Blog : HOUSES

Nong Ho Holiday Home Tranquility in the Midst of Nature’s Beauty

Nong Ho Holiday Home Tranquility in the Midst of Nature’s Beauty

We think you might like a gorgeous tropical home out in the country. Here’s one that’s completely in harmony with nature. An escape from the fast-paced city life, the tranquil abode is intended as a family holiday home during the winter months. It stands environed by the pleasant mountain base grounds at Nong Ho only a short drive from downtown Chiang Mai. Strictly speaking, green is the prime color of the surroundings, and the panorama of the mountain landscape is one of breathtaking beauty. Priceless!

holiday home Chiang Maiholiday home Chiang Mai

Commenting on the design concept, Skarn Chaiyawat, architect and founder of his architectural firm and namesake, said: “The 300-square-wah, rectangular site on which the house is built is exceptionally good. In the evening, lights blaze in the sky as the sun disappears over Doi Suthep that’s easily seen from a distance. It’s really a beautiful sight to see.”

It’s a piece of land with great potential so the main idea driving the design isn’t confined to the house alone. Rather it’s a layout that has the beauty of the natural environment at its core. On the ground floor, open plan ideas come in handy covering a large area from the sitting room to dining room and pantry, plus a Thai style kitchen at the further end of the interior.

“After careful consideration, I chose the I-shaped house plan. The longer side of the rectangle overlooking the backyard lies facing west, thereby opening every room to the scenic beauty of a mountain landscape,” the architect explained.

holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Maiholiday home Chiang Mai

The architect and the homeowners agreed that, to avoid looking harsh or too modern in appearance, it makes perfect sense to blend modern building materials with heritage products in the locality. The result is a modern vernacular home that boasts the richness of natural textures. It’s built of reclaimed teakwood from old houses in the area and roofed over with clay tiles made the old-fashioned way by local artisans. House floors and parts of the walls are covered in glazed clay tiles made by Mae Rim Ceramics in Chiang Mai. All told, it’s a beautifully semi-handcrafted home that’s original and unique in its own special way. Plus, it helps reduce impacts on the environment.

holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai

The more open the house plan, the more exposure it gets to sunlight and moisture. Here, the problem is corrected by constructing elegant extended eaves around the house. Where appropriate, several arrays of retro-inspired bamboo louvres protect the house from the elements, meanwhile providing a delicate aperture to the delightful view. Together they reduce the heat, allow in gentle breezes along the east and west
facades, and offer the benefit of adding decorative privacy screens to the home.

holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai

Here’s what we found. A good home isn’t made for comfortable living alone. It must also be capable of promoting good physical and mental health. Although it has a street frontage, the family’s right to privacy is jealously guarded. There’s a backyard swimming pool for exercise. Looking out the window, a spectacular mountain view can be seen from a distance. There’s plenty of room left to grow a vegetable garden, too. In essence, it’s a way of creating an ecology of nature-human interactions.

holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai

The architect wrapped it up nicely: “Even while indoors we can hear birds sing and gentle breezes rustle in the trees, plus the sweet smell of plants and rain in the yard. No need to turn on air conditioning all the time. It’s a beautiful natural setting that brings peace of mind. For us, that’s the definition of a holiday home.”

Architects: Skarn Chaiyawat Architects (www.skarnchaiyawat.com)
Design Team: Skarn Chaiyawat, Krit Chatikavanij, Phuwadol Khummali, Punika Chaiyawat
Story: Sarayut Sreetip-ard
Photographs: DOF Sky/Ground, architectural film and photography service

Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled

Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled

BALI / Have ideas for a new kind of treehouse? Here’s one beautifully crafted of wood – a revolutionary design that epitomizes the ultimate return to nature.

After only four months of construction time, Stilt Studios has unveiled the latest prototype of its treehouse design that was truly awesome. Known as “Treehouse C”, the preliminary model sits in the salubrious weather of Penestanan, a cozy Indonesian village just a stone’s throw from the town of Ubud on Bali.

Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled

Noted for its beauty and the richness of culture, Penestanan has been dubbed an artist village since the 1930’s. A 15-minute walk from the town center, the village is home to many go-to restaurants and bars sprouting up everywhere amid the green expanse of rice fields. Treehouse C itself sits high up in the leafy branches in a small community called Bukit Sari.

