A Modern House in Sync with the Rhythm of Nature

A Modern House in Sync with the Rhythm of Nature

A Modern House in Sync with the Rhythm of Nature

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Patsiri Chot / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

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

modern house
The architect uses metal folding or forming techniques to make informed design decisions. The angle of the bend in the roof and the exterior walls is determined by the need to protect the interior living spaces from the elements.

In this particular case, architect Nantapon Junngurn used the folding process common in metalworking to translate multiple planes into three-dimensional interior living spaces. Then, vertical surfaces were incorporated in the plan and appropriate wall openings installed to enable the home to effectively connect and interact with its natural surroundings.

Obviously, he took the most sensible course of action by positioning the building in relation to seasonal variations. By this is meant that all aspects of the sun, the wind, and weather patterns were taken into account.

modern house
The far end of the sitting room is built of concrete that runs the entire length of the wall. It’s slanted to diverge from the vertical line designed to get rid of rainwater fast. As a byproduct, extra floor space is achieved by simply doing away with bulky support poles.

The architect then put the idea to the test to determine what architectural form and space would best fit in with the environment.

The result is a modern house plan where all the rooms are disposed around a center courtyard to create indoor thermal comfort. To bring eye soothing nature inside, large openings in the external envelope are added, further enhancing the relationships between the home and surrounding lush green landscapes.

The living room is elegantly decorated with dining area at the far end and a small library on the mezzanine. It is bordered by glass walls on two sides; one overlooking lush lawns upfront, the other connecting to the inner courtyard that serves as engine driving air circulation.
modern house
Large glass walls on both sides of the room are there for obvious reason — bring the outdoors in.

As the architect puts it, “The U-shaped home plan is preferred over other styles. The front entrance sits facing north, which is good since it is considered to be less sun-intrusive.

“The rear of the house faces due south and stays shut most of the time because it’s located close to neighboring houses. The west side is reserved for service areas with a music room and kitchenette, which confirms that home cooking is not a big part of the family lifestyle.

“For indoor thermal comfort, double brick construction is chosen to reduce heat transmission and protect the interior living spaces from hot sun. Well-thought-out planning ensures the back area is in shade for much of the day, thanks to the canopy of a mature tree courtesy of next door neighbors.”

modern house
The living room and dining area feels bright and airy, thanks to the glass wall overlooking the center courtyard on one side. In the opposite direction, the big open sky can be seen in full view from inside the modern house.
modern house
Located at the center of a U-shaped house plan, the dining room takes in the view of the courtyard garden and spacious sitting room on the right edge of the field.

The U-shaped floor plan has a small body of low ground that transforms into an inner courtyard with lush lawns and greenery. There is an Indian oak, or freshwater mangrove tree (scientific name: Barringtonia acutangula) that is now in top form providing a continuous layer of beautiful foliage.

Nearby a Spanish cherry, or bullet wood tree (scientific name: Mimusops elengi Linn) grows into a full crown. It was a house-warming present from Dad. At the center, a small pond adds a touch of nature to the courtyard garden. It’s the natural focal point that connects to practically every part of this modern house.

The living room and dining area is enlivened by tall glass walls and sliding doors designed to promote natural air circulation in the home. Plus, they create visual continuity that makes the idyllic inner courtyard very much a part of the interior living spaces.

Sharing his little slice of paradise, homeowner Kongyot Kunjak said: “I like to spend more time in the courtyard. In the morning, I would sit down for coffee at the table here looking out the window enjoying the garden view.

“The courtyard with a water pond surrounded by trees and shrubbery provides a place to relax and unwind. It’s refreshing to reconnect with nature and be able to bring the outdoors into the home. In the evening, the very pleasant garden ambience can be seen from inside the living room.

“Whether for work or for social gatherings, it’s wonderful to be here and experience nature every day, albeit from an indoor perspective.”

A flight of stairs leading to the upper floor is cantilevered out from the wall. With one end anchored securely in the stone wall, the steel treads appear to hover in midair. For strength and durability, each support plate is 20 millimeters thick. Nearby, glass walls standing tall from floor to ceiling ensure a good view of the garden.

As might be expected, the house plan best suited for the hot and humid climate is one that’s spacious, well-lit and well-ventilated. In this particular case, indoor thermal comfort is achieved by shielding all the areas exposed to danger of too much sun.

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to open up the part that connects to the natural surroundings. In essence, it’s about creating design capable of interacting with nature. In the fewest words possible, when the home breathes easily, every day is a breath of fresh air for the house occupants. Innit?

modern house
An Indian oak, or freshwater mangrove tree (Scientific name: Barringtonia acutangula) develops well to keep the inner courtyard in shade for much of the day. Its lush green crown adds rejuvenating effects to the garden landscape.

Owner: Kongyot Kunjak

Architect: Nantapon Junngurn

Visit the original Thai article…


You may also like…

The Beauty of Simplicity in a Single-Story Home

Box-Shaped House with a Tropical Style GardenBox-Shaped House with a Tropical Style Garden

About the Author