design, for a local village weaving group, and in natural soap production. There is also a shrine with a wooden Buddha here. Both wings of the second floor hold guest rooms for close friends. On the southwest side is ruean luang pho (holy man house), a retreat for family members which serves as a monk’s hut when a revered spiritual teacher is invited to the home. Finally, to the south are akhan kep pha (fabric storehouse) and ruean ngan (workshop) for design work, with different rooms for specialists in different crafts.

Local Thai HouseLocal Thai HouseLocal Thai House

Huean Tham’s outstanding attributes were conceived by Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architect with the aim of combining good features of the traditional Thai house with functional Japanese concepts. Entering ruean yai we see the floor is raised a bit: this is to protect against ground moisture. Thai and Japanese homes share a characteristic utilization of the area beneath the main house for guest reception and dining, a multipurpose space called “tai thun” in Thai. Construction materials were selected for their good points and their suitability: the house is constructed primarily of wood, the house frame primarily of concrete and steel.

The architecture of Huean Tham isn’t flashy or showy. The true beauty of this home is in its fusion of architecture with life toward a oneness with nature and the ways of tranquility, raising the level of excellence for both the architectural team and for Eung and Ussa’s lifestyle. This excellence will continuously reinforce the beauty of this home as time goes on.

Local Thai House Local Thai House Local Thai HouseLocal Thai House

Link: www.baanlaesuan.com/113635/houses/thai_traditional_home/

House Under The Pines

House Under The Pines

This modern house nestled in pine-forested hills is surrounded by green grass and tree-studded scenery that provides privacy and accents its harmony with the natural setting.

/// VIETNAM ///
Story: Sara’ /// Photography: Triệu Chiến /// Design: Idee Architects

Modern House

This house was designed by a Vietnamese team from Idee Architects whose priorities involved respecting the former environment instead of leveling the hill and responding to the simplicity of the owner’s lifestyle. This they managed with an “open space” concept in a home full of modern conveniences that still stays close to nature, washed in the sunlight that streams in through the pine woods.

Modern House

The house is built on two levels, the lower section holding a carport/garage and multipurpose room, and the upper level with living room, kitchen, and four bedrooms set atop a piney hill with a magnificent view on three sides. Interior colors are dominated by natural-looking mid-tone colors: whites, blacks, greys, browns, conveying natural warmth and tranquility. The “focus and flow” design creates points of interest with a play of straight, horizontal, and vertical lines laid against the curves of the drive.

modern house modern house

Three-meter eaves project out from the house to offer increased protection from Vietnam’s heavy rain and bright sunlight. The house is designed in the shape of a slightly unbalanced “T” with a “semi-outdoor” pathway reaching all around. Except for the outdoor shower belonging to the master bedroom, on good-weather days doors and windows on every side of the house can be opened to let the air flow through. A corridor on the west side acts as heat insulation for the bedroom, an elegant simplicity in design that creates balance between static and dynamic elements in the house.

The bedroom’s spaciousness shows dynamism, with the static element expressed through its privacy and sense of peace and quiet. The house is securely tucked away in greenery, as the building was actually designed to blend in with the trees that were already present. The big grass lawn out in front of the living room and bedrooms provides a great playground for the kids without blocking the idyllic view from inside.

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The house structure is primarily of authentic materials like steel, brick, and glass, whose lightness makes for easier adjustments when encountering problems combining them in construction while helping reduce living expenses and minimize negative effects on the original land. Future energy use is optimized with the wide roof’s facilitation of solar energy storage as well as through clean water and the cultivation of vegetables, all of which truly support a comfortable and relaxing lifestyle.

Link: Idee architects – Idee.vn 

Single-Storey House on a Foundation of Simplicity

Single-Storey House on a Foundation of Simplicity

Right in the middle of a field in Ang Thong Province stands a single-storey house that has become a community point of interest, built with his own cash by a 73-year-old youngster.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Patsiri Chot /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul /// Design: Teerachai Leesuraplanon /// Style: Somboon Kringkrai

Owner Chamnan Chatchawalyangkul says, “At my age, I really needed to make this happen while I was still strong enough to get around. I don’t want to be a burden on my kids when I’m not so capable anymore, living in a cramped room with them worrying about me all the time. I needed to plan in advance to have a house where I can take care of myself. And the house will eventually belong to the kids anyhow.” 