Strictly speaking, the home is raised high off the ground by a robust core element consisting of four vertical columns. Together they carry the weight of the entire dwelling. For strength and durability, the upright pillars are braced by a staircase and post-to-beam knee brackets for additional support. On the rooftop, a series of steel cable stays extend radially from the top of each mast anchorage to connect with the roof framing and the floor plane below. This results in the reduction of member cross-sections and building parts for the whole building.

Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled

From afar, it gives the impression that the home is hovering among the lush green treetops, a sight that can leave a memorable experience. Plus, its surprisingly lightweight appearance is further enhanced by slender façades decorated with wood frames and glass paneling designed to carry nothing else but its own weight. 

Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled

The latest layout differs from the previous Treehouse C model at Buduk published in October 2020 in that the original open floor plan has been revised in favor of one divided into several rooms. They include the kitchen with dining and nearby living room, plus the spacious bedroom with a cozy sitting area interconnected via the bathroom corridor. The 64-square-meter design is for 2 to 4 people to fit in easily. And it offers a vista of the surrounding landscape and amazing sunrise views from Mount Agung.

Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled

As may be expected, the front yard is filled with edible gardens designed and executed by True Nature Nusantara, a Bali-based landscape consultancy specializing in natural regenerative processes. Commenting on the role of permaculture in creating sustainable ecosystems, Bodhi Denton, the company’s director, said: “The goal of developing these gardens is to create a delightful labyrinth of low-maintenance and colorful perennials and trees like they exist in the wild, plus a laid-back, inconspicuous area to sit and enjoy the view of nearby rice fields.”

 

Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled Stunning Treehouse Design Unveiled

It’s for this reason that the gardens are full of flowers, tropical ornamental plants, edible fruits and herbs. It even features a small pond at one of the corners. Besides its famous Tetra Pod homes, Stilt Studios also offers drawings of Treehouse A, B, and C models for purchase. In three simple steps, you can get access to the drawings and license to build your dream studio. Visit the company’s website for more information. 

Architectural Design: Stilt Studios (stilt-studios.com)
Landscape Consultancy: True Nature Nusantara
Images: Arley Mardo (www.eikonstudios.com)

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

BANGKOK / Here’s a warm wood house that’s an embodiment of superb craftsmanship in the indoors and cool refreshing greenery outdoors. Precisely, it’s simple design with the deliberate use of texture and clean lines that gives it a sense of youthful exuberance — a minimalist home that blends perfectly with nature.

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Khagee Ketjumpol, the homeowner, said he bought this house about ten years ago having been attracted to an orange jasmine tree (Murraya paniculata) gracing the front yard. After that he decided to restore it to a good state of repair that was more up to date in style. It was a home makeover project designed for better living conditions of everyone in the family. A professional builder with more than 30 years of experience, Khagee knew exactly what he wanted to do and how. The result was a complete renovation that struck the right balance between comfort and a distinctive appearance.

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The remodeled house plan offers three stories of living spaces with an abundance of natural light canopied by overhanging trees. The homeowner couple live on the top floor that’s decorated penthouse style, while their daughter occupies the second. The ground floor consists of common areas designed to encourage social interaction and spaces for a range of activities including home to three pet dogs. Outside, a Siamese rosewood tree (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) standing three stories tall adds a peaceful detail to the front yard.

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

To establish the ideal room temperature for comfortable living, tall-growing trees are preserved and integrated into the house plan and landscape design. Where appropriate, parts of the ground floor are left unfilled and overhead windows created to allow the upper branching of trees to thrive. The result is a spacious, well lit, and well ventilated home built around shade trees that provide sun protection all year long.

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

As Khagee puts it, “I like plants for they offer shelter from direct sunlight, increase oxygen, and filter dust that poses a serious threat to environmental quality, plus they help keep the house cool. In line with the minimalist style, open floor plans create a living space that’s pleasant to look at and easy to keep clean.”

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of WoodA Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

The family’s love of nature and everything about wood is clearly seen in home interior design. Much of it is made of reclaimed timber that once served a different function. Here, Khagee was able to recycle used items from his collection to fit new needs as floor panels, wall coverings, even ceiling planks. Where possible, steel framing and glass panels are also used.

