Time and budget allowing, it’s not hard to find a Chao Phraya riverside hotel in Bangkok for a night’s stay. What’s harder is to find a place rich with art and an atmosphere that makes you feel at home while taking you back in time to an earlier age in the river’s history.
This 10-room contemporary hotel with a taste of “Thainess” stands on 100 square meters in a tiny alley just off Chiang Mai Street, in the same neighborhood as the fascinating tourist destination Lhong 1919. “Amdaeng,” the hotel’s name, belonged to a fabled woman from the past and was suggested by the “Amdaengkhlee” on a former owner’s land deed from the Rama V era.
All the main architectural elements inside and out are painted vermilion: posts, beams, floors, walls, ceilings, so that looking from the other side of the river it stands out clearly from its surroundings. Coming in from the other side you approach the entrance through a maze of alleyways, as the scene gradually opens up to reveal a red building that seems to be composed of separate sculptures joined together to become one grand form in which the architect envisioned people living.
Inside is a restaurant with a quiet calm feeling, lowering the dial on the red, and also more masculine: The feminine “Amdaeng” calls for some male balance, so the restaurant is named “Nye,” meaning “mister” in Thai. The restaurant materials and décor are simple and straightforward but rich with art, bringing to mind the phrase “blue and white,” for the indigo-patterned tile of China favored by Chinese social clubs and found everywhere in old China. Up above is a fabulous roof deck with a sort of “grandstand” for viewing the river rising upwards in tiered circles like the chedi of a Thai temple. In the future this area will be a nighttime bar.
Guest room décor shows a mix of styles reflecting Thai as well as other cultures: Chinese, European, Indian. To recall an earlier era when the dominant cultures were mixing in a formative way, aging techniques are used to alter the look of the glass, the floor tile is dimmed with a charcoal color, antique furniture is used, and remodeling has added beauty and refinement to an atmosphere of bygone days so as to live up to the catchphrase, “The most romantic hotel in Bangkok.”
The East Asiatic Building is a gem of Renaissance Revival architecture, a popular reprise of 14th through 17th century European design, and still new to us even though it’s been more than a hundred years since Italian architect Annibale Rigotti graced the Thai nation with this work. It is the former office building of a world leader in international trade, the East Asiatic Company (Thailand), founded by Captain H. N. Andersen, a Danish seaman. Andersen found work in Siam as a young man and rose to be captain of the Royal Navy during the reign of H.M. Chulalongkorn before becoming manager of the incomparably luxurious and world-renowned Oriental Hotel and going on to commission the East Asiatic Building.
The East Asiatic Building represents one of Thailand’s most significant historical periods in international trade. In 1984 it received the Architectural Conservation Award from the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage, and the Fine Arts Department has registered it as a historic site. As its last face-lifting repair was done back in 2001, this building is not normally open to public use, although it is occasionally rented out for banquets or advertising photo shoots. The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 Festival (BAB 2018) marks the first time the general public will be able to go inside and fully appreciate the beauty of the East Asiatic Building – one of twenty sites where BAB 2018 festivities will be held between October 19, 2018 and February 3, 2019. The festival here offers not only an education in the hidden charms of old-style architecture, but a view of aesthetic wonders in masterworks created by world-class artists who are gathering here to create an experience you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
The overall impression of the building’s interior is of an imprecise beauty, a kind of charm no new building can offer. Despite the renovation of arched doorways following along the lightweight walls, 2nd floor openings show a framework of long wooden beams resting on main pillars, secured with knots and screws. You can see cracks, incrustations, and lichen stain discolorations of wall surfaces alongside piled-up and disintegrated remnants of compressed wood panels once used as space separators in the long-abandoned office building. The artists all expressed the opinion that this environment was perfect: no improvements or alterations needed. They want to display their work at this site just as it is.
This imprecise beauty brings to mind the Japanese “wabi-sabi” acceptance of transience and imperfection. Wrinkles and blemishes born of change and temporal deterioration show a beauty reflective of Zen Buddhist wisdom and reinforces our sense that the older the architecture, the more value it has. It is also all the more appropriate as a setting for art that values such flawed beauty, and exciting that all the Bangkok Art Biennale artists, whatever their methods of presentation or communication, are in harmony with the rich historical context of this building.
