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The Journey of Studio Miti: An Atelier Expert at Materials and Design Integrations Fit for Tropical Climate

The Journey of Studio Miti: An Atelier Expert at Materials and Design Integrations Fit for Tropical Climate

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Nantiya June /

Studio Miti is founded by Prakit Kanha and Padirmkiat Sukkan, two architects who have been friends since college. They attended the same school of architecture at a university. Since 2010 the architectural firm has won acclaim for its expertise in materials science skills and ability to integrate knowledge of design with the circumstances that form the setting of worksite surroundings. Having earned many architectural design awards over the years, Studio Miti is clearly living up to his name.

The story of Studio Miti had its beginnings at a workbench inside a rented room that doubled as their humble abode. As the amounts of work increased, the pair thought it wise to move into a decent workplace. They moved several times to different places, among them a rental space on the ground floor of an apartment block that, albeit small, became their first design studio.

The turning point in their career as architects came as the company grew and grew to the point they decided to move again, this time to a permanent home with a brick façade showcasing materials that speak volumes about their ideals and corporate identity.

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan
Studio Miti’s new office showcases the building’s principal face capable of staying open and shut as needed as one of its main design features.

For almost 15 years, Studio Miti has kept firmly to its guiding principle in design, one that combines knowledge of design with an understanding of the context that forms the setting of a place, plus the ability to research the structure and properties of materials used in construction.

In the fewest possible words, it’s about knowing what the materials are made of and how they can be used so as to achieve the best results and aesthetic appeal. Equally important is the ability to create design that’s conducive to improving the quality of life plus charm, good looks that inspire.

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan

The company’s unflinching determination to stand by its design principle and beliefs is reflected in the looks of its new office set amidst the bustle of the Lad Phrao Soi 71 neighborhood in Bangkok where it moved into in 2024.

It’s an old townhouse that has since been lovingly restored as an office. It showcases the front façade covered in lightweight concrete blocks in dark gray that conveys a great deal about Studio Miti’s ideals and in-depth visions guiding its actions.

We have the pleasure of meeting with Padirmkiat Sukkan, co-founder of Sudio Miti, and getting to know more about the company’s design concept, plus taking a tour inside their new office. Join us in discovering the secrets behind the building façade crafted of gray concrete blocks, plus the design concept and beliefs that have put Studio Miti in a class in itself.


Q: Tell us about your journey, design principles and beliefs that guide your actions.

A: “As you know, Studio Miti has moved office several times over the years. Every time we moved, we did some experiments on the materials that we used. We tried to weigh the work we did to determine its essential quality. We believe in using real materials. By that is mean that we use pure materials in their original visual shape, color and texture without over embellishments.”

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan
Flashback: Studio Miti’s old office building showcases brick façade ideas in every direction.
Despite its solid brick exteriors, Studio Miti’s old office building feels open and airy, thanks to skylight systems that turn the interior into a well-lighted place.
Enclosed workspace inside Studio Miti’s old office provides freedom from external disturbances, making it easy to stay focused during the work day. Plus, it’s adequately lit by overhead skylight systems.

“At our current location, we used mostly bricks as the material of choice. We experimented on brick constructioon as well as bricks and steel. This time, we tried using lightweight concrete blocks as the main material instead.

“In fact, we found it by chance at a worksite. We were using the product and, out of the blue, it broke at the seams at the midpoint. We discovered a curving contour inside it.

“It looked interesting when touched by light. So we took it apart and looked inside it. The effect was good by a touch of light. I thought we could build the entire building facade using this material. And we did. The same applied for other parts of the building, too.”

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan

“We implemented this project, renovating an old townhouse built some 30 to 40 years ago. There were site limitations that we had to deal with. The external envelope was opaque, being built entirely of brickwork. It came with one restriction; a complete teardown was not permitted.

“So we created a building façade that’s capable of being open and shut as needed so as to control the amounts of natural daylight shining into the interior, thereby making it easy to stay focused during the work day.”

“Actually, we are interested in the design process. We look for ways, by which the tools that we use in designing diagrams can also be applicable or relevant to the materials being used as well.

“Oftentimes we put the materials to the test ourselves. It gives us confidence in doing designs, plus the benefits that come from touching it and getting the feel of the materials. It’s an important approach that we use.”


Q: What’s your thought on using real materials and creating Tropical design?

A: “On real materials and Tropical design, I regard the two concerns as being part of one cohesive whole.

“In a warm and humid climate like ours, first, I say we have to understand and be able to use the sun and the winds prevailing in the region to our benefit. It’s very basic to begin with. If we have the opportunity and the owner agrees and likes what we do, then we can develop the materials that we need together.

“And when it comes to using pure materials, I feel they are beautiful without being over embellished. We just need to find out how design can be used to make them look beautiful with little or no modification. To us, understanding the materials and how to them is of the utmost important.”

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan
A meeting room-cum-recreation space on the ground floor feels bright and breezy, plus it’s easily modified to respond quickly to changing needs and activities.
Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan
A meeting room for receiving clients is glazed using clear glass to admit natural daylight into the interior.

“Speaking of knowledge of a Tropical climate, I feel it’s a must-have for architects. Thai architects, especially, must have a good understanding of sunlight, the heat, humidity and the cold. They are the basics. To create designs, knowing all the basics takes priority over any other matter.

“But more than anything else, me have to make sure the kind of architecture that we create represents the owner. If not, at least it must speak volumes about the place, about the site and the context that forms the setting around it.”


Q: Help me understand some of the work you did in the past? A few examples, perhaps?

A: “To show you some of our past achievements and the results of our experiments, I say we used bricks. Bricks were the material that we used often. As for wood, we used that often, too. We used brickwork mixed with wood in the construction of Athita the Hidden Court Chiang Saen, a boutique hotel in Chiang Saen District of Chiang Rai Province. It’s a hybrid of brick and timber.”

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan
Athita the Hidden Court Chiang Saen, a boutique hotel in Chiang Saen District of Chiang Rai, Thailand’s northernmost province. / Courtesy of Studio Miti
Athita the Hidden Court Chiang Saen / Courtesy of Studio Miti
Athita the Hidden Court Chiang Saen / Courtesy of Studio Miti
Athita the Hidden Court Chiang Saen / Courtesy of Studio Miti

“If I may show you a project built entirely of bricks, or brickwork mixed with steel, it’s the “High Brick House” or “Baan Look Moo”.