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

“I like the touch of wood. Throughout my career as builder, I have collected many used building materials and reclaimed wood. Much of it that went into renovating this home was more than 30 years old and imported from Laos. To me, house building is an investment, much like buying land or gold. This way, we’ve come to appreciate the value of wood. It’s the natural vibes of wood that bring positive energy into our home,” said Khagee.

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A few pieces of house furniture are used on an as-needed basis true to the idea of minimalism. For a spacious interior, even large pieces like the bed and the sofa are made of steel framing that gives them a lightweight look. Because of this, they appear to hover just above the floor. The light and airy atmosphere is further enhanced by recessed lighting, a nice little collab between the homeowner and a team of architects from the Unknown Surface Studio.

A Minimalist House with the Warm Elegance of Wood

After many years of building houses for other people, the time is ripe for Khagee Ketjumpol to make one for himself and family. Not only is it a dream come true, but it’s also a beautiful wooden home ensconced by nature. It’s no surprise that he aptly calls it “Little Paradise”, a home made for the happiness of his loved ones.

Homeowner / decorator: Khagee Ketjumpol
Lighting design: Unknown Surface Studio
Story: Patsiri
Photographs: Soopakorn
Style: Worawat

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

Let’s say you’re looking for a modern courtyard house plan to get inspired. Here’s one nestled in the heart of Bangkok’s downtown that’s built to accommodate three generations living in one household. Nice work, it’s capable of answering the family’s lifestyle needs, plus it’s easy to maintain thanks to uncomplicated design. What looks opague from the outside is compensated by a center courtyard that’s light and airy. Its story is inscribed as part of the building’s decorative features.

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

When a design team from the Atelier of Architects Co, Ltd was tasked with creating a new home for eight people including not just parents and their children, but also grandparents, the first things they thought of were safety features, comfortable living conditions, privacy protection, and a peaceful environment for all family members. Yes. That’s exactly what they had in mind.

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

The two-level, six-bedroom house plan may seem a bit crowded for a 130-sq-wah plot of land, but the overall layout is impressive. It’s neatly planned to ensure the proper space utilization. In so doing, every available space is used in an effective way. Homeowner Salyawate Prasertwitayakarn, himself an architect, put it this way:

“If the house is built in the middle as is usually the case, there won’t be enough room for a yard, let alone a small piece of ground for trees. The land is environed by vacant lots that will see large property developments taking place in future. So the only way forward is to build a U-shaped home with solid walls along the outside of the house and a center courtyard facing an apartment building that’s the family’s business. Although the courtyard lies facing west, it’s protected from the sun and heat by the adjacent five-story apartment building. The result is a cool small outdoor area for little children to run and play. To protect family privacy, vertical concrete fins and a full array of plantation blinds are installed along the building façade facing the apartment building.”

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family Urban Courtyard House for an Extended FamilyUrban Courtyard House for an Extended Family Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

Taken as a whole, it’s uncomplicated design that gives this new house its character. Its outstanding features include an array of transom windows that bring more natural light into the home. Its modern and fresh interior with shades of gray bespeaks a clean, clear and uncluttered layout, while exposed brick walls add timeless elegance to the peaceful ambience. The courtyard patio is covered in gray pea sized gravel that’s easy to maintain. It’s a simple yet attractive design that expresses rich and subtle meanings. On this matter, Salyawate explained:

“I want to get the message across, something that internalizes values and what’s important in life for everyone in the family. This is evident in the work of art executed directly on the brick wall by the entryway. It takes the form of the Thai letter “p” that’s the initial of the family’s three sons — Pahda, Pheem, and Pinyada. Precisely, it’s a reminder that this place is made for them.”

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

To get people from one floor to the next, a spiral staircase stands surrounded by bookshelves. It’s the most frequented area of the house where a blonze plaque is installed as a reminder of when the house was built and completed. The outlines of the couple’s hands and those of their children are inscribed on it. Small hand images indicate the family moved in when the kids were little.

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

Visiting house guests can tell right away the home is perfectly cozy without elaborate décor. But for the eight people who live here, it’s a special place made for living a simple life, one full of rest and room to pursue their dreams.   