Single-Storey House / Teerachai LeesuraplanonSingle-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon

Chamnan’s design is spare and open, with excellent ventilation. With everything on the same level, each room is accessible by wheelchair. One special place is a karaoke room for him and his friends. Architect Jim (Teerachai) Leesuraplanon tells us, “Chamnan said he’d always lived in a rowhouse, a limited, safe space. Some people might want a house in the middle of an open lot to be open all around, but I think about safety, too. This is why we put the brick wall in front, and the iron bars, barriers that still allow light and air to pass through. I’d summarize the design I had in mind with the three words ‘balance,’ ‘blend,’ and ‘believe,’ expressing a balanced life, cause and effect, and faith.”

Single-Storey House / Teerachai LeesuraplanonSingle-Storey House / Teerachai LeesuraplanonSingle-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon
Standing in a rural field with a road in front, the house opens out on a rubber tree orchard in the rear. Simplicity is the foundation of the design: a balance between vertical and horizontal lines and surfaces, no nooks or ridges to collect dust, and elemental materials such as concrete, wood, metal, brick, and gravel. A metal frame lifts the roof at an angle to break the force of the wind. The floor is raised above the ground, facilitating maintenance work on utility systems beneath. The front wall is a striking display of BPK brick, a local Ang Thong material, laid in a unique arrangement to create beautiful patterns of light and shade, with an additional layer of sliding glass windows for safety. Around the house is laid a path of river gravel, so someone in the house can easily hear a person walking outside.

Single-Storey House / Teerachai LeesuraplanonSingle-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon

The big central living room is a great place to relax, but the real heart of the house is the big porch. When the folding doors are opened, the room opens up, and it’s much like an old-time Thai house, with the added benefit of a great view of the gorgeous rubber forest, just as the original design envisioned.

Single-Storey House / Teerachai LeesuraplanonSingle-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon

Link: www.baanlaesuan.com/112376/houses/balance-blend-believe/

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

With design ideas changing from one room to the next, the metamorphosis will keep you amused at every turn. This unique house with eclectic décor will blow you away.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Panchat /// Photography: Soopakorn Sirisakul

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

Despite being part of a typical housing estate, this house in and of itself is extraordinary. Low-rise perimeter fences have their advantages. They show off the front façade consisting of stunning orange brickwork, vine-covered terraces, exquisite floor tiles in beautiful patterns, Roman-style urns, and metal doors with industrial flair.

For the owners, the handsome place is both a home and a full-fledged photo studio. Made for great wedding shots, the eclectic style showcases creative DIY decorations and periods that change from one room to another. The reason is obvious. People don’t want to have their pictures taken against the same background forever. That explains everything that culminates in the eclectic style.

Once a car port, this brick-walled workspace represents newfound freedom and enthusiasm.
Once a car port, this brick-walled workspace represents newfound freedom and enthusiasm.
This old-fashioned canopy bed has wheels. The owners can move it to a different location if need be. It can be part of a peaceful garden setting, or set up under the trees for great photo ops.
This old-fashioned canopy bed has wheels. The owners can move it to a different location if need be. It can be part of a peaceful garden setting, or set up under the trees for great photo ops.
A cute outdoor kitchen is crafted of materials recycled from old scaffolding.
A cute outdoor kitchen is crafted of materials recycled from old scaffolding.

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

Intriguing window treatments and fabric drapery on the ceiling fill the room set for great photography amid a carnival ambience.
Intriguing window treatments and fabric drapery on the ceiling fill the room set for great photography amid a carnival ambience.

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

Made for great wedding shots, the interior boasts beautiful décor items from different periods and styles. There is unity in diversity nonetheless.
Made for great wedding shots, the interior boasts beautiful décor items from different periods and styles. There is unity in diversity nonetheless.
The eclectic style provides opportunities to find new meanings in vintage materials. Old boxes can transform into cool shelving, while ramie sacks make for good-looking carpet on the stairs.
The eclectic style provides opportunities to find new meanings in vintage materials. Old boxes can transform into cool shelving, while ramie sacks make for good-looking carpet on the stairs.

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The sleek home-cum-studio is unique in every sense of the word. Appropriately named “Adab,” it thrives on adapting various styles in interior design and putting them to good use in the most creative of ways.

A Unique House with Eclectic Décor

Links: www.facebook.com/adabstudio/

An Airy House for Three Generations

An Airy House for Three Generations

With lush greenery and a relaxing atmosphere, this light and airy house brings the whole family a step closer to nature.

