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The Artificial Grass Garden with Tropical Touch

The Artificial Grass Garden with Tropical Touch

How do you blend artificial grass within a tropical design gardening? This garden will help you the imagine new ideas on how to use this low maintenance material to your garden.

/// Thailand /// 

Story : Warapsorn Akkhaneeyut /// English Version : Peter Montalbano /// Photos : Chaiyapruk Podang, Sitthisak Namkham /// Landscape : Pergolar

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Open space between the two houses for garden parties and socializing
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Ground cover plants with softening textures and lines: screwpine, spider plant, oyster lily, Spanish shawl, and Malabar chestnut
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The unique form of ajambolan plum near the wooden deck leans out to the path
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A trellised pavilion behind the house matches the front. Railroad ties converted into a stair, typical for a tropical garden, but fitting the modern style, too
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The beautiful calabash tree in a prominent spot with a play of river stones and the artificial grass

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The Khlong Bang Ramat area in Thonburi is still full of plantations, and people get around by water: farmers paddle boats with crops to sell, tourist boats regularly ply the canals. This is one reason Chaiyote Yanyongwayrote moved back here to create a beautiful home and garden.

The owner bought this property many years ago. He tells us, “The old house was on Ratchada-Tha Phra Road. At one time that was all gardens, too, but eventually, we were surrounded by buildings and had no privacy, and so we built here, where it still has that garden feeling. Travel is convenient, too. Not far behind this relaxing canal is an expressway interchange.”

It took 6 years to build the garden and two contemporary-style houses (one for his daughter, the other for Chaiyote and his wife), but the long wait allowed trees and plants to grow to maturity. Each room in the houses – designed by Sathan Wijitsanguan–opens on three sides for panoramic garden views.

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Matching trelliswork encloses deck and waterfall pond.
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Wooden deck in front boards set in an interesting pattern

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Beautifully shaped evergreens and perennials fill the garden, with a gravel pathway and brightly colored plant beds neatly interspersed. The more formal area between the houses is used for receptions and social events. Behind, near the canal, the garden is lush with shade trees and plants with varied colors and shapes. The landscaper here is Panat Sumalroj, of Pergolar. Chaiyote says,

“I like an open look. The garden gives a beautiful vitality: without it the house looks too austere. The designer had already created some of the outdoor spaces, like the pavilion, wooden deck, and pond. The landscaper followed up with connecting and surrounding areas and positioned the big trees. There are many unusual plants, but the grasses in some areas are artificial. The landscaper explains, “The owner didn’t want to cut grass often, so I steered him this way. It reduces maintenance a lot . . . .”

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The garden behind the house has a natural stone walkway through it and has a lot of shady trees
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A courtyard between houses with contemporary-style granite benches
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Path from the rear of the house opens into a small courtyard

The house is modern contemporary with some Asian flavor, sothe garden keeps a proportionally orderly look.

“The owner likes trimmed plants like Siamese rough bush and bonsai,” says Panat.“I start with the traditional Thai garden,trying to keep a tropical flavor. The water banyan and white merantitrees are sculptures unto themselves. If there’s no animation then it’s just an ordinary garden. I put a gravel path connecting the 2 houses, going by the grass in a playful curve, makes the square house look softer.”

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This orderly garden is wide and open. The hardscape and the artificial grass fits in well and has practical benefits, trimmed plants tucked away in appropriate spots. All in all, this is a highly pleasing mixture of the tropical and modern garden.

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link: http://www.pergolar.com

Maiiam / Chiang Mai’s Latest Contemporary Art Museum

Maiiam / Chiang Mai’s Latest Contemporary Art Museum

Maiiam, the new art museum in San Kamphaeng district, Chiang Mai is officially open. The ground-breaking opening event attracted art lovers and passersby with private art pieces from 30-years of Bunnag-Beurdeley family (the executives of Jim Thompson) artwork collection.  

/// Thailand ///

Story : Samutcha Viraporn /// Photo : Press, Samutcha Viraporn

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The collection was accentuated by the museum’s giant glass wall reflecting the green area across the road. The two-storey building was designed by Rachaporn Choochuey from all(zone)limited.