The lineup of both Thai and foreign artists displaying works at the East Asiatic Building – and the Festival this time also has showings at the OS Building – includes Lee Bul, a female Korean artist acknowledged as cutting-edge in performance art, sculpture, and installation art. Then there are Elmgreen & Dragset, a Danish and Norwegian contemporary artistic duo, who, though neither has completed a course of study in art, produced the widely acclaimed installation art piece “Van Gogh’s Ear.” Another presenter is “Tay,” Patiphat Chaiyawithate, a young artist of the new generation who pays close attention to the changes taking place around us, integrating them into many types of work: sculpture, installation art, and woven fabrics. His show includes lab rooms of the future and sculptures of animals foraging in a river basin. Another featured female artist with startlingly eye-catching work is Praew Kawita Vatanajyankur, who uses her own body as a primary subject in video art, much of which will be premiered in this fantastic building.
The final countdown has begun. Every second brings you closer to a world-class contemporary art exhibition featuring 75 celebrated artists from across the globe. The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 will begin on October 19 and continue until February 3, 2019. Happiness is only real when shared. So, mark your calendar!
Story: Singhanart Nakpongphun /// Photographs: (Wisut Ponnimit) Sitthisak Namkham /// Photo credit: Yayoi Kusama, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo /// Photos: courtesy of participating artists
The three-month period will see 20 famous landmarks around the capital transform into thriving art scenes, among them Wat Phra Chetupon, a.k.a. the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho for short), the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center, and One Bangkok, a mega development project that’s shaping the future of the city. See also gallery details at the end.
Here are the first six artists that you can’t miss.
World renowned as a pioneer in performance art, Abramović uses her own body as medium in exploring the physical and mental limits of her being. She is best known for her groundbreaking durational works titled “The Artist is Present” hosted by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. The artist gave live performances from March to May 2010, during which she sat in silence at the table throughout the run of the show for a total of 736 hours. All day Abramović would not respond, but museum visitors were willing to wait in line for a chance to sit across from her for as long as they wanted.
The Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 offers the opportunity to experience the works of Abramović at two separate events. First, the exhibition titled “Standing Structures” provides a glimpse into the world of communication through silence. It takes place at the mega development project One Bangkok, located on Rama IV Road. And from October 8 to November 12, 2018 only, a team from the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) presents the other event called “Method,” which is an exercise about being present in both time and space.
89-year-old Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama is passionate about polka dots. She has taken a great interest in the design since she was little. The Queen of Polka Dots, as she is affectionately called, also works in sculpture, painting, and installation. Her devotion to lively bright color patterns has influenced generation after generation of contemporary artists. No doubt one of the most famous artists in Japan, Kusama has won critical acclaim worldwide, including the Best Gallery Show awarded by the International Confederation of Art Critics in Belgium and several experimental cinema awards given by the Government of France. Her eye-catching design has attracted the attention of many, including the high fashion brand Louis Vuitton. As may be expected, the products of collaborative design with Kusama sold out fast.
It’s hard not to be romantic about Kusama’s beautiful works of art during the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, among them the famous polka dots pumpkins that will be on view at Central World and Siam Paragon. Equally impressive is a Mini Cooper that has been pimped up Kusama style. The car is on show at One Bangkok.
CHOI JEONG HWA
Korean artist-cum-designer Choi Jeong Hwa has authoritative skill in effective us of space with many awards to his name. He is expert at building outdoor installations and turning unthinkable, day-to-day materials into stunning works of art. In 2008, he designed a large-scale installation that completely surrounded the Seoul Olympic Stadium with 1.7 million recycled and found objects. He also created a big plastic tree that pulsated with regular throbbing sensation as if it were breathing. Choi said that he had no definition to offer for his artworks. They were up to the viewers to interpret based on their different life experiences. His inspiration is encapsulated in one short sentence. “Your heart is my art.”
Works by the artist from the Land of the Morning Calm will be on show at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center as well as Nai Lert Park Heritage Home and several department stores in Siam Square, Chidlom, and Rajprasong. Choi is to debut a collection of sculptures made from familiar materials that will put a smile on your face. Bring the smartphone and camera so you have something to share via social media.
HUANG YONG PING
One of the most famous Chinese avant-garde artists, Huang Yong Ping founded a movement called “Xiamen Dada”, which combined ideas from Dadaism (an art movement in early-20th-century Europe) with the influence of Zen Buddhism in the Eastern Hemisphere. The Chinese-born, French contemporary artist made his world debut at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999. Since then, he has participated in many art exhibitions, from the Red Brick Art Museum in China to Ludwig Museum in Germany to Grand Palais in France.