/// Thailand ///

Story: ATH /// Photos: Sitthisak Namkham /// Style: Pakhawadee Pahulo /// Architecture/Interior Design: Architecture and Interior Office Co., Ltd. (AIO) by Kowit Suriyporn /// Garden Design: Worawut Kaewsuk

The swimming pool area features a large open space for walking. For simple maintenance, In some places plots of spike moss are planted instead of grass.
The swimming pool area features a large open space for walking. For simple maintenance, In some places plots of spike moss are planted instead of grass.
View from the side of the verandah into the delightful “tropical garden style” pond in the courtyard between the two houses.
View from the side of the verandah into the delightful “tropical garden style” pond in the courtyard between the two houses.
A garden hugs the house, with beautiful branches curving this way and that adding motion to the lush tropical resort atmosphere the owners really love
A garden hugs the house, with beautiful branches curving this way and that adding motion to the lush tropical resort atmosphere the owners really love.

After living in this home for 30 years, the Srijakarin family bought additional parcels of land and rebuilt it to comfortably house three generations of family members.

The newly rebuilt house is divided into three main sections. The first is the old house, which was set aside for the owner’s parents, so remodeled with the comfort of older people in mind.

A spot in the garden where plants grow as naturally as they would in the forest. The natural effect is enhanced by setting plants at different heights, from ground cover through low shrubs, on up to tall vegetation.
A spot in the garden where plants grow as naturally as they would in the forest. The natural effect is enhanced by setting plants at different heights, from ground cover through low shrubs, on up to tall vegetation.

The second building is a two-storey house where the owner lives with his wife, and the third a modern tropical-style structure with a relaxing, resort-like atmosphere where the owner and his wife keep their belongings and stay during weekends and holidays.

Near the stairway to the second floor is a courtyard where a tiny English garden reigns supreme, visible from every corner of the house.
Near the stairway to the second floor is a courtyard where a tiny English garden reigns supreme, visible from every corner of the house.

The front garden is in the English style. This section is arranged in clean, neat lines, with benches set in corners and trees in zones with bright flowers planted in large urns.

Trees and shrubs shade the semi-enclosed pathway connecting the two houses with the swimming pool, giving the sense of walking through a sparse jungle.
Trees and shrubs shade the semi-enclosed pathway connecting the two houses with the swimming pool, giving the sense of walking through a sparse jungle.

The inner zone is a tropical rainforest garden. There’s a good-sized waterfall, and the gentle sound of a small brook. The garden is filled with verdant green mosses under the shade of trees carefully selected with the help of the landscape architect.

Wide-angle view: coordinated houses and lush vegetation.
Wide-angle view: coordinated houses and lush vegetation.

It’s not easy to put together a landscaping combination like this, but in the end a skillful and artistic combination of components, textures, patterns, and colors brought about a lasting and unified harmony of two garden styles.

The overall harmony of garden and house architecture creates a relaxing atmosphere.
The overall harmony of garden and house architecture creates a relaxing atmosphere.
Living room designed in “open space” form, a 2-storey-high ceiling giving the feeling of openness and relaxation, all with a view of the garden.
Living room designed in “open space” form, a 2-storey-high ceiling giving the feeling of openness and relaxation, all with a view of the garden.
In the multipurpose room a big natural wood table is ready for all sorts of activities, from casual work to comfortable pleasure reading. /// The pantry is in white, both for increased light and a feeling of space and comfort.
In the multipurpose room a big natural wood table is ready for all sorts of activities, from casual work to comfortable pleasure reading. /// The pantry is in white, both for increased light and a feeling of space and comfort.

House and gardens are a perfect fit, reflecting the combined happiness of three generations of family.

The dining room is ringed by glass to let in natural light during the day. The dark furniture color reinforces a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
The dining room is ringed by glass to let in natural light during the day. The dark furniture color reinforces a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
The master bedroom is furnished in a chic, fashionable way that invites relaxation. /// The downstairs bathroom has a classic décor, with natural stone floor, walls, and washbasin counter. To one side, mirrors give a sense of spaciousness.
The master bedroom is furnished in a chic, fashionable way that invites relaxation. /// The downstairs bathroom has a classic décor, with natural stone floor, walls, and washbasin counter. To one side, mirrors give a sense of spaciousness.
For an elegant and practical look, pantry décor is primarily in natural materials and colors.
For an elegant and practical look, pantry décor is primarily in natural materials and colors.
Outdoor “living room” for the family elders. /// A large sculpture adds dimension and narrative to the garden.
Outdoor “living room” for the family elders. /// A large sculpture adds dimension and narrative to the garden.
A Touch of the Exotic

A Touch of the Exotic

For his second home, the owner of The Library resort in Samui sets his mind on a vibrant, exotic look. A style that is totally different from his first residence.