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On the lower floor situated a hallway dedicated to Jao Jom Iam, the great grandmother of Erik Bunnag Booth and the King Rama V’s concubine. She was the one inspired the creation of this museum, hence, the name “Iam” with the prefix “Mai” (meaning new in Thai).

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Alongside Jao Jom Iam history was Maiiam’s first exhibition ‘The Serenity of Madness’, by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a Thai independent film director and a Palme d’Or winner. The upper level housed various art collections from modern and contemporary Thai artists, i.e. Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Chatchai Puipia, Navin Rawanchaikul, Vasan Sitthiket, Rirkrit Tiravanija and more.

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Maiiam regularly seeks interesting art & craft works. Its upcoming exhibition is ‘The Timeless Present Moment’ by Kamin Lertchaiprasert, where audiences are invited to find the meaning and value of present through Kamin selected artworks.

Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum opens every day except Tuesday from 10 am to 6 pm.  Entrance fee is 150 THB per person.

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link: http://www.maiiam.com/

B2S Think Space / Hybird Lifestyle Book Store

B2S Think Space / Hybird Lifestyle Book Store

Where are books, ideas, arts, entertainment, kid activities and networking are located in the same space. B2S opened the 3,000 square meter concept store which was designed by Klein Dytham Architecture(KDa) and M&A Architecture at the Central East Ville, shopping mall in Bangkok.

/// Thailand /// 

Story : Samutcha Viraporn /// Photos : Rithirong Chanthongsuk

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B2S, The Thai retail of bookstore has made a surprising new shop with pleasurable concepts for everyone. Think Space B2S was designed as a lifestyle concept store with over 100,000 books. The shop is made up of 5 spaces of inspiration, the Lifestyle Book Space, the Art x Idea Space, the Entertainment Space, the Play x Learn space and the Networking Space. You can see the Book Terraces as landscapes of knowledge in the center of this open plan interior design. Also, you can take your time with café, booth of stationery, furniture, arts, collection of records around you or activities for the family on the second floor. The concept was created by Klein Dytham Architecture(KDa), the international multi-disciplinary design firm who devised PechaKucha Night. The successful event is a simple format of projects and designers with 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide presentation. They also have another bookstore project in Japan which Central Group and B2S appreciate a lot. That is the reason for of this collaboration to be among the big change in digital lifestyle.

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3 Months later after Think Space was open. We found there is one of the successful stores in the area. Many people come to visit this hybrid lifestyle book store again and again. That is the real proof of creative design for book stores.

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link: https://www.facebook.com/thinkspaceb2s/

Siri House Family Co-living space / Home Renovation

Siri House Family Co-living space / Home Renovation

From a 2-block shophouse, IDIN Architects re-imagined a modern co-living space for an extended family in the heart of Bangkok.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Wuthikorn Suthipa /// Photo: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /// Design: IDIN Architects Co.,Ltd. 

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The new facade interpretation is direct, clean and outstanding. The facade forms a shape of a diamond as the family owns jewelry business.
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The building during the renovation.

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Building a spacious house on a solid ground may be a suitable choice for most people. But for Jeravej Hongsakul, an architect who came up with Siri House design, a vertical-shaped house in the city can be just the right place for a family too.

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The family unit on the top floor consists of a dining room and an inner living room, which serves as a home theater corner and a relaxing space.

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Siri House is situated in Surawongse Road, Bangkok. The place belongs to Suree Sirivatjanangkun where she lives with her siblings.
“The location is in an urban district,” Suree said. “So we figured it should also be an office for our family business. We would like to live together as one extended family, a big family in the business neighborhood.

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4 private units are stacked down below the family unit. Each room is accessible through the main hall, where natural light also comes through.

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“We wanted to fill a house with warmth but also fond of modern atmosphere. To create interactions between us, everyone should be able to see each other. We didn’t want to divide the space into one floor per person. It would be no different than living separately.”