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan
High Brick House / Courtesy of Studio Miti
High Brick House / Courtesy of Studio Miti
High Brick House / Courtesy of Studio Miti
High Brick House / Courtesy of Studio Miti

“In fact, we’re working on another one, too. I believe bricks release the heat faster. We’re working on a house project called “Baan Yoo Yen”. It’s built entirely of bricks. The wind blows through it, keeping the interiors nice and coo. It benefits from traditional beliefs about Tropical design. By creating indoor thermal comfort, we can rely less on air conditioning.”

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan
Baan Yoo Yen / Courtesy of Studio Miti
Baan Yoo Yen / Courtesy of Studio Miti

“Every piece of work has its distinct character. It’s a quality of being aesthetically pleasing that lies deeper than traditional beliefs per se, even deeper than knowledge of a Tropical climate. I’m referring to an understanding of human nature, and knowledge about the circumstances around a worksite. They are the mystery we’re trying to unravel, leading to further development.”


Q: Tell us about the Goal of Studio Miti, or the object of your ambition.

A: “As for the goal of Studio Mini in ten years from now, I want to provide an idea foundation for younger members on the team today. I believe we have the capacity to develop further.

“There’s still a lot to learn. There’s more to it than design in and of itself. It may involve understanding the context that forms the setting of a place, be it socially or economically. There are lessons to learn going forward. The transmission of knowhow from us to younger members on the team is important. We want to provide the tool they can take with them.”

Studio Miti Padirmkiat Sukkan
High ceilinged workspace inside Studio Miti’s new office is well-lit by natural daylight. Among others, the redesigned building facade can open and shut as needed to provide privacy and freedom from external disturbances, making it easy to stay focused on the task at hand.

“If I get lucky, we will move forward together. If I get luckier, they may move on to their future undertakings, where they continue to grow in their line of work. But everyone must have the basic knowledge to begin with, knowledge about the climate prevailing in Thailand, knowledge about the context that forms the setting of a place.

“It’s something that’s more than meets the eye. That’s the basics that will help them grow and mature and, at the same time, give us the old guards at Studio Miti the impetus to grow and develop as well.”

“I believe the future of our office isn’t up to me alone. Rather, it comes from younger members on the team who must understand this, and work together toward a common goal.”


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TB House: A One-Story Brick Home and Green Leaves of Summer at Every Turn

TB House: A One-Story Brick Home and Green Leaves of Summer at Every Turn

/ Son La, Vietnam /

/ Story: muanpraes / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Trieu Chien /

People change locations at some point in time, and reasons to move are aplenty. Among others, the desire for better living is pretty common. The same applies here, as this young family has discovered. Their new address is a one-story brick home made attractive by the earthy reddish brown of perforated brick facades set amid lush greenery.

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam
Perforated brick facades regulate fresh air and natural daylight streaming into the home and double as outdoor privacy screens.

Named “TB House”, it’s nestled in a peaceful residential neighborhood of Son La, a city in Vietnam’s Northwest.

For the young married couple who lives here, everything about it brings back childhood memories, those carefree days of summer and a home snug by the warmth of beautiful landscapes. Bestowed with mountains, forests and rivers, Son La comes in useful as the right location for their new home.

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam

One-Story Brick Home

The husband, who knew the geographical area very well, came across this piece of land during a weekend house hunting trip. It lies on the crest of a wooded hillside with dark green forests in the background.

Small rock formations stick out of the ground where large trees stand as if nature has left a lasting imprint. Almost instantly he got to thinking about building a humble abode here. The question was how to leave everything where it’s always been.

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam
A vaulted ceiling extends upward to the ridge beam at the apex of the roof, creating a volume of overhead space in the family living room. Underneath it, perforated brick facades admit fresh air and natural light into the interior.

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam

And that was where the design team at Trung Trần Studio was brought into play. They were tasked with creating a home that would best fit the owners’ needs, at the same time conserving all the existing natural elements in the landscape – the hillside, the trees, the rock formations and, most important of all, its friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

A diagrammatic representation shows the positioning of living spaces and functional areas disposed around greenery-filled courtyards designed to create indoor thermal comfort. / Courtesy of Trung Trần Studio

The result is a one-story, split-level brick home with breathing brick facades thoughtfully devised to regulate fresh outdoor air and natural daylight streaming into the interior. And it’s achieved without cutting down existing trees on the property.

The floor plan simply has abrupt alternate left and right turns to avoid cutting down the trees, ascending a small mound to stop at a bank of stone that makes the retaining wall protecting the backyard garden.

An open-concept floor plan improves foot traffic flow between rooms, turning a modest amount of space into clean, well-lighted interiors.

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam

A curious mix of graphic tiles on the kitchen backsplash adds intrigue and interest to interior design.

On the whole, it’s a simple house plan starting with a paved platform up front that serves as a car park.  A set of concrete steps leads to the front door that opens to the entrance hall, while the dining room and kitchen lies furthest to the rear.

There’s a playroom by the small inner courtyard that ensures the little children can be seen in full view from anywhere inside the home.

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam
A set of rustic log table and bench seats lines the corridor connecting the front of the house to the secluded residential area tucked away at the farthest end.

The family living room with wood wall paneling is invitingly comfortable by any standards. At the farthest end lie three bedrooms, tucked in a calm secluded area away from noise and distractions. For privacy, all the bedrooms have windows that open to charming backyard garden views.

From an architectural point of view, the breathing wall concept offers many advantages. Among others, it creates a sense of connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces.

High above, the uppermost branches of the trees provide shade keeping the home cool during summer months. They blend with retaining rock walls that add usable land for planting and relaxation. At the same time, the roofs made of fired clay tiles are covered in slow-growing lichens reminiscent of homes in times past.

A retaining rock wall creates usable space for planting, while a roof made of clear polycarbonate sheeting protects a utility/wash room at the rear from the elements.

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam
A bird’s eye view illustrates the house plan with greenery-filled courtyards in relation to neighboring homes and lush woodlands in the background.

Taken as a whole, it’s a vintage-inspired humble abode that exudes a timeless appeal as evidenced by the use of simple building supplies sourced from within the community. Needless to say, the lush landscape makes it feel cozy and warm, while architectural details enhance the easy lifestyle and advocate for sustainability.