/// Thailand ///

Story: Gobbi Chirawat /// Photos: Jirasak /// Assistant Photographers: Nattaphong /// Style: Praphaiwadee /// Designer: Amphon Jiramahaphokha

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The pantry is striking. With its red wall and ceiling and multicolor drapes, the dark metal Arabian-style partition setting it off from the rest of the home.
The pantry is striking. With its red wall and ceiling and multicolor drapes, the dark metal Arabian-style partition setting it off from the rest of the home.

The owner was already familiar with  straightforward, minimalist interior decoration. So, he wanted to change to a more intense mood with mystical charm. Yong (Amphon Jiramahaphoka), a designer of the award-winning SODA group was called upon to complete this creative project.

Dark colors alternate with paler ones, giving dimension to the "living room." The light gray wall is adorned with framed pictures. The teakwood floor is polished to a lighter shade, contrasting with the dark ceiling, and opens out onto the balcony, with its set of wicker chairs.
Dark colors alternate with paler ones, giving dimension to the “living room.” The light gray wall is adorned with framed pictures. The teakwood floor is polished to a lighter shade, contrasting with the dark ceiling, and opens out onto the balcony, with its set of wicker chairs.

“I bought this room three or four years ago because of its prime location. But the new decoration was done last year. I removed the flooring, the ceiling and the walls. To avoid disturbing the neighbor, the work was limited to few hours per day. It took about eight months in total.” the owner explained.

Dark colors alternate with paler ones, giving dimension to the "living room." The light gray wall is adorned with framed pictures. The teakwood floor is polished to a lighter shade, contrasting with the dark ceiling, and opens out onto the balcony, with its set of wicker chairs.
The room is vibrant with a strong artistry at work. The TV sits on a mock up fireplace. LED lights give a romantic mood during the nighttime.



A perfect blend of colors and cultural influences gives the style a touch of the exotic. The entrance way, paved with black granite, makes the room feel cool and comfortable. The opposite walls features pictures and plates with vintage European designs. The kitchen has an elegant pantry designed for easy dining and food preparation.

The room is vibrant with a strong artistry at work. The TV sits on a mock up fireplace. LED lights give a romantic mood during the nighttime.
With a convertible sofa bed, this workspace also serves as a guest bedroom. Various types of decorative cloth highlight an Eastern flavor. Lighting under the sofa keeps things interesting.

The red wall and ceiling contrast strikingly with the wrought-metal Arab-style partitioning that sets the space off from the living room. There is a set of coffee table and black chairs imported from India. A sofa of bright navy blue is set on an Arabian rug, whose gray matches the wall color. The TV stands on a chic piece of shelving built into the wall to mimic a fireplace.

A built-in cabinet with a fold-down desk. Cabinets are draped with metal mesh and pleated cloth, striking the right balance between hard and soft materials.
A built-in cabinet with a fold-down desk. Cabinets are draped with metal mesh and pleated cloth, striking the right balance between hard and soft materials.

Made for a romantic mood, the dark-colored ceiling is fitted with recessed LED lights that seem sparkling like stars at night. Next to the corner is one of the owner’s favorite places — the workroom that doubles as a guest accommodation. The walls are painted green, contrasting with purple curtains to bring out beautiful textures when sunlight enters. Arabian fabrics are seen in sofa covering, pillowslips, the carpet, and the silk cloth that covers the wall behind the built-in bookshelf. These intriguing touches are the signature of the designer.

A connecting walkway features black granite flooring with a gold trim. It is designed to match the mysterious-looking ceiling in black.
A connecting walkway features black granite flooring with a gold trim. It is designed to match the mysterious-looking ceiling in black.

The bedroom features the most straightforward décor. Relaxing white walls pair with parquet flooring and a large window that allows plenty of natural light. Yong puts his signature details everywhere, especially the black Italian lacework that is drawn tight against the glass pane, separating the bed from the living room, while letting the light through.

A clear glass wall sits behind the headboard. Black-dyed lace allows light to shine through. The ceiling comes in black adorned with LED lights.
A clear glass wall sits behind the headboard. Black-dyed lace allows light to shine through. The ceiling comes in black adorned with LED lights.