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With this in mind, Jeravej came up with a solution. “I preferred each unit to be able to stand alone, but fully functional. I began by designing a living room, a bedroom, a working space, a double volume leisure room, a bathroom and a small kitchen. There were lots of functions. So, I needed to manage the space. I connected each unit through an accessible elevated hall, which also distribute natural light. Thus, each unit had its own unique shape.”

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A greenery hall is connected to a bedroom, while a balcony-like working space overlooks the double volume leisure area. This design gives the working space both an enjoyable cafe-esque view.
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Family business section is located on the ground floor with guest welcoming area. A light, graphical spiral staircase leads to a meeting room on a mezzanine.

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A house will always be a house. No matter it is constructed horizontally or vertically. Understanding the key to create an interaction in a family. It will eventually build an intimate bonding between members of a family or even between people in a city. Just as it occurs to Siri House.

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link: http://www.idinarchitects.com/

Simple Reinforced Concrete Structure House

Simple Reinforced Concrete Structure House

Metal sheet and reinforced concrete structure plays a huge part in this box-shaped contemporary house.

/// Thailand ///

Photography : Suphakon Srisakun /// Design : Thingsmatter

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This boxlike house uses industrial materials for utility, attractiveness, and to make it stand out.
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Metal frames with exmet meshes are installed to cast a contrasting shade on the walls as well as to conceal unevenness.

Tom Dannecker (Architect) and Sawinee Buranasilapin (Designer) of Thingsmatter join force to create a functional home for a family.

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The house is set as close to the street as possible to leave more space for the garden in the back.
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Since the neighboring houses don’t make for great viewing, windows are not very large.

The main building was divided into two parallel units with a roomy space in between. The first unit includes a workroom, a food preparation area, a dining area and a living room. On the second floor is a master bedroom, a child bedroom and a playroom.

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The food preparation area, dining area, and living room are opened and connected. This is the most-used area in the house.

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The second unit was especially designed for the mother. On the first floor is a service area, a kitchen, a laundry room and a maid workroom. The second floor is reserved for relaxation. Located here are a bedroom and two spare guest rooms. Both units are connected through a walkway (and a stairway to the second floor). Attached with the walkway is a high louver panel, which is also a door to a garden.

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The large louvers on both sides improve ventilation and make the space appear roomier.
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The openings act as a frame, changing an outside view into a canvas.
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Bathroom tiles only cover up to essential areas, creating a simple look and also savvy.

The swing door can be opened to its full width at 90 degree angles, giving full scenic garden view. Even though the louvers are fixed, their large sizes and varying degrees combined make an effective ventilation system. These panels are made from white fiber cement, which is durable and goes well with the house’s rectangular design. Wired screen is attached behind the panel, to keep the mosquito out of worries.

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The unequal angles of the louvers give a sense of motion.
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Opaque sections of building walls are purposely designed for better use of indoor space.

Since the house is located in an old village, the neighborhood is not of a great view. Polycarbonate sheets are applied to solve the problem. So, other houses roof look somewhat like a blurred color shape.

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The stairway is green simply because of a preference, not to imitate the nature.

Strength and durable are strongly stressed here. Apart from reinforced concrete structure, stairs and walkways are coated with green epoxy for long-lasting use. Exmet (Expanded metal) meshes are installed on the wall around the house. Also, instead of using a laminated board for a kitchen cabinet, fiber cement board is used. It’s is not only an inexpensive choice, but also gives a simple and unpretentious look.

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Polycarbonate sheets are applied to interior window surfaces to filter sunlight and for privacy.
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When this large door is opened, the stairwell connecting the two sides of the house creates a full continuity between house and garden.

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link: http://www.thingsmatter.com/?proj=1109

Hybrid Wood and Concrete Home amid Lush Green Rice Paddies

Hybrid Wood and Concrete Home amid Lush Green Rice Paddies

RATCHABURI / A wood shingle roof emerged as we took a turn onto a rustic country road about an hour’s drive from Bangkok. The hybrid wood and concrete home sits gracefully amid patches of lush green rice paddies.

