Blog : Local Thai House

Local, with a Modern Flavor

Local, with a Modern Flavor

This steel-frame Thai house, a vacation home with a tai thun (open space below), is pared down to modern-style essentials and incorporates elements of a Buddhist temple. Natural ventilation is good enough that it doesn’t need to rely on air conditioning.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul /// Design: PO-D Architects

Regarding “Baan Loy Lom,” as the home is known, a PO-D Company architect said, “This house in the Baan Rai Thaw Si Project presented the challenge of creating a restful getaway for meditation practice on holidays, eliminating all nonessentials. The house’s owner didn’t want to come here and have it be like everywhere else, but rather to have a temple mood, with a monks’ hall, a place to invite dear friends to come sit in a meditation circle and practice dharma.” There were two more challenges. First, the owner was partial to Thai houses, but wanted this one to have a steel frame. One reason for that was that the house had connections to the steel industry, and another was a village conservationist regulation forbidding use of land fill above a certain height.

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Design began with the steel frame and then added features that give the house truly Thai characteristics. A high tai thun open lower space was added, with display columns independent of the house frame. Usable space is separated into blocks connected by open areas. The roof’s partially gabled section connects with a single-sheet roof. Other signature additions include open panels, latticework, openings for light, and folding doors, all elements of traditional Thai houses, but arranged differently here.

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The “monks’ hall” takes central importance, so by design it is visible from every room. For privacy’s sake, though, it can’t be seen from the street. The walkway has a bent axis to give desired angles of view. Brick walls are of Lampang clay, with a lighter shade and more relaxing to the eyes than brick from elsewhere. Apertures inspired by the shape of a temple are cut into walls, but these are of varying sizes and arranged in ways that aren’t always orderly, so that the house doesn’t appear too austere. Similarly, latticework is arranged to give the house a warm look and also to let in breeze and light as appropriate.

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Inside, especially in the living room – which is like a shady, roofed platform – we feel the air circulating around us, never too warm. This shows the success of the design plan, based on Thai-style traditional construction from roof to wide openings for air and light, but enhanced with modern materials such as steel, channeled through the wisdom of an architect with the ability to find solutions matching the wants and needs of the people who live here.

“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.

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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.

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

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