For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, Huang will present “Dragon Boat”, a large sculptural work that tells stories of Chinese migration in times past. Portraying a rowboat of ancient China, the 16-meter artwork stands 4.2 meters tall. It will be on show at the Bank of Thailand Learning Center.
A rising star in Thailand’s art scene, Kawita Vatanajyankur uses video art to raise questions about issues concerning women’s rights. The artist puts herself through various situations as a means of demonstrating women’s roles in society. Her works portray a woman as part of machines, household chores, and industrial processes. The result is a collection of artworks in vivacious colors that have become her distinct identity. Kawita has exhibited at several art festivals around the world, among them the “Islands in the Stream”, which was part of the Venice Biennale 2018. The exhibition tour also took her to the Saatchi Gallery in London, and later the same year at the Thailand Eyes event at home.
For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, Kawita’s amazing works of art are on view at Central World, the EmQuartier Mall, the Peninsula Hotel, the Theatre of Indulgence, and the Asiatique Building. She sends a strong message: “It’s not easy being a woman.”
The cartoonist who designed the cover for the 42nd Anniversary Edition of Baan Lae Suan Magazine (September 2018), Wisut Ponnimit is the creator of a series of animation art featuring adorable fictitious characters Miss Mamuang and her four-legged friend Manao.
For the Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, Wisut will present ten versions of animation art at Central World, the EmQuartier Mall, and the mega property project One Bangkok. If your love is art and animation, don’t miss out on it.
This has been about six artists out of a total of 75 who exhibit at the Bangkok Art Biennale happening from October 19, 2018 to February 3, 2019. There are more stories on interesting people and events to come. Follow us at baanlaesuan.com and livingasean.com.
The art exhibitions are being held at 20 locations across the capital.
/ Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun / English version: Peter Montalbano /
/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /
This lovingly handcrafted wooden house in Chiang Mai’s San Sai District connects two buildings with a high, wide open “tai thun” (open lower floor) featuring a long dining table and “living room” spot that gets a cool breeze the whole day.
Nuttawut “Ae” and Sutthida “May” Saylahom had scheduled ten months to build their new home, but it took more than a year to finish, until after their second son was born.
Along the way a few alterations were made: a planned swimming pool, for instance, became instead a grass lawn where their young Kiri would be able to run and play with his new little brother.
An architect by profession, Ae had no problem doing manual work himself and loved every minute of it. He combined an old Thai Lanna rice granary with the original wooden house next to it.
Construction began by disassembling the old buildings: original components and materials were removed and set aside for use in new functionality envisioned in the new design.
The granary’s primary structure remains: eight large wooden pillars, with four pillars angled inwards for weight-bearing purposes.
There is a tall main column reaching all the way through to the tie beam – a primary roof component – and another post up to the roof for ridgepole support, all set in a foundation of poured concrete to protect against moisture and ground-nesting termites.
A wooden frame was designed to form a single house from the two buildings, creating a wooden balcony that functions as a connecting walkway.
Leftover wood was used to build a garage in front roofed over with tiles from the old structure and using old porch railings for walls.
Trees were planted all around to block the line of sight, functioning as a natural fence.
Old-style wooden houses in this province of Thailand were often built with the bathroom outside, separate from the house, or sometimes a concrete wall was put up to add a connected bathroom.
Here, though, the bathroom was built directly into the wooden house structure, floored with stainless steel cut with holes for plumbing.
Concrete was then poured in over steel reinforcing rods left over from the old structure, and all overlaid with tile flooring.
Where walls would get wet, fiber cement “smartboard” walls were set on the wood frame, joints sealed with polyurethane glue, and Flex Shield applied before surface painting.
Ae says that this is the first house, and will probably be the last, for him to put such a huge amount of his spirit and labor into.
Lovingly handcrafted, the size and utility of each piece of wood are fitted to its best use. But with this level of detailed knowledge, if a problem comes up, he’ll see the cause and be able to jump in and immediately fix it.
