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Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

The renovation of this hundred-plus year-old rowhouse in Charoen Krung Soi 44 is more than a home improvement: for Mou Lumwatananont, it’s a homecoming she’d never imagined.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Sarayut Sreetip-ard /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Style: Jeedwonder /// Design: sea.monkey.coconut 

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

“My mother was born here, but we moved before I was two. After building it up from 2 storeys to 2½ storeys, my aunt continued to use it as an office. However, that business ended many years ago, and it has been only two years since we began making plans for renovation and conversion to fulfill our long-time dream of a guest house and a café.”

This area’s former prosperity is apparent in traces of European colonial-style architecture and bustling alleys that now welcome international tourists and backpackers to the charm of its storied history. Mou and architect Pok (Wachirasak Maneewatanaperk) from sea.monkey.coconut share views on the value of  preserving history through architecture.

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

“Renovating this great old building, I didn’t want to change a lot. But I discovered it had already changed. An upper floor had been added, and it had been expanded out back as far as it could go. The entire second-storey wooden floor had been covered with another material. In line with building preservation guidelines, Mou and I decided to make clear distinctions between old and new. We kept intact the front wall and brick walls all around, chiseling off interior mortar to show weight-bearing structures, including wood wall beams fitted into brick arches, and we kept the charming mortared patterns of the original roof.”

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

For warming the heart, the morning sunshine is no match for fragrant fresh-brewed coffee topped with milk foam and a gold-skinned croissant just out of chef Lolo’s oven, amid a modern-vintage atmosphere with a touch of French and British, Thai and Chinese styles integrated seamlessly into an elegant whole. The lower floor is chic travelers’ café, a wooden stairway stretching up to guest rooms above. Visitors might wonder about the functionality of the steel poles they see set at intervals throughout. AS Pok explained,

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

“This area is a walled-in rectangle, and without changing outer walls and structure at all we’ve created a new house within the frame of the old one, sinking micro pilings into the root foundation and installing all new support pillars. It was important to keep the new structure separate. Concrete flooring was poured on the ground level and separated by a foam at the joints where it meets the original walls. These “expansion joints” keep outer and inner structures from being attached, so if the floor subsides, it won’t pull a wall down with it. On the second level, we’d intended to keep the original wood flooring, but found irreparable termite damage, so we had to replace it. Behind the house we changed to steel and drywall construction to install walls and latticework. Building here was difficult because of the limited space. Fronting on a narrow street made delivery difficult. There was nowhere to stack & store materials, so all work had to begin inside. When the inside was done, we brought in the materials stored outside and switched to working on the front. There was a lot of planning involved to make it possible for the craftsmen to be able to work at all.”

Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House Chez Mou: A Home Hidden In the Frame of an Old House

Row houses lasting more than a hundred years naturally tell stories with marks from sun and wind, just as with marks left on our lives by travel. Leaving to study and live in England for more than twenty years Mou could never have expected the winds would slowly blow her back to her origins with a new feeling, one born of love and dreams.

The word “Chez” is French, meaning “at,” or “at the home of,” hence the name: Mou has opened her home to welcome friends at “Chez Mou,” where stories are told by marks on bricks and sweet smiles. Here is a place full of  feeling of release from travel, and full of a bittersweet, gentle fragrance.

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The Architect ’19; Green Lifestyle the Key to Saving Planet Earth

The Architect ’19; Green Lifestyle the Key to Saving Planet Earth

Earth’s average surface temperature is rising. Climate change results in new weather patterns, while pollution in the city has far exceeded the acceptable level in many places. Not to mention polar ice caps that are melting rapidly and marine animals dying from entanglement in plastic on which we have become overly dependent. In so many ways, humans are negatively impacting the environment. The problem is coming back to haunt us. It begs the question; Are we destroying Earth, or not?

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

Organized by the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage (ASA), the 2019 edition of the architecture exhibition is about raising environmental awareness. Its main theme ‘Living Green’ is designed to inspire people to be more mindful of the natural environment and sustainable living choices. The event is rich in exhibits, ranging from the idea of smart cities to zero waste living to innovative green products.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

Green exhibition structures provide a focus of attention. They are built of eco-friendly materials such as paper tubs and vetiver fiberboards. The exhibition pavilion showcases the best pieces of advice about a recycling process that begins and ends with paper. In a nutshell, it’s not about something being used once and then disposed of. Rather, it’s about reuse and recycles. Paper tubing that comes from plants can be used many times over and then converted into reusable materials again and again.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

ZERO WASTE: Living without making trash

Is living without producing trash doable? Answers can be found at the Zero Waste exhibition zone. The show is organized in cooperation with the Thai Health Promotion Center. It encourages individuals to be conscious of trash they make and find ways of reducing it each day. The presentation is divided into four zones. “Check and Shock” reminds people to take stock of what they do in the day and assess the amounts of trash they make. “Waste Land” presents an updated look into the mounting waste problem. “Waste Wow” showcases innovative ways to cut down discard matter, while “Waste World” is about finding ways to reduce trash that has overwhelmed our environment.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

SMART CITIES: Energy saving isn’t just a dream.

The Smart Cities Zone presents the feasibility of an urban area that incorporates many kinds of technologies to improve the quality of life and reduce energy use. They include programs such as Smart Mobility, Smart Energy, Smart Infrastructure, and Smart Governance that relies on the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data/Open Data, and Plan Tech in resource management.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62 ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

GREEN BUILDING SHOWCASES: Save Earth, conserve energy.