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

Design: The Atelier of Architects Co, Ltd by Salyawate Prasertwitayakarn
Homeowners: Salyawate, Piyasuda Prasertwitayakarn
Story: Sarayut
Photographs: Ritthirong

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Like a journey back in time, here’s a modern tropical house with the charm of yesteryear. It’s a complete renovation project inspired by the cluster homes characteristic of traditional Thai ways of life. Built with the future in mind, the old family home is lovingly restored to answer the lifestyle needs of the three generations who live here. Plus, it blends a beautiful lush green garden and innovative building materials.

Extended families have long been a pillar of Thai culture. Back in the day, when a couple joined in matrimony, traditionally it was the groom who moved into the home of the bride. As the family grew, it was time to build a new home nearby, usually on the same property. In the same way, this add-on unit is well suited to the purpose. The result is an extended family home based on cluster house design that’s the heart of family life.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Prior to being renovated, the two-story home had stood on this 200-sq-wah lot for about 20 years. Rated structurally sound, it was capable of accomplishing further improvements. Hence, a complete remodeling project was undertaken so that three generations could live together and yet enjoy the privacy and comfort of home. Extended family living offers several advantages, among them a close support structure and care for the wellbeing of all family members.  

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

The redesigned home plan boasts a peaceful courtyard with swimming pool enclosed by the walls of a large L-shaped building. There’s a passageway that allows access between the two residential units on either side, while parts of the upper floors are reserved for future use. The connected wings are interactive communities. In fact, they physically exist as two separate houses ready to change hands at some future time, which explains an empty space lying in between.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

The ground floor of what was once the family home now houses a reception area with a gym, dining room and small kitchen. The second floor is a private residential home with Mom and Dad’s bedroom and a sitting area conveniently linked with the other building. The newly added extension  comprises three all-inclusive residential units. Clearly separated from one another, they are accessible by a roofed platform along the outside of the house.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Although the homeowners like traditional Thai houses, it makes perfect sense to opt for new construction materials that are long-lasting and suitable for modern applications. They include building walls with aluminum stud framing and faux wood siding panels, which are more appropriate than real wood for air conditioning. To protect the home from the dangers of extreme heat, exterior brick walls are decorated with engineered wood cladding products. And for a more natural look, clear protective finishes are preferred over paints, while aluminum trim provides additional decoration along the edges.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Doors and windows are made of aluminum that looks and feels like wood. Together they bring a beautiful design element to the project. Plus, aluminum is more durable and functional than real wood. Overall, a hybrid of steel frames, timber and concrete construction enhances the home’s contemporary appeal, while the finishing and decoration is typical of Thai residential architecture.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

While the children enjoy privacy in the comfort of their home, they have time to hang out together, shoot the breeze, exercise and share family meals with Mom and Dad. Here, open concept floor plans offer many benefits. They keep the house well ventilated, help beat daily stress, and eliminate the need for air conditioning. To get rid of food smells fast, the kitchen is at the furthest end, where Mom prepares both international dishes and authentic Thai recipes, especially the southern kind that only Mom knows best. All things considered, it’s about mealtime socialization that’s the center of family life. It’s something they do together to stay connected.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Design: Pipol Likanapaisal and Apichart Rojthoranin (Space Story Studio)
Story: Sarayut
Photographs: Sitthisak
Style: Worawat

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

RATCHABURI / We thought you’d like this. Here’s an intimate little house on stilts amid the coconut groves of Damnoen Saduak, a country town famous for lush orchards and a vibrant floating market. Built on a budget, much of it is made of reclaimed timber in various styles. Oh, by the way there’s no need for air conditioning. It stands canopied by overhanging trees alongside water channels for crop irrigation, an ecosystem that drives natural ventilation to keep it cool all year round.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

Since its heyday in the mid 1900s, Damnoen Saduak Canal had been a major route for water transport in this part of Ratchaburi. People’s houses were built mostly along the water’s edge, while properties that lay further inland were used for agriculture. This 7-Rai piece of land was home to thriving fruit orchards for several decades. The house now in the hands of the family’s fourth generation was recently restored to all its former glory. In the process, parts of the water channels were filled to make room for a new contemporary home.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

At first what they had in mind was a little house with one bedroom. But after having consulted the architectural firm Studio Miti, they were convinced that house-on-stilts design, something slightly bigger, was the way forward. It was a prudent thing to do since the area has experienced flooding in the past. By using tall timber posts and beams, they were able to create a 112-sq-m home plan with high ceilings.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