Excitements add spice to life, but make sure it’s to your liking. The same applies to this homeowner, who has  ventured into the exotic territory. The vibrant style may be unfamiliar to many of us, but for him the enthusiasm is worth it.

The bedroom's parquet flooring is set in the fishbone pattern. Wall décor makes for a strong contemporary style consisting of framed pictures, beautiful hangings, and movie posters of various origins.
The bedroom’s parquet flooring is set in the fishbone pattern. Wall décor makes for a strong contemporary style consisting of framed pictures, beautiful hangings, and movie posters of various origins.
A Functional Home

A Functional Home

This functional home provides a fine example of how limitations can be overcome. The front area is quite narrow, and the land is extremely close to a neighboring house, so each square meter has to be used wisely.


/// Thailand ///

Story : “Ajchara Jeenkram” /// Photos: Soopakorn Srisakul /// Style: Pakhawadee Phahulo /// Architecture/Interior Decoration: Workspace Architecture Studio, by Worapoj Linkanokrat and Wirawut Nonthawet

A modern-style house with a European flavor, with an elegant combination of materials such as natural stone and metal.
A modern-style house with a European flavor, with an elegant combination of materials such as natural stone and metal.
The upscale living room has only a few pieces of furniture. The coffee table has a hidden drawer for orderly storage of remote controls and other devices.
The upscale living room has only a few pieces of furniture. The coffee table has a hidden drawer for orderly storage of remote controls and other devices.

 

Natural surfaces such as stone, wood, iron, stainless steel, and brass make the entryway stand out.
Natural surfaces such as stone, wood, iron, stainless steel, and brass make the entryway stand out.

From the outside the house doesn’t appear large, but inside, it’s actually spacious. The house has three floors, with the first floor a common area consisting of living room, dining room, and pantry. The second and third floors are for rest and relaxation.

The dining room is decorated in a modern style with a mild classic flavor from stone furniture, candelabra-like ceiling lamps and a cross-shaped table legs.
The dining room is decorated in a modern style with a mild classic flavor from stone furniture, candelabra-like ceiling lamps and a cross-shaped table legs.
Due to limited space, courtyard and swimming pool are narrowly aligned along the house. Plants growing on the fence help with privacy and are visually relaxing.
Due to limited space, courtyard and swimming pool are narrowly aligned along the house. Plants growing on the fence help with privacy and are visually relaxing.

To solve these problems, Workspace Architecture Studio gave the house with a stretched-out design which puts as much area in the front and back as possible, yet still leaves enough room in between for a center courtyard filled with greenery. Overall, the décor has a modern feel, but a closer look reveals a mix of classic and modern Italian style.

Classic housing concepts were brought in to solve construction problems. Beams and pillars blend with interior décor, with some beam sections used more for decorative continuity and as spots to conveniently hide electric wires.

 

A bathroom décor of natural wood, which blends well with white and gray.
A bathroom décor of natural wood, which blends well with white and gray.

 

Authentic material surfaces (stone, metal, wood, and brass) are left exposed for both aesthetic and functional reasons. Each stone surface, especially, has its own unique pattern. Stone is also durable, lasting for decades, and adds to the variety of textures in the house.

Floating and built-in furniture are part of the custom design, intended to create a harmonious look.

Good design managed to overcome limitations, serve the house owners’ needs, and make this house a special place for everyone in the family.

A beautifully patterned granite-topped table and leather chairs give a classy feel to the room.
A beautifully patterned granite-topped table and leather chairs give a classy feel to the room.

 

A black steel-frame staircase offset with vertical lines offers a light and modern look.
A black steel-frame staircase offset with vertical lines offers a light and modern look.
Dimmed light in the master bathroom builds a warm mood. Décor is mainly of granite and wood. An opening is provided for ventilation and natural light.
Dimmed light in the master bathroom builds a warm mood. Décor is mainly of granite and wood. An opening is provided for ventilation and natural light.
A high-ceilinged bedroom comes in soft-colored décor. Hidden ceiling lights add dimension, creating an illusion of an even taller space.
A high-ceilinged bedroom comes in soft-colored décor. Hidden ceiling lights add dimension, creating an illusion of an even taller space.
Working corner and reading room on the top floor. The true surface of the wood beams is exposed, for the hint of a loft environment. One wall has metal “C’ Shape frames attached so it can be used for bookshelves.
Working corner and reading room on the top floor. The true surface of the wood beams is exposed, for the hint of a loft environment. One wall has metal “C’ Shape frames attached so it can be used for bookshelves.