No longer is green building an imagined scenario in a case study. It’s happening for real, and the number is increasing. Green building is about creating energy-saving structures capable of reducing negative impacts on the environment. There are several of them in Thailand including some high-rise buildings that have become familiar sights, as well as a few lesser known places that have won recognition for being environmentally responsible. This show presents an updated look into green buildings from 21 countries across Asia, absolute go-to exhibits for visual inspiration.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

ASA INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION: Uncanny sustainability

The ASA International Design Competition 2019 is dedicated to exciting new ideas in environmental sustainability. The principle by which design will be judged is the quality of being radical, unexpected and capable of bringing about change, hence the term Uncanny Sustainability. Enter for a chance to win 4,000 USD plus a research trip to Japan for first prize, plus smaller amounts for second and third prizes, and three honorary mentions. Here’s the link for more information. www.asacompetition.com

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

ASA FORUM 2019: World famous architects talk

Are you searching for design inspiration? Some of the architects who have great influence in green building will participate in this year’s ASA Forum. They include big names in the world of environmental sustainability, such as Kai Uwe Bergmann of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), who is the driving force behind several big projects and teaches Urban Resiliency at the University of Pennsylvania. He is joined by influential architects from Atelier Ten, New York, that’s expert in a high-rise building; as well as like-minded professionals from Foster and Partners; and Sanne van de Burgh of MVRDV, one of 25 high-profile architects to keep an eye out for this year. Homegrown personality will be there, too, including architects from Stu/d/o, and the design group Eco Architect. Together, they will make the Architect ‘19 a very interesting event.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

FEEL-GOOD SHOPPING

Here to make your life easier. More than 850 companies worldwide, will be selling goods, staging shows and providing information at the Architect ‘19. Among them, the SCG Cement-Building Materials Co., Ltd. will feature advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) for home automation. Its exhibit, titled “Smart Living Solution,” focuses on the opportunity to benefit from new ways of living.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

Jorakay Corporation Co., Ltd. will introduce GColor by Graphenstone, natural paint that will add unique colors to the home inside and out while being environmentally sustainable. The new product line is Cradle to Cradle Certified, which means it’s gone through the five steps in an on-going improvement process for quality assurance and ensure that it doesn’t contribute to global warming.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

Thammasorn Co., Ltd. will exhibit water tanks with pumps and creative space saving ideas that are designed to be practical and eco-friendly.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

TPI Polene Public Co., Ltd. will display paint made with nanotechnology. Its product has won the Official Label Number 5 for energy saving and not being environmentally harmful.

ASA 2019 งานสถาปนิก 62

Mogen (Thailand) Co., Ltd. will showcase new sanitary ware and bathroom furniture that combines natural elements with modern design.

Häfele (Thailand) Limited will display digital door locks, intelligent lighting systems, and window blinds that provide variable amounts of light to keep the interior cool.

The AICA Company of Japan will exhibit a new line of translucent sheeting and beach pool ideas for the home interior, while AGC presents Halio smart-tinting glass capable of blocking heat, reducing glare and saving energy. The intensity of light shining through can be controlled via the smartphone.

The most important thing is to enhance public awareness regarding global warming and to save the natural environment from further destruction. All things considered, the Architect ‘19 on the theme of “Living Green” will take place at from April 30 – May 5, 2019 at Challenger Hall 1-3, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani.

Register to attend the show at https://eventinsight.co/el/to/8kIdQ6 or download ‘ASA Application’ for free on Google Play (Android) or the App Store (iOS) for a chance to win prizes worth more than 500,000 Baht. For more information, please visit www.asa.or.th/architectexpo.

Facebook: ASA CREW

Power of Dharma (and Nature)

Power of Dharma (and Nature)

This beautiful house belongs to Bhalangtham Klomthongsuk, a well-known drama series organizer and television personality. The single-level home plan takes up most of the 200-square-wah land space with modern living amenities and a private retreat amidst nature. The peaceful setting fits the lifestyle needs of the homeowner whose name translates as the power of dharma.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Ajchara Jeen /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Owners : Bhalangtham Klomthongsuk  /// Interior Designer :  Suranart Lerdkunakorn  

Showing us around the property, he said:

“On first seeing, I liked the way it differed from the style typical of modern-day housing developments where everything looked very similar. Besides, I’ve always preferred a single-level floor plan. Initially, I didn’t plan on doing any remodeling for five years, kind of waiting for Arty (nickname of his son Natewut) to grow big enough to have his own room. But, I didn’t want my elderly Mom to climb up and down the stairs any more. So, here we are! This house offered many advantages. It was fully functional for an old home. There wasn’t much damage to repair to begin with, except a few updates here and there to make home life easier. That was pretty much it.”

Nature House
A couch makes for a cozy outdoor room between Bhalangtham’s bedroom and the nearby compact garden.

“The most outstanding part of the house is a small courtyard garden at the center of the floor plan.  The open space offers refreshing environment in the middle of lush foliage. There’s an outside sitting area with a private garden view.”

Nature House
The courtyard that connects the bedroom wing to the function wings is bright, airy, and suitable for multiple purposes.

From the main entrance, a hallway leads to a corridor that connects to the left and right wings of the house. The right wing contains a kitchen and dining room, while the left wing has a bedroom with private bath that has since been transformed into a multi-use space. The most outstanding part of the house is a small courtyard garden at the center of the home plan where Bhalangtham’s bedroom is located. The open space offers refreshing environment in the middle of lush foliage. There’s an outside sitting area with a private garden view.

Nature House
Lined with greenery, the house’s main entrance feels warm and inviting. Creative vertical garden ideas paired with floor-standing houseplants add a relaxing tropical feel to the entryway.
Nature House
The hallway leads to a living room lit by natural daylight that streams into it from one side of the building. Indoor plants re-humidifies the room preventing it from feeling too dry.

The furnishing and decoration is left in the good hand of interior designer and close friend Suranart Lerdkunakorn. Knowing the homeowner’s taste, Suranart creates a mix-and-match interior combining chic vintage ornamentation with newer furniture and decorations from different eras and styles. On the whole, home décor and accents give a hint of Eastern culture that makes the interior warm and welcoming. Strong, deep colors make the interior room visually interesting. Asked to elaborate on this, the designer said:

“Bhalangtham likes the metallic duck-head green and navy blue; hence much of the interior is pained dark shades of color. Together, they bring renewal and nature to the indoor living spaces. As for furniture and decorations, a chinoiserie dining table that’s a gift from the previous homeowner comes in handy to reduce the stiffness of modern home design. Elsewhere, vintage décor ideas imported from Bhalantham’s old house complement a look that’s stylish and relaxing.”