One-Story Brick Home Vietnam


Architects: Trung Trần Studio (www.facebook.com/ArchitectsAndAssociates)


Phu Yen House VietnamPhu Yen House: A Single-Story Home Snug in the Warmth of Rural Vietnam

Long An House: A Charming Brick House in Vietnam

Phu Yen House: A Single-Story Home Snug in the Warmth of Rural Vietnam

Phu Yen House: A Single-Story Home Snug in the Warmth of Rural Vietnam

/ Phu Yen, Viet Nam /

/ Story: Phattaraphon / English version: Bob Pitawkong /

/ Photographs: Minq Bui /

Can’t wait to escape all the noise and pollution? Here’s Phu Yen House a one-story home amid lush landscapes way out in the country. It’s made comfortable by light and breezy inner courtyards with a plunge pool. Plus, ultraclean white walls give peace of mind knowing family privacy is protected.

Phu Yen House Vietnam
Immaculate white exteriors protect the single-story home from high winds, providing a safe and cozy family getaway in Vietnam’s countryside.

The house is in Phu Yen, a south-central province at the midpoint between Ho Chi Minh City and the Da Nang/Hue Region on the South China Sea. It’s the holiday getaway of a family who has lived and worked a long time in the city. Inspired by simple living, they discover the countryside has never lost its allure. And Phu Yen comes in as a handy location to reconnect with the great outdoors.

Phu Yen House Vietnam
Walk in the door, and you find a spacious courtyard under skylights, adorned with lush foliage on one side and exotics thriving in containers on the other.

The ground floor plan illustrates the feel and functionality of different areas in relation to landscapes in the front yard and at the rear. / Courtesy of Story Architecture

Named “Phu Yen House”, it’s a secluded family retreat during summer and public holidays in Vietnam. For the little children, the single-story home is a pleasant and fun place in which to grow, learn and play, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Curved symmetrical openings in the wall give access to a communal room without glass partition doors designed for good ventilation.

Phu Yen House Vietnam
Curved symmetrical openings in the walls give a sense of connectedness of all things in the house plan.

Phu Yen House Vietnam
The quiet, secluded wing holding bedrooms (left) is separated from the communal space (right) by a sheltered patio connected to the courtyard and, beyond, the front door at the farthest end.

The white house among the trees is the brainchild of Story Architecture, a design atelier based in Ho Chi Minh City. Its immaculate white walls are built high for a good reason – provide safety and protection from prying eyes. From a distance, accents of green on the front door prove an interesting complement to the perfectly neat and clean walls.

Phu Yen House Vietnam
An altar at the center of the communal space provides a means to spiritually connect with family ancestors.

Phu Yen House Vietnam

Phu Yen House Vietnam
A small sitting nook at the far end creates a relaxing atmosphere by the plunge pool.

Phu Yen House Vietnam
Everything the children need for a fun day at the pool.

Step inside. It’s a wow! The inner courtyard enclosed by the walls is spacious. There are no glass partition doors or solid structures dividing the interiors into smaller rooms.

Lush houseplants develop vigorously on one side, while exotics thrive in containers on the other. In the in-between space, a sheltered communal area with distinctive green accents lies, separating the courtyard from a nearby plunge pool made for kids.

Flanked by the patio and the plunge pool, an area behind the altar offers plenty of ample space for a dining room and kitchen.

Phu Yen House Vietnam

Phu Yen House Vietnam

For peace and quiet, the bedrooms, living room, kitchen and dining room are situated at the farthest ends. Everywhere, curved symmetrical structures span openings in the walls. They form readily distinguishable areas characterized by a plain and uncluttered appearance, making the home safe for children.

A sheltered patio provides access to the quiet, private wing containing bedrooms.

Phu Yen House Vietnam
Completely shut out from the outside world, the bedroom with an oversized bed opens to a small personal courtyard.

A young tree provides shade to the small courtyard covered in stone pavers.

More than anything else, it’s a home built on a budget, which is evidenced by the use of simple building supplies sourced directly from within the community. Plus, the house plan is uncomplicated, easy to keep clean and tidy. It’s without doubt a dream home safe and snug in the warmth of Vietnam’s countryside.

Phu Yen House Vietnam


Architects: Story Architecture (www.facebook.com/storyarchitecture.vn)

Lead Architects: Nguyễn Kava

Designer Team: Huỳnh Cẩm Tú, Vũ Thu Trang, Trịnh Quang Huy, Trần Nguyễn and Thúy Trinh


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Lepak Downstairs: Outdoor Marble Furniture Designs Viewed from the Top

Lepak Downstairs: Outdoor Marble Furniture Designs Viewed from the Top

/ Singapore /

/ Story: Natthawat Klaysuban / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Jonathan Tan /

If looking at life from a different perspective excites your imagination, here’s Lepak Downstairs a collection of marble furniture photographs taken from the top. Welcome aboard as we embark on a virtual journey through a Singapore residential neighborhood.

Lepak Downstairs Singapore

Let’s take a look at some of the visuals by Jonathan Tan, whose favorite pastimes include taking photographs for enjoyment. This episode takes you to an HBD apartment block, or a flat if you prefer the British term, in Singapore.

HBD stands for the Housing and Development Board, or the Housing Board for short. It’s a government agency that’s responsible for public housing. By a rough estimate, HBD apartment homes constitute the principal type of residences accounting for more than 80 percent of housing in Singapore.

We trust this collection will give you a real buzz about the place, providing an experience that inspires your curiosity leading to creative design thinking and fostering conversation. If you’re pleased with what you see, give us a like and share.

Lepak Downstairs


A favorite hangout on the ground floor

Jonathan has lived in an HDB apartment home since a young age. Taking photographs is among the things that give him pleasure. One day he caught sight of a set of marble furniture on the ground floor of the apartment block where he lives. He couldn’t help but noticing this kind of furniture here, there and everywhere in much of Singapore. And they all looked alike.

What’s known as outdoor marble furniture is, in fact, concrete construction tiled in various colors and designs. Jonathan started taking photographs of them from the top hoping to compare tabletop designs that vary greatly from one place to the other. He named his collection “Lepak Downstairs” in the Malay vernacular meaning a favorite hangout downstairs.


Colors that tell stories about the mid-century period

Jonathan thought that photographs taken from the top were the best way to explore the various design patterns that come with every geometric-shaped tabletop, be it circular, square or octagonal.

The outdoor furniture with its tabletop covered in glossy tiles is designed to perform well in the warm and humid climate prevailing in Singapore. Some sets of furniture have been around for more than 50 years, while tabletop designs convey a great deal about the colors of choice prevalent in the mid-century period.

Lepak Downstairs Singapore

Lepak Downstairs Singapore

Lepak Downstairs Singapore


Designs that are fading into oblivion

With most people unaware of its existence nowadays, the outdoor marble furniture is slowly being forgotten, let alone discarded. People simply take no notice of it as old apartment blocks are torn down making room for ultramodern ones now mushrooming everywhere. It has since become less popular as a hangout place among the younger generations.