 

From Traditional Concept to Modern Contemporary House

From Traditional Concept to Modern Contemporary House

Good ventilation, the core concept of traditional Thai housing, is adapted for the modern age in this contemporary house.

/// Thailand ///

Story: Supachart Boontang, Naruwat Plaimee /// Photos: Sitthisak Namkham /// Style: Pakhawadee Pahulo /// Architecture and Interior Design: Lynk Architect by Ekalak Sathaphonthanaphat

From the outside it looks slick and contemporary, but this building has the heart and soul of a true Thai house.
From the outside it looks slick and contemporary, but this building has the heart and soul of a true Thai house.
The continuing space from the first floor to the hallway on the second floor is wide and airy. Views of the first floor can be seen from a wide-angle perspective.
The continuing space from the first floor to the hallway on the second floor is wide and airy. Views of the first floor can be seen from a wide-angle perspective.
To fit the unusual shape of the building and glass walls on two sides, furniture in this fashionable high-ceilinged reception parlor is positioned diagonally. /// A colorful painting with chic graphic patterns adds panache to a light-colored room, brightening up the straightforward house design.
To fit the unusual shape of the building and glass walls on two sides, furniture in this fashionable high-ceilinged reception parlor is positioned diagonally. /// A colorful painting with chic graphic patterns adds panache to a light-colored room, brightening up the straightforward house design.

The owner has been living in this house with his father and mother since he was young. Now he has a wife and kids, and it’s become too cramped to hold all of them. But instead of moving elsewhere, he and his wife built a new place where there used to be a garden right next to the old house.

The new design connects the two homes both inside and out, so family members can easily take part in common activities. This modern living concept is actually not a new one, but arose out of the structure and functionality of traditional Thai houses of earlier times.

 

Reception parlor following the traditional Thai ‘Sala’ concept. A large glass wall opens wide to the natural world of plants and trees outside. /// The bathroom design has uniquely stylish lines.
Reception parlor following the traditional Thai ‘Sala’ concept. A large glass wall opens wide to the natural world of plants and trees outside. /// The bathroom design has uniquely stylish lines.

 

A staircase runs along the wall of the entryway. The high ceiling creates a relaxing visual effect.
A staircase runs along the wall of the entryway. The high ceiling creates a relaxing visual effect.
The living room on the second floor has a large window with a view of the old house.
The living room on the second floor has a large window with a view of the old house.

 

The house extends out above the outdoor family area while requiring only minimal support posts.
The house extends out above the outdoor family area while requiring only minimal
support posts.

The dining room and living room are similar to an open Sala in a traditional Thai house. Rooms are connected through a large wooden balcony. Both buildings share a main entryway, a carport and a service area.

Inside there are lots of windows, for good ventilation. Beautiful large trees such as black afara are planted all about to provide shade. Excellent landscape architecture components such as ponds, a rock garden, and paths paved with flagstones are added for a relaxing mood.

This contemporary house is an example of how a residence you love can be expanded and transformed beyond its limitations into a bigger house. As this family has discovered, you don’t always have to abandon the old ways to find happiness.

Pantry in the middle of the house, a nice place for family members to sit and talk.
Pantry in the middle of the house, a nice place for family members to sit and talk.
Trees and shrubs planted outside the bedroom give a nice view and enhance privacy.
Trees and shrubs planted outside the bedroom give a nice view and enhance privacy.
To make good use of daylight, a small skylight has been cut in the top floor bathroom. /// The main staircase projects out from the wall. Light cream-colored genuine wood paneling and a clear glass railing makes the stair look light, as if floating.
To make good use of daylight, a small skylight has been cut in the top floor bathroom. /// The main staircase projects out from the wall. Light cream-colored genuine wood paneling and a clear glass railing makes the stair look light, as if floating.

 

A Box-shaped Concrete House in Vietnam

A Box-shaped Concrete House in Vietnam

Since its opening, an unusual cluster of five box-shaped buildings of different heights conceived by the Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects has been a wondrous sight for lovers of architecture.

/// Vietnam ///

Story: skiixy /// Photos: Hiroyuki Oki /// Designer: Vo Trong Nghia Architects

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The varying heights enable residents to view nature from various angles. Ona roof it is easier to water the trees planted up so high.
The varying heights enable residents to view nature from various angles. On a roof it is easier to water the trees planted up so high.