Nature House
The duck-head green of the wall and the cream and beige of living room furniture provide an agreeable contrast. Green leaves freshen the atmosphere and make the room feel warmer and more inviting. The living room is part of the function wing that’s designed to serve multiple purposes. An ethnic design carpet adds curious excitement to the room.
Nature House
A small dining area adjoining the living room is flexible and party ready, thanks to a chinorserie table that was a gift from the previous homeowner.
Nature House
The metallic duck-head green dominates a corner where young Arty practices music. Like the homeowner intended, the green room serves to connect indoor spaces with the lush courtyard outside while the sound of music rejuvenates the atmosphere.
Nature House
The dark shade of blue in Bhalangtham’s bedroom contrasts with the beige of leather upholstery on the furniture and the floor in natural wood stain. An area carpet in lighter shades brightens the room.

A perfect amalgam of chinoiserie, vintage, modern, and classic styles is a distinctive feature that gives the house meaning and character. Combine that with a courtyard filled with lush foliage of the container garden, and the benefits are amazing. Despite its small size, the patch of greenery serves as the lungs of the house, a condition that ensures everyone wakes up fresh and happy every day.

Nature House
For the homeowner, nothing compares to his favorite hangout with a private garden view.
Nature House
Besides the lone tree that’s the focal point of the yard, the outdoor room is adorned with potted houseplants, mostly tropical species. Plant containers in various shapes and sizes offer plenty of seats that make the area party ready.

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In Sync with the Rhythms of Nature

In Sync with the Rhythms of Nature

Building a sustainable home involves a great deal of knowledge of the surroundings and their relationships with nature. In the hot and humid climate of Thailand, it’s useful to have a good grasp of the sun, the wind, and seasonal thundershowers in designing a home that’s livable and aesthetically pleasing. This house is built around that concept – one that promotes well-being and the comfort of the indoor environment.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Patsiri Chot /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul 

The architect uses a folding process common in metalworking to translate multiple planes into three-dimensional interior living spaces. Vertical surfaces are later installed and wall openings added to enable the home to effectively connect to its natural surroundings.

That being said, architect Nantapon Junngurn took the most sensible course of action. He positioned the home plan in relation to seasonal variations. In a few words, all aspects of the sun, the wind, and weather patterns were taken into account. He then put the idea to the test to determine what architectural form and space would best fit in with the environment. In so doing, a folding  process common in metalworking was used to translate two- dimensional data into 3D modeling. The result was a comfortable home that was oriented around a central courtyard. To bring the outdoors in, large openings in the exterior walls were included in the plan in a bid to retain the connection to the home’s natural surroundings.

The architect said: “All things considered, a U-shaped home plan is preferred over other styles. The front entrance sits facing north, which is good since it is considered to be less sun-intrusive.  The rear of the house faces due south and is kept closed because it is located next to neighboring houses. The west side is reserved for service areas with a music room and kitchenette, which confirms that home cooking is not a big part of the family lifestyle. Here, double brick construction goes to work reducing thermal transmission and protecting the home’s interior from hot sun. Plus, the back area is in shade for much of the day, thanks to the canopy of a mature tree courtesy of next door neighbors.”

The further end of a sitting area is built of concrete that runs the entire length of the wall. An increase in floor space is achieved by simply doing away with support poles. Bottom line. Nothing comes between the lush garden view and the interior living spaces.

The U-shaped floor plan had a small body of low ground that transformed into an inner courtyard filled with greenery. There is an Indian oak, or freshwater mangrove tree (Barringtonia acutangula) that is now in top form providing a continuous layer of beautiful foliage. Nearby a Spanish cherry, or bullet wood tree (Mimusops elengi Linn) grows into a full crown. It came as a house-warming present from dad. At the center, a small pond adds a touch of nature to the courtyard garden. It’s the natural focal point that connects to practically every part of the house.

Sharing his little slice of paradise, homeowner Kongyot Kunjak said: “I like to spend time in the courtyard. In the morning, I would sit down for coffee at the dining table looking out the window for the view of the garden. The inner courtyard with a water pond surrounded by trees and shrubbery provides a place to rest. It’s refreshing to reconnect with nature and be able to bring the outdoors in. But in the evening, I prefer taking in a different view from inside the living room. Whether for work or for social gatherings, it’s wonderful to be there and experience nature every day, albeit from an indoor perspective.”

It seems the house plan best suited for the hot and humid climate is one that’s light and well ventilated. Thermal comfort can be achieved by shielding the area exposed to danger of too much sun. In the meantime, open up the part that connects to the natural surroundings. In essence, it’s about interacting with nature. When the home breathes easily, its occupants feel relaxed and comfortable to live in it, without a doubt.

The entrance hall contains a living room, dining room and a library on the mezzanine. It is bordered by glass walls on two fronts–one side opens to the front yard, the other connects to the inner courtyard which serves as engine that drives air circulation.
Large opening glass walls on two sides are there for a reason-bring the outdoors in. The courtyard that’s pleasing to the eye makes it feel like being surrounded by nature.
The living room and dining room appear light, bright and airy, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling glass walls overlooking the central courtyard. A lush, green garden under the open sky can be seen in full view from inside the home.
Located at the center of U-shaped design, the dining room takes in the view of the courtyard garden and a seating area in the foreground.
Full glass walls lighten up the entrance hall and promotes natural air circulation in the building. They provide visual continuity that makes the idyllic inner courtyard very much a part of the interior space.

“I like to spend time in the courtyard. In the morning, I would sit down for coffee at the dining table looking out the window for the view of the garden. The inner courtyard with a water pond surrounded by trees and shrubbery provides a place to rest. It’s refreshing to reconnect with nature and be able to bring the outdoors in.”