The wooden floor is elevated on concrete poles for stability and better ventilation, while the superstructure is crafted of weathered wood that gives the home rustic and contempory décor. The exterior walls are built of a captivating mix of reclaimed timber, including Praduak (Pterocarpus soyauxii) that’s preferred for its bright orange red color, Mai Daeng or Ironwood (Xylia xylocarpa), and Mai Yang (Dipterocarpus alatus), which is light brown in color. Where appropriate, shorter wall planks are used to add the warmth and charm to interior living spaces.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

Taken as a whole, it’s an open concept house plan that’s just right for a small family’s lifestyle needs. There is no guest reception area that’s characteristic of the Western style home. Instead, the center of family life is a good-sized wooden table in the middle of the room that’s fulfilling multiple functions as living area, dining room and space for relaxing and socializing.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

The kitchen formerly at the rear of the house has been moved to the ground floor that’s made suitable for traditional Thai cooking. It’s a way to get rid of food smells fast. Only a pantry with necessary food, dishes and utensils are kept upstairs, where the focus is more on making light meals, coffee and other beverages. It’s separated from the living area by roll-away shutters that open to circulate air and give a sense of cohesiveness.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

The house has two bedrooms made especially relaxing by a monochromatic color scheme. A nexus between old world charm and a calm, clutter-free life, each room has a mattress on a wooden platform canopied by a fine net to keep mosquitoes away. Both of them are so well ventilated that there’s no need for air conditioning.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

Wood has its benefits as a building material. It doesn’t reflect or store heat very well, which results in hardwood floors not getting much hot in summer. This makes it comfortable to spend daylight hours in the shady space on the ground floor. When evening comes, a gentle wind helps cool the home down. Otherwise, simple fans will do the trick. Outside, a canopy of overhanging trees and water channels make the home environment calm and peaceful. In the rainy season, extended overhangs protect the interior from the elements.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

As timber prices continue to rise, the cost of building a home also increases at an alarming rate. Here, the architect is able to overcome the limited budget and deliver on his promise. The result is a beautiful contemporary design that relates to its intended function and purpose — an intimate little home amid the enchantment of lush coconut groves.

Beautiful House on Stilts in a Coconut Grove

Story: Patsiri
Photo: Soopakorn
Stylist: Worawat
Owners: Veerapus and Nuthapak Thamrongrojanabhat
Architect: Prakij Kanha (Studio Miti)

Container Home amid an Enchanted Forest Garden

Container Home amid an Enchanted Forest Garden

BANGKOK / Who would have thought, even in the vibrant cosmopolitan neighborhood of Thonglor, that a shipping container home would have pride of place beautifully ensconced in the lush greenery of a midtown forest garden? The area bustled with activity and dominated by highrise condominiums is home to a health-giving tropical oasis. Here, large metal boxes once used for the transportation of goods transform into a charming ensemble and family life center capable of fulfilling several functions.

Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden

The rustic building in the garden originated as an add-on to the family’s existing home located a stone’s throw away. It was meant to be used for a limited period of time and hence a shady spot with trees thriving in the microclimate of the landscape. Later on, it was transformed into a new home for the family’s daughter engaged to be married at the time. That was when shipping containers were put in as a garden pavilion in the front yard, an art studio, and other components of the main building at the rear. The front pavilion has become the hub of family life when Mom and Dad drop in for a visit.

Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest GardenContainer Home Amid an Enchanted Forest GardenContainer Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden

The container that serves as front yard pavilion is elevated at a distance above the ground. It’s connected to other functional spaces via a system of passages along the side of the house. The house itself is a steel frame building. The exterior wall on the second floor is made of corrugated sheet metal that blends with the exoskeletal shipping container framework. Crafted of teakwood, the house floor offers a pleasing visual combination that harmonizes with the lush foliage of the landscape. For durability, the balcony and outdoor passages are raised on a framework of steel. They are topped with steel reinforced concrete, while epoxy coatings enhance the beauty of the entire surface.

Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest GardenContainer Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden

Open concept interior design comes in handy for a rectangular house plan. The sitting room at the front easily connects to a dining area and a kitchen that’s situated at the farthest end. The shaft in which a staircase is built allows plenty of natural daylight to illuminate the center of the home while serving as engine driving air circulation.

Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest GardenContainer Home Amid an Enchanted Forest GardenContainer Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden

Into the open air, trees that had been planted some time ago were developing well. With years of landscaping experience, the architectural firm Walllasia was able to create a home and art studio that merged seamlessly with the surroundings. It’s now an ecosystem where everything is interconnected, from the sitting room up front to the balcony on the second floor, and beyond. The result is a gorgeous residence embraced by nature, one that evokes pleasant images of a home immersed among rosewood trees.

Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest GardenContainer Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden

To prepare the building site, low land was filled to bring it to road level while things that had aesthetic value remained intact. They included climbing plants that grew up arbors and trellises along the fence. Now they offer protection from the mid-afternoon sun and keep the backyard cool. Some of them even thrive on the roof and in the overhanging trees. Where necessary, steel building frames are made strong to provide nearby trees with a firm foundation. For a lightweight look, some outdoor rooms are canopied by high-tension canvas that blends with healthy green foliage.

Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest GardenContainer Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden

What’s worth mentioning is that the homeowners are avid pet lovers. Hence, the dwelling place made in a plain and simple fashion is aptly called “Mac and Ham House”, which refers to the two dogs who also live here. Unmistakably, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. It’s happiness that comes from a bond of love and understanding. Currently, plans are afoot to open an in-house art gallery devoted to painted pictures of the beloved man’s best friends.

Container Home Amid an Enchanted Forest Garden
From left: Alaksh, Suriporn and their daughter Jirapa.

Text: Samutcha Viraporn
Photo: Sitthisak Namkham
Owner: Jirapa Phornprapha
Architectural / Interior Design: Suriya Umpansiriratana / Walllasia Ltd.
Landscape Design: Suriya Umpansiriratana, Prawit Poolkumlung / Walllasia Ltd.

A Modern Home That’s Quintessentially Thai

A Modern Home That’s Quintessentially Thai

BANGKOK / The cube shape and flat roof lends a modern air to this white house on the outskirts of Bangkok. Designed for a hot, humid climate, it’s gently calming and comfortable to live without air conditioning. Its contemporary style belies the traditional Thai way of life that’s central to its existence and character. Plus, it shows great attention to detail that makes the house feel warm and welcoming.

Modern HomeModern Home

Amazing as it may seem, the cube shaped home sits on a narrow lot that’s only 5 meters wide. There’s a small waterway and public walk along the left side of the land. In such situation, the homeowner has to forfeit 3 meters of land along the waterfront to make room for public access as required by law.

The result is a piece of land with a narrow frontage to the street as it is now. And that’s where the design team came in to create a place that’s light and airy yet relying little on air conditioning. The homeowner lives with her elderly mother; hence the new house comes in handy to answer their specific lifestyle needs. For the most part, wood is the building material of choice. Despite its ultramodern architecture, the house plan is the quintessence of the Thai way.

Modern Home

The side of the house that looks out over the public walk gets plenty of fresh air and natural daylight. But it’s also facing west, which means the afternoon sun is much harsher and brighter.

To solve this problem, the design team puts in a perforated metal façade that doubles as an outer shell that helps keep the house cool during daylight hours. The outer shell crafted of steel is painted white to harmonize in color and texture with the nearby boundary fence. It’s a simple yet effective way to overcome a challenge on site.

Modern Home

By design, the house is well ventilated thanks to open concept floor plans both in front and at the rear of the building. There’s nothing to block the winds from the north or the south. Wood stairs with no risers not only allow fresh air to enter and circulate in the interior. They also illuminate the stairwell and nearby areas with natural daylight. The structure is a hybrid of steel beams and joists supported by concrete piles and arranged in an orderly way like traditional Thai architecture in former times. Plus, solid hardwood flooring looks very nice and makes the interior cooler in the summer.

Modern Home

To create warm, beautiful environments, the house floor is made of hardwood on all three levels. As a natural building material, wood evokes positive responses. Plus, it has a substantial impact on the wellbeing of humans in ways that tiles and concrete floors cannot. Meantime, pieces of furniture from the old house are given a new lease on life. They are adapted for use in a different purpose and given a fresh coat of paint that proves a perfect complement to white home decorating ideas.