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Viewed from above, the center court features a sundeck that looks as if it were floating in midair. Lush foliage adds a touch of nature and serves as privacy curtains separating the courtyard from living spaces along the corridors. 
 
Nantapong Yindeekhun and his family sojourned in this part of Ratchaburi after massive flooding hit Bangkok and the immediate vicinity in 2011. It was the love of the bucolic setting that eventually led to them deciding to build a house here. To accommodate the needs of every family member, the new home took up a large space. The rooms are totally separate yet easily accessible to one another via a system of sheltered corridors.

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The combined work and sitting spaces boast clean, uncluttered design with an emphasis on space optimization.
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The interior walls boast naked concrete finishes in neutral shades. 
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The mezzanine cabin bedroom comes adequately sized and boasts the rustic feel of an attic-style living space.
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One of the bedrooms features a seat by the balcony. The bed is rested on the mezzanine. 

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The center courtyard that’s hemmed in by the passage lies within easy reach, while long roof overhangs protect the walkway and exterior walls from the elements.
 
A rock garden is situated in the heart of the courtyard canopied by overhanging trees. Looking from above, patches of lush foliage act as a curtain for privacy. There’s a home office on the ground floor that offers a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
 
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A peaceful rock garden is accessible via the house’s entryway on the ground floor. Planted trees in a good distance from one another make room for shady areas with good ventilation.

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The corridor and balcony rely on cantilever beams, which are cost effective and make good architectural sense. “I think cantilever beams are like bonuses that the main structure has to offer. They eliminate the needs for extra foundations and save time. Supported by the main structure, the balconies and corridors are 1.50-meters wide. The exterior walls sport the rustic look of old rice barn,” said the designer.

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The front façade features a stairway on the left side leading to guest reception spaces on the second floor. A series of extended eaves spread in all directions to shelter the home from rains and sun’s harsh glare.
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A private library offers plenty of reference materials and tools needed to pursue a career as a designer. Glass walls allow abundant natural light. The room is protected by wood shingle roofing.  
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The spacious kitchen makes use of clean design to showcase the natural texture of bare concrete finishes. Tile flooring in shades of black add interest to the well-ventilated space designed to make pungent odor quickly disappear. 

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For this reason, timber materials are not chemically treated. Its durability relies on the quality of the wood itself. Takhianthong (Hopea Odorata) is mainly used. This timber is used in making boat piers and can tolerate year of rains and sunshine. Likewise, concrete surfaces are left intact to bring out their true textures.

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“For the time being I am shuttling between home in the city and this country house. One day, should I grow tired of living in the city, this is the place to be. It is beautiful living out here. In the cold season, natural light is just about right, warm and comforting. You just have to see it yourself,” said the homeowner.

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A wood bridge leads to the serene backyard in the vicinity of the home office and the library right above it. Plans are afoot to turn this outdoor space into a garden.

After all, it is the modern meets rustic charm which makes this half concrete half wood house a warm and humble feel like no other.

Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa
Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul
Designer: Nantapong Yindeekhun

link: http://www.baanlaesuan.com/28996/house/concrete/

Jim Thompson Introduces Two Home Fabrics Collections

Jim Thompson Introduces Two Home Fabrics Collections

Jim Thompson presents two new collections of home fabrics for 2016 that will open up fresh ideas to improve the overall home ambiance and individual rooms alike.

 Photo: Jim Thompson

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The first collection is New York Stories, designed by Noppadol Ou Baholyodin. New York Stories is a collection of eleven luxurious fabrics that revisit the period when Jim Thompson lived in New York, immersing himself in the innovative styles of the 1920s and 30s Art Deco period. Exquisite print designs on the fabrics depict the vibrancy of the city and reawaken an era of elegance as well as elaborating the architectural roots of the man.

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For the second collection Origami, the designer, Richard Smith has looked at the rich textile heritage of Japan: the obi is the sash used with traditional costume and origami is a layering of elements through the folding paper on geometric lines. The combination of these two captures the spirit of this exciting new collection. Among six decorative fabrics featured in the collection, Obi is based on a traditional brick design, reworked by arranging the motifs into stripes of shifting colors while Nishiki embodies the spirit of multicolored woodblock printing on a chunky ground cloth that further enhances its handmade aesthetic.