A run of stairs leading to the upper floor is cantilevered out from the wall. With one end anchored securely in the stone wall, the steel treads appear to hover in midair. Each plate is 20 millimeters thick. Large opening glass walls guarantee the garden view landscape is visible from here.
An Indian oak, or freshwater mangrove tree (Barringtonia acutangula) develops well to keep the inner courtyard in shade for much of the day. Its lush green crown adds rejuvenating effects to the garden landscape.
A Family Rendezvous

A Family Rendezvous

Because the house was left unoccupied for about ten years, naturally there were parts that had fallen into disrepair. Remaining intact were the ho-hum room dividers typical of housing developments that were built some time ago. The homeowners returned after a brief hiatus only to find it was conveniently located in the area of the school where they planned on sending their children. That was a big plus in terms of a good quality of life.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Patsiri Chot /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Owners : Vasu Thongmeepetch and Panompon Ratanaprayook  /// Architect : Praepailin Jantanachotiwong /// Interior Designer : Thaipan Nopladdarom /// Landscape : Ginggaanbai Co., Ltd. by Tawatchai Sakdikul 

To give the old house a complete makeover, the homeowners Vasu Thongmeepetch and Panompon Ratanaprayook wasted no time to consult a team of experts in architecture, interior design, and landscaping. Praepailin Jantanachotiwong, the architect, could still recall the day they met: “Besides replacing worn-out door and window casings with new ones, the highest priority was to pick a design that would best fit the homeowner lifestyle needs and be adequate for the family size. Going through the house, I was attracted to the idea of tearing down the wall separating the interior and the swimming pool outside. That would translate into enlarging the interior space big time, kind of like bringing the outdoors into the living room. It was a perfect spot for a playroom, where the children remained visible in close proximity to a parlor made for adult rest and relaxation. Eventually the whole area turned into a rendezvous point connecting people to people in a warm family atmosphere.”

 

courtyard
The courtyard consists of a garden and a swimming pool that lies at the further end to protect the privacy of the family living here. Invisible from the street, it offers a pleasant outdoor space that connects the whole house with its natural surroundings.
living room
Double-height glass walls make the playroom for kids bright and airy. It’s a TV room and toy room in one. Bean bag furniture in lively colors fits in well with the fun atmosphere of the interior room and the adjoining outdoor playground.

“The Life of Gravity concept gets its inspiration from an open space that attracts everyone in the family toward the center of the home, especially the dining area overlooking the courtyard. The room is complete with an array of folding doors that open to connect with the garden, the swimming pool, and other outdoor facilities. There’s something for everyone, and that’s what makes people gravitate to an interconnected lifestyle.”

dining room
The dining room is bordered by bi-fold glass panels that stack flush against one another as they open to connect with the garden outside. The lush courtyard can be seen in full view from inside the room, while a well-placed swimming pool provides passive cooling that reduces internal and external heat gains and brings in fresh air.
dining area
Design-savvy ideas result in thermal comfort that transforms the dining area into a family connecting room.

Thaipan Nopladdarom, the interior expert, responded with a new home plan that divided into three zones. He said: “A mix of reception room, playroom for kids and dining space set contiguously on one open floor plan. Clever screen ideas control natural light shining into the interior. Take for example lattice design on the stairway wall that brings just enough light into the home, thereby eliminating the need for electric light in the daytime. Elsewhere, open windows can benefit the indoor environment. They let fresh air in and improve the air quality in indoor spaces. As for the furnishing and decoration of the room, the emphasis is on the minimalist style. Only a few pieces of furniture are there because they are needed. Where appropriate, built-in furniture is installed as permanent part of a larger construction. Lighting setups vary according to the specific needs of each location. To avoid illumination bouncing throughout the room, accent lights are installed to create interest at night.”

The Life of Gravity concept gets its inspiration from an open space that attracts everyone in the family toward the center of the home, especially the dining area overlooking the courtyard. The room is complete with an array of folding doors that open to connect with the garden, the swimming pool, and other outdoor facilities. There’s something for everyone, and that’s what makes people gravitate to an interconnected lifestyle. For the children, it’s the playroom that has become their favorite hangout. For mom and dad, the dining area has been an oasis of relaxation. They can rest by the pool, or go for a quiet saunter around the yard. Regardless of where, the family will never be out of sight of one another.

To make the courtyard lush and functional, Tawatchai Sakdikul, the landscape architect, was instrumental in planting shade trees to avoid some of the heating effects and keep the home cool. Apart from being pleasant to look at, the yard is easy to keep clean with all features functioning as intended. As for the highlights, he said: “We put in a waterfall that became a focal point in the swimming pool area. Then a walkway was built around the yard. For the outdoor playroom, we added an oversized rabbit head sculpture to arouse exciting curiosity and a blackboard to scribble something on as they played. As for the plants, we avoided the dense thorny undergrowth that was the most common cause of injury. Rather, we focused on growing a variety of herbs that promoted learning about the natural world.”

minimalist style
Subtle, soft shades of colors that speak to the minimalist style keep the sitting parlor calm and spacious like the homeowners intended.

An open floor plan for the home offers many benefits. In this particular case, it answers the lifestyle needs of the homeowners whose business has to do with manufacturing and selling garments online. The floor plan that minimizes the use of small, enclosed rooms means they can sit and work anywhere and still be visible. Here, happiness is being home with the children and getting work done at the same time. As one of the homeowners put it: “We are thankful that the architect designs it in this way instead of separating adults and children occupants into different zones. The interconnected floor plan answers the borderless lifestyle that combines work life and family life in one. It’s designed for easy updates based on needs. That’s what makes living here fun. It’s easy to get why we love this house so much.”

“The Life of Gravity concept gets its inspiration from an open space that attracts everyone in the family toward the center of the home, especially the dining area overlooking the courtyard. The room is complete with an array of folding doors that open to connect with the garden, the swimming pool, and other outdoor facilities. There’s something for everyone, and that’s what makes people gravitate to an interconnected lifestyle.”

dining area
A level platform along the outside of the building is ready for an alfresco dinner when the weather is nice.
outdoor playroom
A rabbit head sculpture adds interest to an outdoor playroom by the pool, while a lush green lawn makes it a nice place for kids to run around.
swimming pool
Seen from across the swimming pool, the recently remodeled home is a welcome place that makes the family feel safe and warm.

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THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE

THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE

More than 19 years of event planning experience have prepared us at Baanlaesuan Magazine Group for the job of hosting the best home and garden fair in Thailand and the ASEAN region. “Real Life Galleria” is the theme of the 2019 Edition of Baanlaesuan Fair Select, which is now in its second year. The exhibition is brought to you by room Magazine. Look for room Showcase at the fair for imaginative designs and inspiration. Experience the excitement of modern design that comes with every showroom on display during the five-day event. Good design inspires the admiration of everyone, and it’s one that answers your specific lifestyle needs. For the 2019 Edition of Baalaesuan Fair Select, Room Magazine proudly presents a collection of masterpieces by some of Thailand’s distinguished designers.

Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Looking back, the furniture section’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.

If you are handicraft lovers, there’s a special zone for that. Look for My Craft Zone at the fair for new ideas and inspiration for your next project. Whilst there, drop into The Book House to browse and shop new books and other bestsellers on the topics of home and garden. For those who are enthusiastic about small garden ideas, Baanlaesuan Pocket Garden offers a wonderful richness of small garden ideas. Just a reminder, the home and garden fair is happening from 20 to 24 February 2019 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

The floor plan, 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select (Click here)

Entrance to the Galleria

THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCETHE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE

To create an inviting atmosphere, the entryway to the Galleria is decorated showroom style. Simple, clean designs paired with perforate metal patterns give handy hints about furniture, home goods and decorating ideas. The paint color, the furniture, the lighting combines to make the area awesome. Drop by for a photo opportunity. There’s something good in every show.

room Magazine Showcase
Real Life Galleria: The Secret of Showroom Making

Real Life Galleria by room Magazine at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

Real Life Galleria is a show about design masterpieces by some of the country’s top-notch designers. Organized on theme of “The Secret of Showroom Making”, the exhibition provides a conducive atmosphere for learning and exploring design possibilities. It’s the product of a collaboration between the Baanlaesuan Magazine Group and the Design and Objects Association. The 2019 Edition of Baanlaesuan Fair Select proudly presents five masterpieces by five leading homegrown designers. They include Suwan Kongkunthien, M. L. Pavinee Santisiri, Amornthep Kachanont, Jirapan Tokhiri, and Rangsan Narathasajan. Together, they let us in on their secrets in “giving a home the look and feel of a living art gallery”. Over time, our curators have worked jointly with diligent care and effort to choose five designs that answer different lifestyle needs. Not only are the showpieces fully functioning as expected, but they are awesome in ways that bespeak their unique style.

Real Life Galleria by room Magazine at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select Real Life Galleria by room Magazine at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select Real Life Galleria by room Magazine at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair SelectReal Life Galleria by room Magazine at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair SelectReal Life Galleria by room Magazine at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

The Book House at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

The Book House at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

Real Life Galleria is also the theme of this exhibition booth. The relationship between color and texture in the room is defined by a gridiron design that sits atop a series of archways painted contrasting shades of red and green. Where appropriate, small green plants thrive from hanging containers creating a welcoming atmosphere. It’s designed to be an ideal place to browse, read and shop books specially screened and chosen by a team of editors at Baanlaesuan Printing.

The Book House at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select

            Special Promotions! Buy books from Baanlaesuan Printing on this occasion only and get:

* 15% discounts when you buy 1 to 3 books.
* 20% discounts when you buy 4 books.

The Book House and Chang Green Oasis

 THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCETHE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCETHE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE

Relax Zone for Garden Lovers

The Relax Zone is a stress free area for garden lovers. It’s pleasing to the mind to be able to sit down and do some reading after a long walk. And if you think it’s time to grab a bite to eat, there’s a very nice café for that. Plenty of food and drinks to enjoy in a relaxing environment! It’s also a center for home decorating demonstrations and workshops for those who are interested. Decorated urban café style in a garden setting, the Relax Zone makes a visit enjoyable thanks to live music courtesy of Chang brands.

THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE

Besides good food and a cup of coffee to replenish your energy and recharge your spirit, the Relax Zone will put a smile on your face. There are plenty of design ideas to take home to liven up your favorite family hangout.

Urban Pocket Garden Ideas

Explore new ways of planting your own small gardens at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Explore new ways of planting your own small gardens at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.

Urban Pocket Garden Ideas are the theme of a show for people living in small spaces. They come in handy to brighten the home with living plants, whether it be a backyard patio, small terrace or indoor space. Healthy green foliage provides unexpected pops of color and texture that can soften the harsh appearance of the built environment. The show garden offers clever tips for choosing plants and decorative containers suitable for small spaces. There are plenty of cool designs to transform a niche of space into a stunning garden that bespeaks your unique style. They include living green walls or vertical gardens, potted gardens, and urban green space ideas. Drop by for a good photo opportunity.

Explore new ways of planting your own small gardens at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Explore new ways of planting your own small gardens at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Explore new ways of planting your own small gardens at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.
Explore new ways of planting your own small gardens at 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select.

Art and Craft Zone

Looking for decorating ideas to create a personal oasis? Art and Craft is a zone for home goods, décor accents, even small ornaments for every room in the house. Save on home accessories from across the country, among them unique screen prints from “The Archivist”, cool items of clothing and nice looking hats for summer from “PALINI”, and more. There are plenty of handmade ceramics and imaginative décor materials to make your home awesome.

THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE THE 2019 BAANLAESUAN FAIR SELECT AT A GLANCE

Just a reminder: The 2019 Baanlaesuan Fair Select is happening from 20 to 24 February at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. It’s open from 9.30 to 21.00 hrs. See you there.

 

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The Chairmen of Thai Design, A Room Magazine Showcase at The BaanLaeSuan Select Fair
Looking back, the Chairmen of Thai Design, a Room Magazine showcase at the 2018 Baanlaesuan Select Fair

Bringing Nature into the Home

Bringing Nature into the Home

The family’s firstborn son is married and household members have increased. For the past 40 years, the old house located on a residential estate has gone through various stages of repair and expansion. The time for further improvements has come, and the Sattayavinij family thought it wise to renovate the dated, tired- looking home, turning it into one that’s warm, livable, and in sync with the present time.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham 

Woranol Sattayavinij, the firstborn, is an architect at the reputable company Architects 49 Limited. And the responsibility to remake the home rested with him. Earlier on, the family had entertained the idea of tearing down the old house to make room for a new one set on 96 square wah of land. Fully aware of the family’s lifestyle needs, the kind of place they wanted, and the limited budget they had, he had a change of mind and went for a renovation project instead.