Now that public transportation has become faster and more convenient, people simply pay no attention to it, preferring instead to hang out elsewhere, among them public parks, shopping malls, restaurants and café, leaving the once popular seats lying largely underutilized. Plus, some new apartment blocks even have their own recreational facilities in place for public enjoyment.

Lepak Downstairs Singapore

Lepak Downstairs Singapore


Ideas from the past hidden in plain sight

Left standing there hidden in plain sight, the outdoor marble furniture has become a thing of the past. In spite of that, the design now considered old-school is far from dead and gone.

Quite the opposite though, it continues to attract the attention of a select group – the local art community. Some people now find it cool to keep photographs of what was trending back in the 1960’s in their private collections.

They know that marble furniture that represents the great hangout of the past is slowly fading away and never coming back. So the artists are quick to make appropriate adaptations incorporating old ideas in new designs hoping to restore its popularity. For Jonathan, it’s legacy that inspires preservation. And he’s doing more than his fair share to breathe new life into past glories.

Lepak Downstairs Singapore

Lepak Downstairs Singapore


Reference: Jonathan Tan

Instagram: @jontannn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jontannn


 

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Studio Miti Office: A Townhouse Tastefully Renovated as Design Studio Showcasing Material Savvy

Studio Miti Office: A Townhouse Tastefully Renovated as Design Studio Showcasing Material Savvy

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Nantiya, Weerawat Sonriang /

It all started with a 30-year-old, three-story townhouse and a company of architects Studio Miti in need of a new home. Like a fortunate stroke of serendipity, they found exactly what they had been searching for, a building with a wide, six-meter frontage abutting the street, an architectural quality attribute that gave it a decided plus.

The new building facade consisting of lightweight concrete blocks in slate gray is built of a framework of iron securely anchored to the original supporting structure of concrete masonry construction. The building’s principal face can open and shut as needed to regulate the amounts of natural daylight and fresh outdoor air streaming into the rooms. More than anything else, it’s design that meets engineering standard requirements and specifications for safety and durability.

Needless to say, it’s hard to find anything like it nowadays. More importantly, it’s located in an easily accessible community area with a variety of amenities, eating places and businesses serving surrounding populations.

Studio Miti management obviously saw the potential of it developing to future success. And that’s what gave them the inspiration going forward. They set off without delay to breathe new life into the old townhouse, transforming it into a modern design atelier that’s the home of the company’s finest 20-strong staff.

Their secrets lay in creating an exciting new external envelope covered with lightweight concrete materials. And the result of all this is a pleasing visual appearance unlike anything out there. Architecturally speaking, it’s an interesting amalgam of color, texture and the perception of shape and size that inspires admiration.

studio miti office bangkok

studio miti office bangkok
A set of wooden steps rises past a trough where leafy plants grow leading to the reception room on the ground floor.

Ground floor interiors afford comfortable workspaces designed to boost productivity, with communal facilities such as small meeting rooms and client reception areas neatly arranged throughout the building. There’s also a casual dining area with a kitchen and pantry, not to mention recreational spaces with a ping-pong table and quiet nooks to chill out.

Taken as a whole, it’s design that speaks volumes for the company’s operating principles — investing in a conducive work environment so as to reduce stress and improve concentration. Likewise, it makes perfect sense to ensure its design team can stay focused on the task at hand.

studio miti office bangkok
The corridor is separated from a meeting room on the ground floor by a folding glass door system, a clever tool that defines boundaries in a way that’s easy to understand.

studio miti office bangkok

With the folding glass door system stowed away, the ground floor serving multiple functions as a meeting room, storage room and recreational area instantly transforms into one big open space.

Climb a flight of stairs, and you come to the main meeting room reserved for formal meetings or when work needs total concentration. There’s a customer reception area nearby that makes a great first impression, with facilities for online video conferencing, a dining room and areas used for recreation.

Different from what’s usual is the building façade that can open and shut as needed to regulate the amounts of natural light during the daytime or admit fresh outdoor air into the room in the late afternoon, a clever hack to save big on energy bills.

The stairway leading to workspaces on the upper floors remained where the old, tired looking stairs had been prior to renovation, only slightly altered to give it a look that belongs to the present.

studio miti office bangkok
A glass-wall and sliding-door system provides visual continuity from inside the room to the balcony hemmed in by the front façade that can open and shut as needed for privacy, light and fresh air.

studio miti office bangkok
Wooden bookshelves of a modular nature are the epitome of imagination and resourcefulness. They stand ready to be taken apart and reassembled elsewhere if needs be.

studio miti office bangkok

The third floor holds ample workspaces with a mezzanine just below the high-pitch roof. Together they boast the comfort of a high-ceilinged room made light and airy by design. For lack of a better word, it’s the pride and joy of some 20 staff members working here as a team.

Of all parts of the building, the roof received the most extensive renovation. To get where they wanted to be, the architects had the old roof torn down to make room for a new high-pitch upper covering.

This gave the interiors much more space overhead, more natural light and aesthetic appeal. Plus, new ceilings built flush with the underside of the roof add real character to the room, while the mezzanine provides extra storage space just below the roof.

studio miti office bangkok
Third-floor workspaces are light and airy by design, thanks to high ceilings aligned with the underside of a new high-pitch roof. Plus, there’s plenty of ample space providing neat storage solutions on the mezzanine just below the roof.

All things considered, it’s about creating a workspace that bodes well for the good health of all members on the team, while inspiring productivity and job satisfaction. These qualities can only come from having access to a conducive work environment, the ability to stay focused on work and freedom from noise and distractions.

To achieve the desired results, all the workspaces and functional areas are warmly cocooned inside a solid external envelope made of lightweight concrete materials. Yet they feel connected to the elements of nature, thanks in part to large openings in the front façade that let natural light and fresh air stream into the rooms on the second and third floors.

studio miti office bangkok

An opening in the mezzanine reinforced by a steel I-beam system provides visual continuity from above and below.

Not only that, all the arrangements in place also allow the architects to experiment with exciting ideas and innovative materials never before seen, among them a new kind of lightweight concrete materials for wall construction.

The building exterior showcases the ridges and grooves in concrete blocks cut open and left exposed to the weather, thereby allowing time to leave its imprint.