The old-fashioned cook stove known as “Ung-Lo” has long been a manifestation of traditional knowledge of the people of Thailand. It’s fair to say that the charcoal stove can make food taste and smell better than can gas-fired cooking ranges. Precisely, nothing can replicate the natural smoky flavor of char. Nowadays, although the ubiquitous influence of gas-fired cooking ranges is felt by everybody, there’s always a demand for the charcoal stove. That said, we believe there’s at least one “Ung-Lo” in practically every household to meet every cooking need, whether it be barbecuing low and slow or cooking with high heat.
Ruam Sukhawattago is owner of “Gold Stoves,” an old manufacturing factory located in Ratchaburi Province. He kindly takes a break from work to show us around and share his experience. No doubt it’s an opportunity to observe traditional knowledge at work and see how the cloning process has evolved over time to fit modern circumstances. In the process, Ruam succeeds in crafting a fuel-efficient cook stove that he calls the “Super Ung-Lo.” The product is made from materials sourced directly from the community, such as clay and rice husk ash. In all, the handcrafted cook stove takes ten days from start to finish.
How It’s Made
First of all, clay goes through a curing process to become liquefied overnight. Then the soft clay is mixed with soil and rice husk ash. The ratio of soil to ash is 2:1. Work the moistened clay mix into paste with the hands until it’s thick and malleable enough to be molded to its final shape.
Let it cure for 12 hours before attaching three cooking pot supports to the inside wall of the fire chamber. The support points should be raised slightly higher than the mouth of a stove. Rub off the rough edges on the clay surface to give it a nice finish. Cut an opening in the lower part of the wall to make an air inlet. Then, let stand for five days before putting it in a kiln, where the clay stove becomes hardened by heat.
Next is the making of a perforated clay brick or grill that separates the fire box from the ash chamber below. The lower room doubles as air inlet and ash removal port. The round grill prevents the fire from falling into the space underneath. Traditionally, a total of 61 holes are made while the brick is soft and easy to cut. The grill is fired at the same time as is the stove body.
From the kiln, the hardened earthenware is placed inside a metal casing for protection. The void space is filled with rice husk ash for heat insulation. Finally, it’s time to seal the top circumference with cement mix and install the perforated brick to complete the process.
The “Super Ung-Lo” cook stove is designed to save fuel in line with the policy of the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency. It differs from traditional cook stoves in that:
Shape: It’s perfectly shaped to store thermal energy in material by raising its temperatures.
Stove top circumference: The stove mouth is capable of supporting 9 sizes of cooking pots (sizes 16-32)
Support points: The three support points are raised above the top circumference only slightly to minimize heat loss.
Fire chamber: Relatively speaking, its fire chamber is smaller than that of a traditional cook stove, which translates into less fuel being used.
Grill: The perforated clay brick is made thicker for durability. Its efficiency comes from a forceful current of air that is pulled through many smaller holes using convection.
Touring the factory, we come across so many cook stoves to the extent it gets us thinking about the future of the age-old industry. Will this occupation continue to have pride of place in modern circumstances? Interestingly enough, Ruam replies:
“At one time, the US Embassy invited me to join my counterparts from Laos and Vietnam for a meeting on Ung-Lo making in Vientiane. I represented Thailand in that event. At the time, many versions of cook stoves were discussed and compared in a bid to identify a design that produced the highest heat, had the least impact on the environment, and the most energy efficient. The Thai Ung-Lo proved to be the case. It started a fire in the least amount of time. By comparison, it produced the highest heat with water reaching the boiling point very quickly. In fact, the kettle boiled twice while the Vietnamese stove had only just started a fire.
“It turned out that theirs was a biofuel stove, which produced a lot of smoke. Experiments showed the Thai stove was made to a high quality standard. I couldn’t help wondering why the Americans were so interested in the Ung-Lo. Their answer was that 20 years from now, humans would have turned around to using traditional cook stoves due to natural gas being used up. Oils derived from petroleum would have been depleted less than 50 years from now, unlike wood which is a renewable product. So, now I understand.”
We came away feeling good knowing we have formed friendships and understanding with each other. It made us happy to go by the saying, “Whatever you do in life, do it for love.” Ruam Sukhawatago no doubt was of the same opinion.
For a chance to visit the “Gold Stoves” factory, or get yourself something good like a “Super Ung-Lo,” call 08-7977-8677 for information.
/ Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa / Englosh version: Peter Montalbano /
/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /
The Huean Tham house (House of Dharma) 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 living in this 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 in this local Thai house. 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.