 

Tall aluminum latticework that makes the front façade protects the west-facing home from harsh sunlight. It provides a buffer against solar heat gain building up in the interior. On the street, black iron lattice fencing promotes natural air circulation and doubles as a privacy screen.
Tall aluminum latticework that makes the front façade protects the west-facing home from harsh sunlight. It provides a buffer against solar heat gain building up in the interior. On the street, black iron lattice fencing promotes natural air circulation and doubles as a privacy screen.

“I made a walkway connecting to the courtyard that has become  our sitting room.  Using my stock of lumber and wood recycled from the old house, I mixed teak with Makha wood (Afzelia xylocarpa), and gave it a fresh layer of paint.  It was a mix-match since the boards came in different sizes, but  nothing serious.  Now mom and her sister seem really pleased  that it’s a nice spot to sit and catch the cool breezes.”

“The question is: How can I go about it in coming up with design that’s open, bright and well ventilated? First, the land itself isn’t oriented in a direction that can avoid getting direct sunlight or minimize solar heat gain. Besides, it’s a modest home. There isn’t much room for the long roof overhangs needed to protect it from the elements. So I solve the problem by putting a courtyard at the center of the home plan to make the interior light, airy and very comfortable,” said the architect.

That said, Woranol chose box-shaped design featuring twin rectangular buildings that run parallel to each other with a courtyard in between. The little oasis that’s open to the sky contains a small garden with a wood deck made for sitting and catching some fresh air. It serves as engine that drives natural air circulation all day. This creates a comfortable atmosphere in the entrance hall. As for the A/C, who needs it anyway? The forward part of the house has a carport that’s separated from the street by wrought iron fencing. The black on the fence contrasts with the silver on aluminum latticework protecting the building. From the outside looking in, it’s clear that privacy protection is high on the list of priorities. It’s achievable without sacrificing the desire to live in close touch with nature.

A flight of garden steps leading to the house interior is canopied by overhanging trees thriving along the fence line. The corridor offers enough room to stroll around in the privacy of home.
A flight of garden steps leading to the house interior is canopied by overhanging trees thriving along the fence line. The corridor offers enough room to stroll around in the privacy of home.
The unroofed area between the buildings becomes a small courtyard garden. At the further end, the architect puts in a long seat for people to relax under the shade.
The unroofed area between the buildings becomes a small courtyard garden. At the further end, the architect puts in a long seat for people to relax under the shade.

Evergreen Korean banyan trees (Ficus annulata) lining the fence and the house exterior reduce the harshness of concrete construction and make the home appear more environmentally friendly. The house with 450 square meters of usable space boasts a bright and airy interior, thanks to open floor plans that emphasize interconnectedness throughout. Modern glass room dividers promote visibility and warm social interactions within the family. Steel construction saves time and makes the interior living space appear spacious and lightweight. In the end it’s all about feeling good and living better. “I made a walkway connecting to the courtyard that has become our sitting room. Using my stock of lumber and wood recycled from the old house, I mixed teak with Makha wood (Afzelia xylocarpa), and gave it a fresh layer of paint. It was a mix- match since the boards came in different sizes, but nothing serious. Now mom and her sister seem really pleased that it’s a nice spot to sit and catch the cool breezes.

An empty space between buildings looks stunning from the architectural perspective.
An empty space between buildings looks stunning from the architectural perspective.

“For security purposes, iron latticework is preferred over solid walls. To keep the sun out, the perforate shell is lined with trees. There is an Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis) that has grown tall to shade the interior and give sweet smelling white flowers. We also put in a Common Tembusa tree (Fagraea fragrans) which grows slowly, and a Brazilian rose wood (Jacaranda obtusifolia) which is loved for its beautiful purple flowers. The courtyard floor is covered by a container garden intended to make cleaning easy after seasonal heavy rains. It’s OK to get wet sometimes, but it’s better than being enclosed by solid walls,” Woranol explained. His choice of furniture speaks to the minimalist style of interior design. The idea of less-is-more translates into an interior living space that’s open, easy on the eye, and conducive to natural ventilation. It’s easy to get why everyone likes to hang out together in the hallway downstairs that connects to the lush courtyard garden. The natural environment helps them feel relaxed all day every day.

While lattice screens go to work protecting the home from the outside world, large opening glass walls connect the interior room to a lush courtyard garden thrown in between buildings. Diffused light and winds passing through the permeable shell keep the entrance hall cool all day without the A/C. No wonder it’s the family’s favorite hangout.
While lattice screens go to work protecting the home from the outside world, large opening glass walls connect the interior room to a lush courtyard garden thrown in between buildings. Diffused light and winds passing through the permeable shell keep the entrance hall cool all day without the A/C. No wonder it’s the family’s favorite hangout.
Adjacent to the sofa set, the dining room is well lit and made comfortable by fresh air blowing in from the nearby courtyard garden.
Adjacent to the sofa set, the dining room is well lit and made comfortable by fresh air blowing in from the nearby courtyard garden.
The raised passageway around the courtyard is built of old wood worn by long exposure to the weather. Concrete steps provide easy access to the garden floor. It’s a place to sit with your legs hanging down, enjoy a patch of greenery, and shoot the breeze on a lazy afternoon.
The raised passageway around the courtyard is built of old wood worn by long exposure to the weather. Concrete steps provide easy access to the garden floor. It’s a place to sit with your legs hanging down, enjoy a patch of greenery, and shoot the breeze on a lazy afternoon.
An Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis), the courtyard’s main attraction, develops a healthy crown near the studio and the bedroom on the upper floor.
An Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis), the courtyard’s main attraction, develops a healthy crown near the studio and the bedroom on the upper floor.
While they allow natural light and fresh air to pass into the courtyard, metal lattice panels also double as privacy screens and safety precautions against intruders.
While they allow natural light and fresh air to pass into the courtyard, metal lattice panels also double as privacy screens and safety precautions against intruders.
The room upstairs can be used for work or pleasure. Open the door to see what happens below, and take in the view of the lush courtyard garden. Some fresh air really will do you good. After all, it’s about bringing nature into the home.
The room upstairs can be used for work or pleasure. Open the door to see what happens below, and take in the view of the lush courtyard garden. Some fresh air really will do you good. After all, it’s about bringing nature into the home.
Rustling leaves in the Indian cork tree make a sound that has a relaxing effect, especially for the home office and the bedroom located across the yard.
Rustling leaves in the Indian cork tree make a sound that has a relaxing effect, especially for the home office and the bedroom located across the yard.