In Studio Miti ‘s most recent experiment, they decided out of curiosity to split an ultralight concrete block in half, only to discover that it contained ridges and grooves on the inside creating light and shadows. They then proceeded with installing the ultralight blocks inside out, thereby showcasing the beauty of imperfections of materials on the building’s exteriors.

It’s sort of going in the opposite way of what usually happens.

The result is charm, good looks without embellishments or decoration of any kind, one that creates an interesting light and shadow play when touched by light. Plus, it’s a spectacular sight that changes with the time of day.

In the fewest possible words, it’s a renovation that conveys a great deal about Studio Miti ’s belief, which says that, first and foremost, it makes a lot of sense to be material savvy. Better yet, it’s prudent to investigate the material before using it. Why? Because knowledge of materials and how they perform in real situations is essential to creating architecture.

A side-elevation view of Studio Miti’s new home shows the exteriors adorned with lightweight blocks in slate gray, a feature that gives it distinctive character.

Studio Miti Bangkok
With the façade closed, the building looks perfectly solid, transforming Studio Miti’s new home into a piece of architecture in a class of itself.

 


Architect: Studio Miti (www.studiomiti.com)


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/ Bac Ninh, Vietnam /

/ Story: Phattaraphon / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Hoang Le /

Small space? No problem! Here’s a tall and slender concrete home built and furnished in a modern style. Plus, it transforms into a verdant oasis that’s beautiful and warm in a class of its own. Albeit small in size, the house boasts the relaxed interior ambience bedecked with houseplants thriving in containers scattered throughout. Nearby, the walls painted a cool-toned cream are lined with troughs where leafy exotics grow, creating an atmosphere for calm.

concrete home vietnam
The tall and slender concrete home rises amid shade trees in lush full bloom that provide indoor thermal comfort all year round.

Located in Bac Ninh, a city just an hour’s drive to the northeast of Hanoi, it’s a small family residence ingeniously devised to deal with space constraints and limitations. To make the most of the situation, the four-story concrete home occupies the full extent of an 80-square-meter plot. The elongated rectangle measures 4 meters wide and a whopping 20 meters long.

A street map shows the house location in relation to others in the community. / Courtesy of Kien Truc NDT

What makes the home stand out from the rest is its front façade adorned with shade trees and lush vines thriving luxuriantly, keeping the interior cool and comfortable. Walk in the door and you come to a living room with minimalist flair and a dining room in dark brown lying further inside.

One thing for sure, nature permeates through the entire home. Overall, the effect is impressive thanks to space design solutions created by a team of architects at the design studio Kien Truc NDT based right here in Bac Ninh.

Floor plans of the first and second levels / Courtesy of Kien Truc NDT

Floor plan of the third level (top), and a drawing of the roof plan (bottom) showing a garden (9) flanked by the stairway wall (7) and the skylight system with a rooftop deck (10-11) at the rear. / Courtesy of Kien Truc NDT

A side elevation view in cross section shows the rooms and functional spaces disposed around the interior courtyard with a stairway designed to improve ventilation and lighting. / Courtesy of Kien Truc NDT

The house’s external envelope boasts the simplicity of clean lines and geometric shapes with muted and earthy colors typical of modern style homes. Directly overhead, concrete beams spanning an opening at the top have an obvious rawness feel to them, creating a seamless blend with nearby shade trees in the front yard.

The principal face of the house itself is bedecked with climbing vines that provide added privacy plus freedom from noise and disturbance from the outside.

concrete home vietnam
Interior walls are covered in cement plaster painted a cool-toned cream that’s easy on the eye. They stand in contrast to the exteriors made of raw concrete and brick masonry, resulting in charm, good looks that blend with surrounding landscapes.

Illuminated by an overhead skylight, the stair chamber at the midpoint of the house plan separates the dining room in dark brown from the living room at the front.

According to the design team, by aligning the building with the sun’s path and prevailing wind direction, the house sits facing in the north direction that gets moderate amounts of sun, resulting in indoor thermal comfort even during summer months. This makes it possible to set up outdoor furniture anywhere under shade trees in the front yard.

The living room at the front of the house provides access to the dining room that lies furthest in.

concrete home vietnam
A set of stairs and surrounding areas lie illuminated by skylight systems built into the rooftop.

Skylight systems built into the rooftop provide enough light to keep indoor plants alive, creating a pleasant visual appearance.

On top of that, open-concept design admits natural daylight and fresh outdoor air into the home all day. This is achieved by positioning the building slightly toward the rear of the property, resulting in a win-win situation. The house becomes quieter and more secluded, while the front yard gains bigger space for rest and relaxation under shade trees.

A stairway painted white is built flush against the wall, rising above the foyer illuminated by skylights.

A view from the top shows the interior courtyard enlivened by natural daylight streaming in through a skylight in the rooftop that opens to admit fresh outdoor air into the home.

The bedroom with a view. A large door with transom windows opens to admit natural daylight and fresh air into the room.

The bedroom has en suite facilities enclosed by clear glass for uninterrupted visual continuity.

From a design perspective, the house plan has two parts to it, separated only by a well-lighted stair chamber occupying the in-between space.

To avoid the interior feeling stuffy typically occurring in row houses, the architects installed a skylight system in the rooftop to regulate the amounts of sun and fresh outdoor air streaming inside, turning the ordinary narrow lot home into a salubrious living space.

An overhead skylight illuminates the stair chamber separating the home office from a cozy reading nook at the far end.

A quiet, secluded reading nook benefits from natural daylight streaming in through a glass-glazed skylight in the rooftop.

The reading nook opens to a small garden with a set of stairs flush against the wall (left) leading to the rooftop deck.

concrete home vietnam
An outdoor room bedecked with lush exotics under raw concrete beams affords a vista of the city landscape.

concrete home vietnam

concrete home vietnam
A drone’s eye view shows a small garden oasis overlooking the street in front of the house.

To create rough textured walls, the home is built of structural concrete with exterior walls made of exposed brickwork that allows climbing vies to thrive. This contrasts with the indoor living space that’s covered with plaster and painted a cool-toned cream, an entirely different story.

concrete home vietnam
Serene surroundings in the semi-outdoor bathroom without a ceiling provide a salubrious atmosphere well-ventilated and well-lit by natural daylight.

concrete home vietnam
An outdoor room showcases the rawness of concrete beams and a garden oasis hemmed in by exposed brick walls, a beautiful sight that blurs the boundary between inside and outside.

In the big picture, it’s a beautiful concrete home made possible by dealing with space limitations in the most practical way. For the design team, because the land is long and very narrow, the only way to go is up and hence the tall and slender home bedecked with lush vegetation as you see it.