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Visit www.jimthompsonfabrics.com and www.facebook.com/JimThompsonFabrics for more details.

Concrete and Steel / The Combination of The Modern House

Concrete and Steel / The Combination of The Modern House

Naked concrete walls, steel structures and cantilevered frame combined, giving the modern house striking curb appeal.

/// Thailand ///

Story: Otto Otto /// Photo: Sungwan Phratem /// Architect: Plankrich

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The 8-meter wide floor projected out in the air. It relies solely on a cantilevered frame.

This modern house plan stretch along east-west axis, which is much longer than its width. An alfresco mezzanine is built on the top of a garage by lifted a floorboard up above the ground. The thick naked concrete facade shelters a storage room and a kitchen. Together, both structures shield a living space from the glare of afternoon sun.

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The front entrance features an open space. The doorway is set aside to the left, unseen from this angle. The opening on the right side leads to a poolside wooden veranda.
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Visual continuity is created from the inside to the poolside veranda and the courtyard at the far end.

The interior features a spacious rectangular-shaped room. The white multi-purpose space is set parallel to the poolside veranda, separated by a clear glass wall. The veranda itself is protected by a concrete slab juts out roughly 2 meters from the exterior wall. The room is functioned as a pantry, a living room and a workspace overlooking a full lush landscape.

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The multi-purpose space are uncluttered and well-lit by natural light, courtesy to glass wall.

A sharp 90-degree angles turn leads to a small bedroom and a bathroom around the corner. At the farthest end lies a master bedroom, also with a poolside view.

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The master bedroom looks out to the pool, the garden, and the front yard.
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The L-shaped veranda is covered with tiles in subdued tones. The concrete slab extending from the wall acts like an awning to protects the room from the sun and the rain.

Building a modern house like this requires a well-rounded thought. It truly reflects the owner’s consideration toward future maintenance and care. And moreover, the ability to overcome challenges in design and engineering.

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link: http://www.plankrich.com/

Energy Saving Home / More than a simple house

Energy Saving Home / More than a simple house

In Kuala Lumpur, situated a stunning energy saving home with much more than meets the eye.

/// Malaysia /// 

Story: Ekkarach Laksanasamlich /// Photo: Rithirong Chanthongsuk, Soopakorn Srisakul /// Design: ArchiCentre by Tan Loke Mun 

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The airy house features clean lines with a large swimming pool under the lacy shades from the trees.

The house sits on a plot of land where an old home had been for more than sixty years. The old house was demolished, making room for the new. Here, the owner and the designer join hands to keep matured trees in the property the way they have always been.

Materials from the old house weren’t wasted. Tan Loke Mun of ArchiCenter has managed to incorporate those into the new “S11” house. Its environmental-consciousness has earned the house the prestigious platinum Green Building Index (GBI).

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The design makes use of stronger frames and larger concrete beams to avoid having too many columns in the interior living space.
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The ground floor boasts light and airy interior living space, thanks to the absence of solid room dividers. The result is visual continuity between indoor and outdoor areas.
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3-meter high ceiling makes this living space look spacious and bright. Orange brick walls pair with gray naked concrete to make the room warm and inviting.

Attention was shown in every detail. Concretes from the house were recycled, making walkways along the exterior walls. Old bricks were also given a new breath of life. Old steel windows grids were reused to reassure the security. Interestingly, old wood are also used as scaffolding during the construction due to the limitation of steel rods.

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Naked concrete finishes add a natural feel to the interior living space. Well-thought out design and choices of materials combined to make the home energy-efficient.

Built along the north-south axis, the house allows the wind to flow in to its living room. Large windows and openings reduces heat. West-facing exterior were crafted from lightweight anti-heat-absorbing material. Lush vines were grown on trellises. Five full-grown trees buffers the house from the sun in hot summer days. Extra thick insulation was applied under a metal sheet roof to prevent the heat, while chosen windows were made from low-emissivity glass.