Modern Home

Showing great attention to detail, the design team ensures the house plan is right for the elderly mother who lives here. To make it easy for her to walk up a flight of stairs, each riser is reduced to just 15 cm (from the average 17 to 18 cm). As a precaution against slip and fall accidents, each stair tread is made deeper than average, thanks to angled risers that provide extra space.

Modern Home Modern HomeModern HomeModern Home

The house fence is made of air bricks painted white. They have holes in them to create an air flow between the property and the public walkway on the other side. The masonry wall has no see-through gaps in it, which offers privacy and protection from unwanted prying eyes. It’s an oasis of calm on the outskirts of the city, thanks to additional green spaces along the fence line adorned with shrubs that thrive in the understory of tall trees.

The farthest end leads to a vegetable garden where Mom spends most of her free time preparing the soil, planting a crop, and nurturing the plants. Backyard vegetable gardening is an ingenious way to live a salubrious life. It not only puts fresh food on the table, but also speaks volumes for their determination to preserve the Thai way of life

Modern HomeModern Home

Text: Samutcha Viraporn
Photos: Anupong, Hatairat Deenuanpanao
Stylist: Vorawat
Owner: Nopphamas Houbjaruen
Design: Chalermpon Sombutyanuchit (Office Architect9Kampanad)

Grandpa’s New House at the Water’s Edge

Grandpa’s New House at the Water’s Edge

RATCHABURI / Because memories are made here, Puchong Satirapipatkul of the design firm OTATO Architect built a house for his grandfather Kumnung Yindeesuk. The new home nestles in a coconut grove overlooking Nong Salid Canal that connects to Damnoen Saduak, the bustling little town famous for its Floating Market.

Single-Storey House

From the beginning, the orchard land was in a clutter of untidiness while the old house was more than 30 years old and impossible to repair. The only way forward was a complete teardown to make room for a new home. The old house provided vintage recycled building materials, which gave Puchong the means to avoid a large cost overrun. Ensconced in a grove of coconut trees, jackfruits, and tamarinds, the single-story house plan is well suited to a 100-sq-wah lot. Plus, it offers a warm, comfortable environment while minimizing costs. To keep within a 700,000-baht budget, the architect used locally sourced building materials and oversaw construction work himself.

Single-Storey House Single-Storey House

To enhance views of the garden, Puchong chose a U-shaped house plan that’s made up of four blocks. Where appropriate, tall well-positioned windows create a stylish look and spacious feel. The result was a pared down tropical home for cool minimalist living. To merge into the landscape, he picked low pitch gable roof systems that blend harmoniously with traditional architecture in the area. Open floor plans maximize space and provide excellent flow from room to room. The front entry and south-facing walls that receive the afternoon sun are built of opaque materials to soak up the day’s heat. For a more comfortable living environment, north-facing walls are open to take in fresh air and beautiful views of the canal.

Single-Storey House Single-Storey House

The south-facing block contains a pantry, work station, and clothes storage closet. For indoor thermal comfort, the north-facing block is protected by an array of vertical fins. Not far away, a viewing platform supported on girders extends from the house to the water’s edge. The vertical louvre fins double as a privacy screen for the bedroom and provide light and breeze control. Together, they make the sitting room, dining room, and small balconies comfortable during daylight hours.

Single-Storey HouseSingle-Storey House Single-Storey House

“Adjacent to the U-shaped house plan lies a raised passageway that leads out to a body of water. Functional spaces are carefully thought out. Private residential areas are on the right side, while semi-outdoor spaces for houseguests are on the left,” Puchong explained.

Single-Storey House Single-Storey HouseSingle-Storey House

“Among other things, main functional spaces include a living room, dining room, bathroom, and bedroom neatly fitted into a small space. All of them have undisturbed views of the canal. High ceilings paired with tall windows make the house feel bigger, light and airy. To get work done fast, only standard building materials were used. They included ceiling panels, roof tiles, and glass in prefab sizes such as 1.20, 1.60, and 2.40 m. This made it easy for local builders to build, easy to maintain. Plus, it saves money, and reduces waste.”