More importantly, it’s made for a green lifestyle that’s simple, power efficient and architecturally pleasing.


Architects: Kien Truc NDT (http://kientrucndt.com)


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ISAN Cubism: A Revival of Isan Folk Art through Exquisitely Beautiful Ceramic Buddha Images

ISAN Cubism: A Revival of Isan Folk Art through Exquisitely Beautiful Ceramic Buddha Images

/ Khon Kaen, Thailand /

/ Story: Natthawat Klaysuban / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Courtesy of ISAN Cubism /

An exquisitely beautiful collection of Buddha figurines reminiscent of stone Buddha images in earlier times has restored Isan vernacular art to life. Let’s go and check out some of the extraordinary works of art that take pride of place in the hearts and minds of the people of the Northeast of Thailand, aka the Isan Region. There is a difference though, as to what kind of material they are made of. One thing is for sure, the result is the beauties of Isan folk art that inspires delight and great admiration. The tranquil figurines are skillfully handcrafted of ceramics glazed in smooth, shiny cool-toned green and blue hues. Truly in a class of itself, the stunning product line is already very well received among aficionados of fine art and sculpture countrywide.

ISAN Cubism
A collection of ceramic Buddha figurines is a work of art in several cool-toned colors by Isan Cubism. It’s being very well received in the art scene.

The project is a collaboration between Dr. Kham Chaturongakul and Dr. Nuttapong Prompongsaton, associate professor — both of whom faculty members of the Department of Industrial Design at Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Architecture.

Together they co-founded the brandISAN Cubism by integrating the elements of vernacular art indigenous of the Isan Region in exciting new designs, plus using materials and techniques that best fit in with the present time.

Dr. Kham Chaturongakul (left) and Dr. Nuttapong Prompongsaton, associate professor. Both are faculty members at the Industrial Design Department, Khon Kaen University’s School of Architecture.

The ceramic statuettes with a polychromatic overlay are admired for their powerful storytelling about the richness of Isan culture and traditions. For this reason, the brand ISAN Cubism comes in handy as a vehicle of ideas to showcase an intriguing combination between the traditional and the modern.

Cubism, created by Pablo Picasso, is a style in art using simple geometric forms as a means of expression, as opposed to traditional modes of representation and concerns.

ISAN Cubism

Precisely, ISAN Cubism is about the relationship between religion and humanity in the contemporary world. That being the case, the omnipresence of Siddhattha Gautama the Lord Buddha is constantly felt in society today, and hence the images of him are never far from our everyday lives.

Depending on our religiosity, the statuettes of the Buddha play multiple crucial roles in the current environment. For the followers of Buddhism, they are objects worshipped and treated with deep respects. For others, they can be anything from materials used in the furnishing and decoration of homes, to symbols of pleasure and calm rather than being treated with due seriousness. The list goes on.

That being said, the traditional lines, shapes and forms characteristic of Buddha images in former times are reduced in favor of a more streamlined design plain and obvious in this collection of modern-day statuettes. It’s a rethink that enables them to perfectly merge into the circumstances that form the setting of today’s events and ideas.

ISAN Cubism
A vase for displaying cut flowers is known as “Roop Taem” or “Hoop Taem” in the vernacular of the Northeastern Region, a term for color paint art and painting executed directly on a wall.

As the two professors see it, Isan vernacular is chosen as the vehicle of artistic expression in this collection because of its richness in folk elements of design, a genre of visual art and sculpture developed at the time the region was regarded as a remote frontier ungoverned by bigger, more powerful city states.

In exact terms, it’s this quality that makes Isan folk art original and unique in its own special way. Among others, there’s a sincere direct rawness to it that differs from the more refined profile typical of those of Lanna and Ayutthaya kingdoms in former times.

In a nutshell, Isan art is the works of traditional craftsmanship, made by villagers using materials and technique available within the locality, wood and clay included.

Their version of Buddha statuettes may be a far cry from awe-inspiring masterpieces intricately carved by royal court artisans highly skilled in a trade. But, unlike the elegance in appearance that we’ve all grown accustomed to, Isan folk art remains a medium of expression that’s easy to understand, one that’s created using simple clean lines and four-sided plain figures.

The two professors see a similarity of characteristics between Isan art and cubism ideas that originated in Europe. To them, the beauty of simplicity of Isan vernacular art is key to unlocking the door to endless possibilities.

Imagine what would happen if Isan folk art could transform into lifestyle products made easily accessible to today’s generation. Keep the vibrant colors that the villagers have long cherished, plus the rawness feel unique to each and every one of them. That’s what adds charm and character to folk art products.

ISAN Cubism

The brand ISAN Cubism started out with the manufacture of vases for displaying cut flowers. Gradually Nattapong developed an interest in Buddha statuettes, having been surrounded by religious populations. He soon came up with his first collection of Buddha figurines based on wooden models that people made and then donated to temples as the expression of reverence.

ISAN Cubism

Dr. Kham and Dr. Nuttapong said that other countries have their own versions of human figurines, too. The most famous among them are Daruma Dolls of Japan, and Matryoshka, aka Nesting Dolls, of Russia.

They opined that Isan folk art had the potential to develop into something in the future, which can be anything including materials for the furnishing and decoration of a room, or any place on earth.

And you don’t have to be Buddhist to do that, either. Buddhist art is a visual art. It’s the way of seeing things around us and interpreting them through an artistic perspective. And this exquisitely beautiful collection of ceramic figurines is designed to do exactly that.

ISAN Cubism


Artist: ISAN Cubism (www.facebook.com/Isancubism)


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Maison T: A Tiny Home Perfectly in Tune with a Vibrant City Ambience

Maison T: A Tiny Home Perfectly in Tune with a Vibrant City Ambience

/ Hanoi, Vietnam /

/ Story: Kanamon Najaroen / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Tuan Nghia Nguyen /

Like a journey through time, a narrow side street in Hanoi is bustled with people talking and going about their business. The sounds of passing vehicles can be heard rising to a deafening crescendo, among others. Together they are the qualities distinctive to the character of this city neighborhood. Amid excited activity and movement stands a tiny house named Maison T. It’s a humble abode that’s home to a young couple who just returned to their birthplace from an extended stay overseas. It’s small, yet it provides a sense of belonging and a place to relax and unwind after a long day at work.

Maison T small house Vietnam

What a pleasant surprise! The little house on a crowded street is enjoyable, quiet and free from interruption. It’s thoughtfully devised to reach out and connect with others in the community.