These buildings are actually tree planter boxes set up to make a house for a small family. Besides catching the attention of passersby with trees popping up from rooftops, this clever design also won numerous awards in 2014, including the Ashui Award and a world-class award from Architectural Review.

The land was once used for a factory. Though the factory was demolished, it remains close to the hearts of the owners/family members, which is why they wanted to build the house here. Due to environmental limitations such as a small alleyway for an entrance, an asymmetrical plot, and a lack of greenery, the owners decided to create a courtyard surrounded with gigantic plant containers. In this way family members, and even nearby neighbors, can live close to nature.

To go between rooms, you need to first step outdoors. This is the architect’s concept: bring people a step closer to nature so they directly interact with the environment.
To go between rooms, you need to first step outdoors. This is the architect’s concept: bring people a step closer to nature so they directly interact with the environment.

Another impetus for the unique design involves the owners’ 50-year-old father. To provide some relief for his depressive disorder, the designer team divided the house interior into five sections. To move from one room to another, the father and other family members have to walk outside. Lush trees, gentle breeze, birdsong, and friendly neighbors can be good mental therapy.

Each house section can be seen from inside another part of the“box house.” This encourages a novel pattern of communication which maintains privacy for both people inside and out.
Each house section can be seen from inside another part of the“box house.” This encourages a novel pattern of communication which maintains privacy for both people inside and out.

“The five buildings are inspired by plant containers, making this place like a compact oasis in a residential area. In various alignments with neighboring walls, each building acts as a house divider. Post-construction, the owners now get to view interesting effects created by the various angles. Each building reflects sunlight to create varying tones and shades all day long.”

Walls are the primary features of each building. An interesting exterior surface is created by bamboo pressed on concrete walls with a technique relying on the skills of bamboo artisans. Not only bearing the entire weight of each box-shaped building, the walls also support heavily water-absorbent rooftop soil. Normal topsoil is only 30 centimeters deep, but this extra-thick earth is 1 meter deep, more suitable for a large standing tree. The design was developed in consideration of Ho Chi Minh City’s typical flooding.

The exterior wall texture is created during construction by pressing bamboo poles into a wet concrete surface. Each poleis thicker at the base and tapers to a smaller diameter at the top, so they are placed in alternate directions for good balance.[
The exterior wall texture is created during construction by pressing bamboo poles into a wet concrete surface. Each pole is thicker at the base and tapers to a smaller diameter at the top, so they are placed in alternate directions for good balance.[
As expected, the tree boxes have been successful in cheering up the depressive father, and even more, this architectural design uses nature to the benefit of both people and nature itself, helping them to live together in harmony.

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An Exotic Oriental Home

An Exotic Oriental Home

The standard concept of “townhome” gets thrown out the window the minute you see this exotic oriental home.

/// Thailand ///

Story: “kirakira,” Photos: Sitthisak Namkham, Style: Somboon Gringgrai,
Owner/Designer: Pantavit Lawaroungchok of Apostrophy’s The Synthesis Server Co., Ltd., Contractor: Hem Heepkaew of Happening Design and Construction Co., Ltd.

The townhome stands prominent behind green grass and trees. The house exterior features wood and stone, also containing the spirit of nature. The simple lines of the house in grey, white, cream, and brown convey a feeling of comfort.
The townhome stands prominent behind green grass and trees. The house exterior features wood and stone, also containing the spirit of nature. The simple lines of the house in grey, white, cream, and brown convey a feeling of comfort.
A relaxing spot in the front: A banyan hedge by the kitchen forms a sweetly refreshing green wall.
A relaxing spot in the front: A banyan hedge by the kitchen forms a sweetly refreshing green wall.
The family’s favorite hangout, with fancy furniture and bright gold ornamentation harmonizing in a common theme. A wall of black marmo granito in the back almost makes you think you’re in the lobby of a 5-star hotel.
The family’s favorite hangout, with fancy furniture and bright gold ornamentation harmonizing in a common theme. A wall of black marmo granito in the back almost makes you think you’re in the lobby of a 5-star hotel.
Dining corner, with a mixed array of furniture. At the side is a show wall with some of Pantavit’s most prized collections.
Dining corner, with a mixed array of furniture. At the side is a show wall with some of Pantavit’s most prized collections.