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In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace
In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

Surrounded by Warmth and Happiness
Surrounded by Warmth and Happiness

Behind the Works at Bangkok Art Biennale 2018: Historic Images of an Important Time for the Art World

Behind the Works at Bangkok Art Biennale 2018: Historic Images of an Important Time for the Art World

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 has now finished up. Here we’ll look back at some historic images illustrating what was behind the scenes of this important page of Thailand’s contemporary art world, which brought many world-class artists – Marina Abramović,  Yayoi Kusama, Choi Jeong Hwa, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and many others – to exhibit at 20 landmark locations in Bangkok.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

This is Tape Bangkok 2018, or “Adhesive Tape Tunnel,” by Numen/For Use Collective Design. The artists had a foreign team work closely with the Thai team to teach installation methodology during setup on the 7 th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.


Zero, an 8.2-meter-tall installation art sculpture by Elmgreen & Dragset, required skilled Thai workmen using a crane to lift it into position in front of the East Asiatic Building.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
Our team found that three pieces especially grabbed the public eye at Bangkok Art Biennale 2018. The “mother goddess of polka dots,” Artist Yayoi Kusama, sent a foreign work team to closely supervise the highly complex installation of her pieces after their arrival from Japan. The FAVForward/Lifestyle website in the Amarin Group, which monitored the installation, said, “The 14 Pumpkin balloons took a lot of days to set up, with meticulous attention to every detail by the Japanese team. Setting up “Inflatable Pumpkins Balloons” wasn’t simple: it required stringing electric lines and constructing beams and internal
supports to get the pumpkins to float high above.

I Carry On Living With The Pumpkins (Silver Pumpkin and Red Pumpkin), two large and heavy works composed of inflexible pieces with lots of angles, had a hard time making it through the door. It took the staff a big chunk of time, and they told us that putting it all together was no easy thing.

Your Dog, the work of Yoshitomo Nara, another Japanese artist, at BAB Box @One Bangkok, was in a single piece and didn’t involve difficult transportation or setup. The installation team simply lifted the 4.5-meter puppy, and in the clip below you can see the setup procedure.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
Turkish female artist Canan’s Animal Kingdom involved installation of dozens of animals, large and small, at BAB Box @ One Bangkok. This animal kingdom took up nearly 10 square meters and was as tall as the 2-storey building itself. Installation required a work team to build scaffolding to fit.

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018The work 2562++, by Tay (Patipat Chaiwitesh), was exhibited at the East Asiatic Building. It’s full of fun, but that is blended with biting satire. The backstory here, Patipat tells us, is that the animals displayed here were all stuffed. He himself found them all in the market (not alive at that point, of course), and worked with lab experts at the Veterinary Department of Chiang Mai University to stuff them, preserving shapes and eliminating decay. After that procedure, Patipat left the lab and continued working on them in ways you can see in the video below.

Pictures that Tell Stories: Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 (Photo Essay)

Pictures that Tell Stories: Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 (Photo Essay)

On its very first day, Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 became an important part of world-class contemporary art history, with many stories of its own to tell. Today Living ASEAN will show you what this means, telling stories through pictures. Sometimes many written words can’t express the spirit of a thing as well as a single picture.

/// THAILAND ///
Story : Singhanart Nakpongphun 

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
19 September 2018 – Minister of Tourism and Sport Weerasak Kovasurat gives opening remarks for Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 at BAB Box @ One Bangkok. The glass walls in back reflects the shadow of Happy Happy Project: Please Love Me 1, a work of synthetic fabric in the shape of a flying pig, 3.5 x 5 meters, by Choi Jeong Hwa | Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
23 October 2018 – Marina Abramović, one of the most influential artists in the world of contemporary art, conducts her first full-length symposium in Thailand at Siam Pavalai Royal Grand Theater in Siam Paragon before more than 2,000 Thai and foreign audience members | Photo: Phukarin Phuangthong

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018

8 November 2018 – A tour group from Korea and their translator, visiting The State of Suffering (Mental Therapy), an installation art piece by Ajarn Sunanta Phasomwong at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, serving as a case study showing how Thailand can use a contemporary art festival in a concrete way to promote tourism. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Bangkok Art Biennale 20188 September 2018 – Ajarn Lakhana Khunawichayanon, former director of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, speaking informally with participants in the 16th BAB Talk seminar at Warehouse 30 on the topic “Beyond Bliss: Can Art Really Build Happiness?” | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
13 November 2018 –   Inflatable sculpture Happy Happy Project: About being irritated, by Choi Jeong Hwa, an 8-meter-tall robot lying down between buildings in the heart of the city. Normally this can only be seen in a Japanese superhero film, but here visitors see the real thing close up, in a plaza connecting Siam Center and Siam Discovery. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
17 October 2018 – Diluvium by Lee Bul, an installation art piece of silver light-reflecting tape set up in the 2nd floor of the East Asiatic Building. The picture was taken using double exposure to overlay three separate corners of this work. | Photo:  Singhanart Nakpongphun

24 November 2018 – Two Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 artists meeting without an appointment: Michael Elmgreen, creator of Zero – at the East Asiatic Building –came as a visitor only to become a special guest participant in Pichet Klunchun’s Bogus Séance Version Bangkok 4.0, which deals with a mix of cultures and communication without words, national borders, or languages, through something known as “art.” | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

19 November 2018 – The venue of Geometry of Lamentation by performance artist Jihyun Youn, one of 8 artists from the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) who did continuous live performances eight hours a day for 3 weeks running from October 19th – November 11th, 2018 on the 8th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. At first the room is white, as Jihyun Youn communicates sadness and the emotional complexity of a woman unable to use the spoken word. But then red colors are splashed all over the room throughout the performance. Even after the performance is long over, the venue itself speaks to visitors. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

10 November 2018 – Phaptawan Suwannakudt and Jitsing Somboon during a special lecture (a TV program with Tiwaporn Thetsatit) outdoors in nature at the Crocodile Pond, Wat Pho, near where Phaptawan’s work is displayed. Bangkok Art Biennale 2018 has created happiness throughout Bangkok with about 200 art pieces in various locations – department stores, old buildings, or important Thai temples. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