Huean Tham’s outstanding attributes were conceived by Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architects 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 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 local Thai house as time goes on.
Owner: Somyot Suparpornhemin and Usaburo Sato
Architect: Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architect
/ Hanoi, Vietnam / / Story: Sara’ / English version: Peter Montalbano / Photographs: Triệu Chiến /
This modern house under the pines is nestled in forested hills, surrounded by green grass and tree-studded scenery that provides privacy and accents its harmony with the natural setting.
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.
The house is built on two levels, the lower section holding a carport/garage and multipurpose room, and the upper level with a 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, and 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.
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.
The house structure is made 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.
The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) announced on August 22, 2018 that the Duangrit Bunnag Group, aka the DBALP Consortium, has won the Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal 2 Project design contest.
AOT had previously invited the private sector to make bids for designing the new 35-billion-baht Terminal 2 project. As a result, the first runner-up Duangrit Bunnag Group was declared winner for its design proposal worth an estimated 329 million baht.
DBALP was able to achieve an important triumph after the winning bidder SA Group was disqualified for failing to submit an important document, namely, the original quotation for the cost of work as stipulated in the contract.
The SA Group stood firm that it had never received the original quotation document from AOT, and called for a reconsideration of bid results. It made reference to winning on points for its technical proposal, and that the cost of work it entered for the contest was lower than that stipulated by AOT. Furthermore, the purpose of the original quotation document was only to prevent the competition process being compromised.
Four private sector groups responded to the AOT invitation to compete for design work by means of sealed bids. The first is a consortium of legal persons consisting of DBALP, Nikken Sekkei, EMS, MHPM, and MSA, collectively known as the Duangrit Bunnag Group for short.
The second group is an association of consulting firms made up of the Beaumont Partners Co Ltd, the Index International Group Co Ltd, the Egis-Rail (Thailand) Co Ltd, the CEL Engineers Co Ltd, the CEL Architects and Environments Co Ltd, the Alana Engineering Co Ltd, Egis Avia, and Egis Rail S.A.
The third group is a number of consulting firms composed of the Varda Associates Co Ltd, the Wise Project Consulting Co Ltd, and the Chong Lim Architecture Co Ltd.
Last is the SA Group, a consortium of consulting firms made up of the Span Consultants Co Ltd, the Sign-Tech Engineering Consultants Co Ltd, the Azusa Sekkei Co Ltd, and the Sky Party Co Ltd.
As per the August 22, 2018 announcement, the DBALP Consortium is obligated to complete its forest-inspired design on the Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal 2 project in 10 months’ time. Coming up next is an AOT invitation to bid for the construction phase.
Designed to meet future demands, the new Terminal 2 at Suvarnabhumi Airport will have the ability to receive over 30 million passengers annually — 12 million via domestic flights, and 18 million on board international flights. The building will come complete with 14 airport aprons and parking spaces for 1,000 cars. Construction will take about 30 months to complete. The project is scheduled to be fully functional mid-2021 at the earliest.
A rendering of Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal 2 by the DBALP Consortium
The BaanLaeSuan Fair Midyear 2018 is scheduled for 4-12 August at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center, Bang Na (BITEC Bang Na). Save the date! The annual event taking place at Halls 98 thru 104 showcases the latest in smart-home technologies and innovations designed to answer modern lifestyle needs. Hence, this year’s theme is aptly called the “Internet of Home.” Nowadays, microcomputers can be used for a variety of purposes, while the “Internet of Things” (IoT) has made it possible to monitor in-home safety, control lights and temperatures, and possibilities are endless. Needless to say the network of computing devices embedded in everything home has changed the way we live in one way or another. That being said, the houses of the future will look significantly different. And we don’t want you to miss out on it.
Entrance to the “Internet of Home” Exhibition
The entrance hall is the first stop on your journey into the BaanLaeSuan Fair Midyear 2018. Reduced ornamental details are intended to make the entryway beautiful and welcoming as a photo-op venue. Plus, it’s about keeping it simple.
Whether it be a flight of stairs, door frames, or window casings, every house part is a symbol that communicates the ideas and the quality of being useful and suitable in modern circumstances. Meantime, the lighting arouses enthusiasm, while a television screen gives handy hints about what’s on display inside.
BaanLaeSuan Home Ideas
Smart Home Where Things Work by Voice Command
There are technologies aplenty to make your home smart and capable of answering modern lifestyle needs.