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The first floor bedroom features simple design. The entire space is well-ventilated thanks to high ceilings and large openings in the exterior wall.
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Natural light illuminates the bathroom, creating beautiful visual effects and reducing electricity use.

To prevent heat from building up inside, the three-storey (plus a basement) house has an air duct system to levitate hot air to the rooftop. With this genius design, no air-conditioning machine is needed.

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The second floor boasts a large living space with two-storeys high ceilings and glass walls.

The designer intended to use materials in their true forms. Thus, painting and coating were minimized. Naked concrete, bare brick walls, natural wood in neutral tones prevail. Where paints were needed, the designer choose Low VOC paint to lessen environmental damages.

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In a nutshell, this house is the one with environmental consciousness, crafting for co-living with nature inside out. Such energy saving home is considered a true earth-friendly building.

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The home’s double-swing gate is crafted from silver-painted steel rods. Welded wire patterns ensure good visibility and wind circulation.

link: http://www.archicentre.com.my/

Chinoiserie Chic / Timeless Wood Décor Charm

Chinoiserie Chic / Timeless Wood Décor Charm

Chinoiserie style brings out the charm of wood crafted panel and East Asian traditional décor.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Attavanti /// Photo: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /// Architect: Kanit Tantiwong /// Interior Designer: Suwannee Chanthai

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We have seen many Chinese-style homes built on ground level. This one sits on higher ground. Naturally, it is more difficult to build a home on a slope. But the homeowner decided to give it a go to this land in Phuket.

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One of the hallway walls is covered in Chinese calligraphic tiles imported from China. The pieces demonstrate the evolution of one word – “Fu” meaning wealth.

The property spans across a land of almost an acre. The 5-unit complex is based on an O-shaped plan with the main villa at the center surrounded by single-story annexes scattered across the landscape. Inspired by arcade designs, a garden pathway runs along the edges of the roof providing access to all units.

According to Voranuch Saencharoen who owns the place, a grassy hill at the center court reflect traditional Chinese wisdom. “The house was originally belonged to a Western gentleman and his wife. At that time, the land was half an acre. When we bought the place, a Feng Shui master recommended us to expand the space to an adjacent land.”

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The main villa on the hilltop looks out over the contoured landscape with the bedroom annex for children to the left. The lush courtyard with tall trees descends slightly to other parts of the residential complex.

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Kanit Tantiwong, a friend of the family, was responsible for the design. He initially came up with a beautiful Modern Balinese design, but the owner insisted on going the Sino-Portuguese style. Most of Sino-Portugese buildings are shophouses, not detached house. As a result, the designer and the homeowner had to do a lot of research.

As the construction got underway, Voranuch was seeking for materials from both inbound and abroad. “To me, building this house is also an experience to learn new things. For example, I learned that white plaster was used in the old days to cover wall cracks but it’s sensitive to humidity. So, I had to search for a solution and finally found one.”

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Voranuch took care of the décor, while her other half, Thanawat Surachetkhomson was responsible for the structural enhancement and construction. Antique Chinese-style door panels were assembled from various origins, including Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai. The roof was inspired by ancient Korean homes, which in turn was influenced by Chinese architecture. The roof tiles were custom made in Thailand, with some tweaks in design. A vintage-looking charcoal stove was inspired by one of Voranuch’s trip to Phuket Museum. Only this one is using gas instead of charcoal.

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A floor-to-ceiling glass opening allows natural light into the workspace. The office door is an old Chinese-style panel.
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Equipped with modern furniture, the living room differs from other interior spaces. Running-bond brick walls add a vintage feel.

Above all, seems like the charm of chinoiserie-style lies in the house’s old-fashioned doors and window. Ceiling-height windows were equipped with plantation shutters at the top and ventilation grids were added where necessary, creating a good balance between the old and the new.

 

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A sundeck and a veranda stretching from the main villa surrounded by an infinity pool in the backyard.

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The wood-crafted door and windows with elaborate details of Sino-Portuguese characters.

link: http://tantiwong-architect.com/

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