Bangkok Art Biennale 2018
18 November 2018 – The grand old East Asiatic Building

In eventide, bathed in joy and light at the 20th BAB Talk half seminar, half very- special-pool-party with the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, who have a lot of world-class works behind them. | Methee Samantong, Post Process, Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

20 November 2018 – Taweesak Molsawat, in a live performance of Mis/placed: The Existing of Non-Existence on the architectural piece Moving System Pavilion by Vira Inpuntung and Pich Poshyananda, assembled by Bangkok Art Biennale and the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage. Here we see how beautifully architectural design and live performance can support each other. Taweesak has done other architecture-based performances as well, with installation art by Bea Vithayathawornwong of Beautbureau and Savinee Buranasilapin and Tom Dannecker of Thingsmatter. November  20-25, 2018 at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. | Photo: Singhanart Nakpongphun

26 October 2018 – BAB Workshop #2: Teaching printmaking at Baan Lae Suan Fair “Massclusive 2018,” with Ajarn Chakri Kongkaew, whose prints of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej were distributed the previous year at Baan Lae Suan Fair 2017. Here you see him sharing his knowledge at “BAB Workshop #1” in the most recent Midyear Fair. We must express our thanks for all the support for such great activities from Thai Beverage, Pcl. and companies in the Amarin network, as well as the Ardel Gallery Of Modern Art and the Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation, who have jointly organized such wonderful, creative artistic activities as we see here, without any participant fees charged! | Photo: Sitthisak Namkham

In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

“The ground floor exists in open view, so everybody can  participate in the activity.  It consists of an ancestral hall,  living room, and dining space with large opening glass walls.    It offers the view of a central courtyard that’s made for family gatherings. There is visual continuity that allows   everybody to be in the sight of everybody else.”

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Punchat /// Photographs: Wison Tungthunya /// Design : Integrated Field Co., Ltd. /// Landscape : Na Laan Studio Co., Ltd. ///

It’s next to impossible to find peace and privacy in the midst of movement and activity of Bangkok’s busy Sathu Pradit neighborhood. But this house is one that defies the odds. The freedom of being observed or disturbed by other people is accomplished in ways that most would deem impossible. The difficult situation is solved, thanks to clever design and interior decoration by Integrated Field Co., Ltd. in collaboration with Na Laan Studio Co., Ltd. the landscape designer.

The homeowners wanted a place in which to spend their post retirement years. That was the homework assigned to the capable team of designers at Integrated Field. They were looking at creating a home that would be the heart and soul of the family. That was the main idea that went into building this house on an area just shy of 2 Rai (roughly three quarters of an acre). There was a problem.

Modern House
The sun shining through the skylight above the courtyard creates a natural play of shade and dancing light as time progresses. The trees and vegetation beneath the canopy need sunlight to thrive.
Modern House
A set of steps lead to the house interior and the courtyard garden enclosed by the building.

The land was in a densely populated area surrounded by high-rise buildings, especially in the north and west directions. The architects dealt with the difficult situation by creating a home plan that wrapped around a lush central courtyard designed for the benefit of family togetherness. The house is now complete.

The ground floor exists in open view, so everybody can participate in the activity. It consists of an ancestral hall, living room, and dining space with large opening glass walls. It offers the view of a central courtyard that’s made for family gatherings. There is visual continuity that allows everybody to be in the sight of everybody else. Only the service areas, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and living quarters for housekeepers are separated from main hall design by a nontransparent wall.

Modern House
Silver oak trees (Grevillea robusta) come in handy to shade the house façade against the sun coming in the south direction.
Modern House
Striking the right balance between concrete and steel frames, the modern home leaves plenty of room for nature to participate.
Modern House
A flight of stairs leads to the bedrooms and personal offices on the upper floor. It’s designed to clearly separate public and private areas.
Modern House
An array of bi-fold doors opens to connect to the courtyard garden and other parts of the building. Bright and airy design allows natural light and wind to blow into the interior all day.

A Buddha room sits in the common area near a run of stairs leading to the upper floor that contains bedrooms for all family members. For the utmost convenience in modern living, each bedroom comes complete with a workstation, living area, a bathroom en suite. Apart from capacity for the interconnection among household members, the house’s most outstanding feature is contact with the natural environment that’s apparent in a lush inner courtyard.

The building is oriented to have the front façade stand facing south, a direction that isn’t likely to be observed or disturbed by other people. It stands to reap the full health benefits from southerly winds that keep the house cool naturally all day. In so doing, an array of bi-fold doors is installed, while transom windows are fitted with nets for ventilation. Meantime, a skylight that illuminates the interior also doubles as engine that drives natural air circulation.

On the side that’s exposed to intense sunlight, double concrete walls are installed, while the windows are fitted with insulated glass. Outside, the walls are canopied by overhanging trees that have become the house’s first layer of protection from the elements. What’s obvious here is that design isn’t about bricks and mortar alone. Rather, it has a lot to do with promoting the comforts and quality of life for people living in it.

As this house has shown, it pays to have a good grasp of the location and ability to overcome the challenge in the most effective way. By keeping the hustle and bustle of the city life outside, peace and tranquility at home is accomplished. Plus, it’s a lush courtyard in the design that adds up to a salubrious atmosphere in which to live.

Modern House
There is visual continuity from the interior to the courtyard garden, thanks to large opening glass windows.
Modern House
Spacious rooms with just a few pieces of chinoiserie furniture bespeak minimalism in interior design. Every room is bordered by large opening glass walls overlooking the lush courtyard garden. With few material possessions, the interior is plain and simple with nothing to clutter up the hallway.
Modern House
All the bedrooms are fitted with insulated glass to protect from solar heat gain and reduce noises from the outside.
Modern House
Equipped with everything necessary, the bedroom is a personal sanctuary that’s comfy, simple and clutter-free. It’s bordered by large opening glass walls designed to take in the view of the lush courtyard garden.
Modern House
Two walkways connect to the house. One starts from the carport. The other is a covered pathway designed for the elderly.
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