 

Pretty posh for a “townhome”, the mood is reminiscent of a formal dinner in a luxury hotel. An emphasis on lighting arrangement and bright, shiny furnishing makes for a uniquely elegant charm.
Pretty posh for a “townhome”, the mood is reminiscent of a formal dinner in a luxury hotel. An emphasis on lighting arrangement and bright, shiny furnishing makes for a uniquely elegant charm.

Pantavit Lawaroungchok, owner/design director of “Apostrophy’s” design studio, was experimenting with new urban living concepts and transformed his family’s property into something resembling a ritzy resort.

There are a lot of remarkable things about this house, beginning with the large central room’s “triple space” concept vertically connecting it to the sky, with a three-story tall clear glass “moonroof ” that opens and shuts by remote control to add dimensions of light and shade to each level. The open design also facilitates interaction among family members between floors.

On the first floor is a living room, dining area, kitchen, and vertical garden. Pantavit’s mother’s and aunt’s bedrooms are on the second floor, along with a small living space and Buddhist altar room. The third floor holds Pantavit’s master bedroom, actually more a kind of super-fancy penthouse with a bedroom, an entertainment area, a master bathroom , a dressing room, and a small garden on the balcony.

From the dining room looking out toward the entryway in front: furniture arrangement clearly splits the space it into definite zones. /// One of Pantavit’s favorite spots is the 3.5-meter dining table. It doubles as a place to work, or just to read.
From the dining room looking out toward the entryway in front: furniture arrangement clearly splits the space it into definite zones. /// One of Pantavit’s favorite spots is the 3.5-meter dining table. It doubles as a place to work, or just to read.
Cabinet shelves have a mesmerizing shine: these are fabricated separately, then put together and finished using a spray-paint technique similar to what’s used in auto body shops.
Cabinet shelves have a mesmerizing shine: these are fabricated separately, then put together and finished using a spray-paint technique similar to what’s used in auto body shops.

Its interior decor consists of furniture and other items with a contemporary Asian look, a lot of it collectibles Pantavit fell in love with and brought back from trips abroad.

The area in back is built out into a 7.5-meter-high vertical garden, with plants divided into 3 zones, each receiving the same amount of light, moisture, and water through an automatic sprinkler and UV sun lamp system. The automation helps ease the hurried lifestyle of urban dwellers.

The exotic oriental house design is a fine expression of beauty that can be found in mixing Asian styles, and at the same time is a useful experiment in urban family living and novel use of space.

The back area of the townhome is transformed into a super-hip vertical garden. Here you can lounge around in this hanging modern-looking bubble chair made of clear acrylic.
The back area of the townhome is transformed into a super-hip vertical garden. Here you can lounge around in this hanging modern-looking bubble chair made of clear acrylic.
The stairwell is decorated with a very interesting abstract painting, intentionally placed there for its patterns that play with the planes of wall and floor. /// A “living room” corner on a mezzanine level has a warm, easy atmosphere.
The stairwell is decorated with a very interesting abstract painting, intentionally placed there for its patterns that play with the planes of wall and floor. /// A “living room” corner on a mezzanine level has a warm, easy atmosphere.
The walkway on the second floor is lined with beautiful pictures. From the guard rail, the lower floor can be seen, and family members on different levels can interact.
The walkway on the second floor is lined with beautiful pictures. From the guard rail, the lower floor can be seen, and family members on different levels can interact.
Inside Pantavit’s aunt’s bedroom we’re greeted by soft, inviting, and restful lighting. The vertical patterns on the wall fools the eye into thinking the room is larger than its actual size.
Inside Pantavit’s aunt’s bedroom we’re greeted by soft, inviting, and restful lighting. The vertical patterns on the wall fools the eye into thinking the room is larger than its actual size.
The master bedroom on the third floor is done in white, cream, and browns. Mirrored panel behind the headboard makes the room appear to be larger.
The master bedroom on the third floor is done in white, cream, and browns. Mirrored panel behind the headboard makes the room appear to be larger.
The master bath has a shower section and a bathtub. A washbasin is designed for two. One of the walls has openings to let the natural light in. /// In the master bedroom directly adjoining the bathroom, a dresser is arranged along the wall in the dressing room. Venetian blinds are on one side of the wall for sufficient light during makeup.
The master bath has a shower section and a bathtub. A washbasin is designed for two. One of the walls has openings to let the natural light in. /// In the master bedroom directly adjoining the bathroom, a dresser is arranged along the wall in the dressing room. Venetian blinds are on one side of the wall for sufficient light during makeup.
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