Single-Storey House

“Using vertical louvre fins is a technique that gives the house its character. They are architectural features that blend beautifully with the overall design. This is evident in the way every roof rafter is positioned to coincide with the top end of the vertical fin. Although in different sizes, the vertical fins are placed at regular intervals, resulting in a clean and simple exterior.” 

Single-Storey House

Embraced by nature, the house is well planned every step of the way. All elements are arranged in such a way that best accomplishes a particular purpose. More than anything else, it’s about living in peaceful harmony with the land, the water, the trees, even the fireflies. For Puchong, building a retirement home for his beloved Grandpa is the absolutely right thing to do.

Single-Storey House

Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun
Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul

 

 

Quiet Interaction of Nature and Architecture

Quiet Interaction of Nature and Architecture

BANGKOK / Attaporn Kobkongsanti, his wife Romanee, and their young son Phumi have moved into their new house, which took six years to design and build. Now it shows a perfect picture, lofty white walls rising above its inspired design and meticulous construction.

“As an architect myself, I imagined a courtyard here. Having worked with Boonlert, I felt our styles were really in sync, and after a few iterations we settled on our fourth design, which is what you see here!” Pok, who is the owner not only of the house, but also TROP Landscape Architects, is referring to Boonlert Hemvijitraphan of Boon Design, his co-designer.

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Boonlert adds, “The relationship between the house and nature is always at the core of our design work. The owner’s imagination is what makes this one unique. We began with a set of high walls with the separate spaces between them assigned to different uses. We call this concept ‘series of wall.”

TROP Landscape Architects,

To the architects, “series of wall” is expressed with four very tall walls set in parallel that establish the frame of this 3-storey house. The walls are set between 2.5 and 5 meters apart, protruding out beyond the main body of the house, with varied height and length according to functionality of the spaces between. Floor 1 holds living room, dining area, and kitchen. Husband and wife have a workroom on the 2nd floor, and bedrooms are on the 3rd.

The personalities of the in-house gardens differ according to position. At the east entrance we see a mixture of kitchen vegetable and decorative garden they call the “moon garden,” since a moonrise is especially gorgeous from there. Special attention was paid to its beauty, as it is the first garden we see when getting out of the car and the last before leaving. 

Next we encounter a triangular courtyard, inserted in the living room! This is an architectural artifice to bring light into a darker area. It opens the living room right out on the swimming pool and at the same time welcomes us into the room, creating an intriguing space facing both inward and outward.

Closing off areas between walls before assigning them functions as rooms gave the look of, as the architects put it, “putting people in the in-between spaces.” Areas of use are rectangular, enclosed lengthwise between the walls. The front and rear of the house are all floor-to-ceiling clear glass, for a free, airy feeling everywhere, the natural world outside shining through into the home. The walls are thick, blocking the sun’s heat from the north and south. The glass sides bring in the sun’s natural light as it moves from east to west, keeping the house bright and cheerful all day.

TROP Landscape Architects, TROP Landscape Architects,

The walls also facilitate inner courtyards that are part and parcel of the livable space and bring the outside garden in, using the owner’s unique talents and experience to incorporate landscape architecture into the building itself.

“This wasn’t easy,” said Pok. “We wanted it all, here, there, everywhere, but when you do it you always worry it might be too much! We went back and forth, and in end we chose the most orderly form.”

Attaporn Kobkongsanti Attaporn KobkongsantiAttaporn Kobkongsanti

In the kitchen there’s yet another large courtyard. This one helps draw light and clean air into the various rooms from the topmost down to the ground floor, and connects with a forest garden behind the house to the west. Between house and fence is a copse of trees that filters the afternoon sun, a space used just to relax, or perhaps for a party.

The L-shaped swimming pool is landscaped in with a neat wooden porch that fits perfectly with the tall trees Pok has freely planted all about. This garden also connects to the living room through a large clear glass door, creating even more unity between indoors and outdoors.

Attaporn KobkongsantiAttaporn Kobkongsanti Attaporn Kobkongsanti

The house glass reflects the darker forested area in a wavy green. Our landscape architect compares it to an abstract painting by nature itself, saying it took away any need for hanging pictures on the walls, which are bare, like a white canvas, waiting for nature as the single artist to brush it with light.

TROP Landscape Architects,

Story: Korakot Lordkam
Photography: Soopakorn, Nantiya

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