Small space? Not a problem! The friendly and happy homeowners show care and concern for their next door neighbors. Even their pet dog is well-liked and gets along just fine with others, thanks in part to a small well-lighted front yard made for warm greetings and bringing joy to the family.

Maison T small house Vietnam
The front yard with a tree and verdant climbing vines adds a relaxing atmosphere to the nice little house in the big city

Needless to say the overall effect is impressive. The design team at Nghia-Architect has succeeded in transforming a house that felt stuffy sandwiched between taller buildings into a light and airy living space.

As the architects put it, being located in a prime urban neighborhood, every square inch counts and every square inch amounts to an ounze of gold, to put it mildly. Hence, it’s a good idea to make the most of it and, with innovative design, turn it into a refreshing haven.

In response to a difficult situation, they put in a front yard with climbing vines on both sides the wall. Upfront, a perforate brick fence wall separates the home from the street below. Notwithstanding the limited space, the area of ground surrounded by tall buildings becomes their pride and joy, thanks to the newly added lush greenery.

The brick fence wall in dark vintage brown looks like a house facade from a distance. It serves multiple purposes. Holes in the perforate shell allow air to pass through, provide a warm and inviting atmosphere and, at the same time, protect the privacy of the family living within.

A charcoal drawing on white gives a vivid representation of the tiny home in relation to other houses in the community. / Courtesy of Nghia Architect

 

A drawing illustrates a linear impression of depth and cross flow ventilation allowing fresh outdoor air to enter through the front of the home and out at the back. / Courtesy of Nghia Architect

A space utilization diagram of the ground floor shows the living room with a double height ceiling upfront. Further in lies a kitchen and bathroom at the rear that opens to a side yard. / Courtesy of Nghia Architect

A space utilization diagram of the mezzanine holding a bedroom, bathroom and walk-in closet. / Courtesy of Nghia Architect

In cross section, a side-elevation drawing illustrates space utilization on both levels of the house plan. / Courtesy of Nghia Architect

Walk in the door, and you find two levels of usable space; the ground floor with a double height ceiling, and a mezzanine holding the bedroom. Each level measures just 40 square meters.

Maison T small house Vietnam

As the design team intended, the tiny house perfectly balances space and maneuverability. Thanks to open-concept design, all the rooms and service areas are easily accessed.

There are no solid dividers separating the interior into different rooms, a clever hack to get rid of stale air in stuffy rooms. Plus, the double height ceiling makes the interior feel easy on the eyes, and it gives a sense of space.

A stepladder rising up to a small mezzanine on the front facade adds some fun to home decor.

Downstairs, the living room under a high ceiling is separated from the kitchen by an L-shaped concrete countertop at waist height. The kitchen space serves a dual purpose; as food preparation area, and as washing and laundry room.

The counter itself is slanted slightly inward to create extra space along the wall for a side yard illuminated by rooftop skylights. This in turn makes the home feel bright without the help of light shining in through the front facade, a nice strategy to banish stale air in stuffy rooms.

Maison T small house Vietnam
An L-shaped countertop with a distinct curvature in the middle separates the living room from the kitchen.

The ground-floor bathroom has a view of the side yard illuminated by a skylight.

Maison T small house Vietnam

To the left side, a set of stairs made of steel provides access to the mezzanine holding the bedroom under a high pitched gable roof. There are no solid dividers separating the interior into different rooms. Instead, to control the amount of light shining in, the bedroom is hung with a privacy curtain suspended from a curved railing system.

The architects chose brickwork and naked concrete finishes for the walls for an appearance that’s easy to care for and pleasant to look at.

Maison T small house Vietnam
There are no solid walls separating the interior into different rooms. Rather, the bedroom on the mezzanine is hung with a curtain to control the amount of light shining in through a rooftop skylight.

No home is too small to incorporate a natural feature in the design. Here, a cavity in the concrete slab roof provides space for a skylight illuminating the interior.

Maison T small house Vietnam
The second-floor bathroom has a treetop view of the side yard that acts as a flow acceleration channel designed to improve ventilation.

A cavity between soft and hard walls provides space for a side yard illuminated by rooftop skylights.

In a tourist destination full of people doing things and moving about like Hanoi, using every available space effectively is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life. Amid all the excitement, noises and traffic passing by, a tiny house named Maison T rises above the challenges.

For the young couple who lives here, it is warm, cozy and comfortable. Although small, it is a calm and peaceful place to rest the eye, relax and escape from the fast pace of city life. Plus, it is good to add greenery to the neighborhood.

Maison T small house Vietnam


Architect: Nghia-Architect


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Pitu Rooms: A tall and slender hotel adds new landmark to Indonesian paradise valley

Pitu Rooms: A tall and slender hotel adds new landmark to Indonesian paradise valley

/ Salatiga, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: David Permadi and Ernest Theophilus /

Standing tall and slender among quaint and inviting country homes, a unique seven-room hotel makes the most of even the smallest space. Named “Pitu Rooms,” it’s situated in Salatiga, a town in the valley of Central Java known for its relatively cool climate and authentic Indonesian lifestyle.

Pitu Rooms

The small hotel has a narrow frontage just shy of three meters, but that’s not a problem for architect Sahabat Selojene. The view of the cityscape is worth the climb, and that’s what gives him the inspiration going forward. The result is a thoughtfully devised skinny hotel that changes the town’s skyline, a design that’s exemplary of ideas in dealing with the challenges of limited space.

A street map shows the hotel’s location within the context of the city landscape. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene

The floor plan shows the corridor leading to a reception area on the ground floor. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene

Floor 2 holds a guest room at the rear and a staff room upfront. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene

Floors 3 to 5 each hold two guest rooms, separated only by a steel staircase. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene

The top floor of the building holds a dining room with a view of the cityscape. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene

The front elevation in cross section shows guest rooms on Floors 2 to 5 with a reception area on the ground floor and dining room with a view at the very top. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene

The side elevation in cross section shows guest rooms in the front and back accessed by a staircase in between. / Courtesy of Sahabat Selojene

Pitu Rooms
A remnant of old building walls is preserved for its great historic value and beautifully integrated into the hotel design.

More than anything else, it’s a clever way to make good use of land left over after the rest has been used. At the same time, it creates business opportunities and is helpful for urban planning and development in the area.

Part of a collection of artworks on display / Courtesy of Pitu Rooms

“Pitu Rooms” rises above what was once an unkempt piece of ground measuring 33.6 square meters in extent. The elongated rectangle is 12 meters long while the façade abutting on the street in front of it measures just 2.8 meters.