While the Internet of Things allows business to connect with technology with amazing results, the Internet of Home offers a glimpse into the future of human dwellings, especially the kind that’s controlled by microcomputers and a network of interconnected devices. Take for example a voice command that works by converting the analog waves of human voices into digital data that in turn cause machines and other systems to operate.
This part of the show illustrates how technological advancements are being used to create modern conveniences in every part of the home. And it’s happening now. The areas already benefiting from smart home technologies, such as voice recognition and related applications, are:
The Kitchen, dining room, and backyard: The kitchen serves multiple functions. Both the countertop and the island designed for food preparation can transform into bar counters or dining room furniture when needed. Here, three design options are operated by voice command. They are:
1.In the Morning, the lighting over the kitchen countertop and nearby island operates by voice commands. At the same time, the TV set turns itself on to bring in morning news.
2.Romantic Nighttime View. Voice commands turn off the lights in the kitchen by night, while the dining room and nearby backyard remain fully lit culminating in romantic dinner experience.
3.When it’s party time, all the lights in this area turn on, while the stage is aglow under the lights in many vibrant colors. At the same time, the stereo system turns on and fills the room with the sound of music.
The exhibition also showcases a part of the backyard that’s equipped with charging facilities for electric cars. The area can be easily updated to suit different purposes in future.
The bedroom, dressing room, and bath: The dressing area and adjacent bathroom come complete with smart mirrors that operate by a voice-recognition app. Two sets of commands are on display in this part of the show.
1.In the morning, a voice command opens the curtains to allow the bedroom to bask in the early morning sun when the temperatures are mild. At the same time, the lighting in the dressing room turns on.
2.By night, the curtains are closed and bedroom lights are turned off by the voice-command app, turning the bedroom into a cool and restful place.
Having seen enough of home decorating ideas, it’s time to head for the Book House E-commerce Café. It’s a quiet hangout for people with a passion for reading, and you are welcome to download something to read for free for 24 hours.
Take your time to browse around the store for new book releases from BaanLaeSuan Printing and Publishing, or just lean back and chill out with a cup of fresh-brewed coffee.
/ Story: Samutcha Viraporn / English version: Bob Pitakwong /
/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /
This steel framed waterfront home rises above a tall “tai thun”, an open underfloor space perfect for socializing, especially for large family gatherings. Thoughtfully crafted to give a sense of peace, it blends modernity with the surrounding natural landscape. And it has some surprises inside, too. There was already a residence built here, but it wasn’t designed with the evolving needs of such a big family in mind. So, a new space was created: a new home at the water’s edge where everyone could come together and guests could spend the night.
The steel used for columns, beams, stairs, and balconies is surplus material left over from a large construction business belonging to the owner himself.
“I had to scale the entire house to fit all that material,” said architect Kasin Sonsri of Volume Matrix Studio commenting on the design challenges.
The new home is put together to give a feel of the traditional house of former times. Its high “tai thun” underfloor space serves as a multifunctional courtyard. Broad eaves that overhang the walls reach out to protect the home from inclement weather, while living spaces are open and inviting to the outside breeze. The building is raised up to catch views of the river and the garden below.
There’s a wide porch, an add-on projecting in front of the building facade. Massive posts and beams are designed to showcase their structural utility as a part of the house, as do the steps up into the dining room, the walkways, the porch, and the rain gutters spilling water through a steel grate.
All these elements combine to give a unique contemporary look to this house of steel and wood. The interior décor is simple. The second floor features an “open plan” separation of usable space: walls open up, connecting the kitchen to a large dining nook and from there into the living room area.
Step up onto the third floor, and surprise! The décor completely changes and it’s as if you’ve suddenly dropped into a Japanese home, where the style of mats, windows, and doors all tell you why the owner named the house “Sala Zen.”
In this room is a built-in cabinet where bedding is stored so that guests can easily come spend the night. Outside is a roof deck garden highlighted by an Onsen hot tub in an outdoor private spot that can’t be seen from the garden below.
The house is composed of many elements, but they all blend to make it a true home for Thai residents.
Taken as a whole, the steel-framed waterfront house is warm and familial. It fits perfectly into its context and offers the experience of comfortable living with natural light, cool breezes and great views all around. It’s situated in Ko Rian Sub-district, Ayutthaya Province.
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