Everything changed after the experienced architect saw the potential and transformed it into a business space and, at the same time, took every precaution to avoid damaging or impairing old building walls nearby since their stories were unknown.

Pitu Rooms

Pitu Rooms
The bed is placed against the walls on three sides to make the most of even the smallest space.

The overall effect is impressive. The six-story tall and thin hotel offers quest rooms on Floors 2 to 5 with the lobby and dining room on the ground floor plus the other dining room with a view on the top floor. All the rooms are accessed by a steel staircase inside the building. Steel was chosen for its cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, it’s strong, durable and easy to handle.

Pitu Rooms
The top floor of the building holds a dining room with a view of the city landscape.

Pitu Rooms
An array of awning windows on the east-facing wall opens to admit light and promote good ventilation in the interior.

For good looks, the hotel’s external envelope is adorned with Agra red sandstone coverings indigenous to the area, while the east-facing wall is equipped with an array of awning windows to improve ventilation and lighting in the interior. Together they add character and interest to architectural design, providing a feature of the landscape that’s easily seen and recognized from a distance.

Pitu Rooms
The tall and slender hotel is adorned with red sandstone coverings that blend with existing homes in the neighborhood. The famous Mount Merbabu can be seen from miles around.


Architect: Sahabat Selojene

Structural Engineer: PT. Cipta Sukses

Construction: Eranto Prasetyadi


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Tan Phu House: From a Stuffy, Narrow Shophouse to a Multi-Floor Home with Rooftop Garden

Tan Phu House: From a Stuffy, Narrow Shophouse to a Multi-Floor Home with Rooftop Garden

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

/ Story: ND24 / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Courtesy of k59 ateliers /

Row houses sharing common sidewalls are a familiar sight across Vietnam. Here’s the story of a complete home transformation. A narrow shophouse lacking fresh air and ventilation in Ho Chi Minh City is tastefully renovated as a four-story home with ample space for gardening on the rooftop. Named Tan Phu House, it’s light, airy and looking really good in cool-toned whites.

Tan Phu House
Upfront, the parking garage is bright and breezy, thanks to the upper covering that opens on one side to let sunlight shine in, thereby improving air quality through greater ventilation.

There are pros and cons of living in the big city. And Ho Chi Minh City is no stranger to air and noise pollution plus overcrowding in the downtown area. Fully aware of all that, a design team at k59 atelier, a homegrown architectural practice, succeeded in breathing new life into the once stuffy old house, turning it into a modern living space with sunny personality and charms.

A diagrammatic representation shows the house location in a city neighborhood characterized by long and narrow row houses, a familiar sight seen everywhere across the country. / Courtesy of k59 Atelier

A diagrammatic representation shows space utilization and functionality on all four levels of the house. / Courtesy of k59 Atelier

A perspective side-elevation drawing illustrates in cross section the connectivity between living spaces, service areas and greenery on all four levels. / Courtesy of k59 Atelier

First things first, they started by observing the behavioral health of the three generations that live here – grandparents, mom and dad, and the children. Then, they looked at the state of the surroundings to see if natural features such as shade trees, air quality and sunshine can be incorporated in the new design.

It’s all about creating a health giving environment. Here, though, it’s accomplished by incorporating shade trees in front of the house in the new design. Together they provide a buffer protecting the front façade against too much sun, noise and air pollution.

As simple as that! The trees and the remodeled principal face of the building now work alongside each other sheltering the interior living spaces from the elements.

Tan Phu House

And it’s achieved without blocking the air flow and natural light streaming into the home. The architects did it by creating flow acceleration channels in the building design that act as engine driving natural air circulation into and out of the home.

The result is a refreshing change on all four levels of the home. At the same time, all the living spaces and service areas are arranged in a neat, required order.

Tan Phu House
Double-skin design. The greenery-filled front façade provides a buffer protecting the inner house wall against sun heat. Meantime, louvre windows offer protection from the elements.

Take a look inside. The ground floor holds a parking garage and entry area leading to interior living spaces, which include a sitting room where Grandma babysits little children during the daytime. It lies exposed to sunlight in the morning that proves beneficial for physical and mental health, among others.

Tan Phu House
On the ground floor, a kitchen and dining space next to the welcome area provides a refreshing change.

Tan Phu House
The ground floor holds a sitting room for relaxation at the rear of the house plan.

The second floor has a living room and study room with quiet reading nooks to kids. They are connected to children’s bedrooms located further inside.

The third floor that’s quiet and more secluded contains the principal bedroom with bathroom en suite and a laundry room at the far end.

The fourth floor has a Buddha room with the altar for the traditional veneration of family ancestry and a vegetable garden overlooking the street below.

Tan Phu House Ho Chi Minh City
A well-lit family living room lies in the forward area of the second floor.

A well-lit and airy staircase connects to the second floor holding a living room and study with quiet reading nooks for children’s schoolwork.

Tan Phu House Ho Chi Minh City

Tan Phu House Ho Chi Minh City
Double height space design turns a stuffy, narrow shophouse into a well-lighted place.

The architect explained: “In the new design, air flow acceleration channels are of the utmost importance. They are the game changer that improves the existing situation in a significant way, resulting in a relaxing atmosphere in the home.

“In the meantime, all the rooms and functions are conveniently linked while the floor plan is easy to understand and suitable for Asian culture and traditions.”

Tan Phu House Ho Chi Minh City

All told, it’s practical design that comes from paying attention to detail. Tan Phu House is completely renovated as residential community living model, one that’s tailored to suit specific family lifestyle needs.

Wood colors add feelings of peace and calm to the master bedroom on the third floor.

Tan Phu House Ho Chi Minh City
Double height space design makes the laundry area lit by skylights feel spacious and airy.

The third-floor bathroom at the rear of the house is well lit by skylights providing protection against humidity damage.

The top floor has an altar room for the traditional veneration of family ancestry in accordance with Asian culture.

In the end it boils down to, as the architect put it, “a design that provides all the desirable elements perfect for good living in this day and age, a living space that’s complete and integrated in one coherent whole from our perspectives.”

Tan Phu House Ho Chi Minh City
The rooftop sundeck on the fourth floor has ample space for vegetable gardening.


Owner: Le Ngoc Hoang, Bui Thu Thuy

Architect: k59 atelier (k59atelier.com)

Design Team: Phan Lam Nhat Nam, Tran Cam Linh

Structural Engineer: Phạm Dong Tâm


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