Blog : Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts

Baan Bang-Gru: An Enchanting House on Stilts on the Outskirts of Bangkok

Baan Bang-Gru: An Enchanting House on Stilts on the Outskirts of Bangkok

 / Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Supachart Boontang / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

This house on stilts in a riparian neighborhood just off of Rama 2 Road represents a confluence of ideas between traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. There is timeless elegance and beauty in traditional design that provides an ample relaxation space on the open lower floor. The second floor features a wood balcony large enough to be used for several purposes, while the third holds a quiet, more secluded living space.

House on Stilts bangkok
The three-story wood and concrete home features a mix of traditional and contemporary designs highlighting simple, clean lines that are easy on the eye.

On the outside, long eaves overhanging the walls of the building protect the interior from the elements, while solid walls shield the home from intense glare of the sun. The result of all this is a comfortable indoor environment.

Nanthapong Lertmaneethaweesap, of the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts, designed this home as part of an affordable housing program for the institute’s most valuable assets — their teachers. The program has aided the teaching staff in owning a home of their dream, hence the name “Baan Bang-Gru”, meaning houses for the teachers.

He said that for the most part a house plan based on simple design is the most comfortable to live in. That has a lot to do with finding the right balance between functionality and the house’s overall dimensions – or how big it is. Easy living can be achieved without spending a fortune on sophisticated decorative details.

Inspired by the rice granary in former times, the house’s exterior wall features upright studs on the outside and wood paneling on the inside. The hardest part is making reclaimed wood panels fit in with the new design.

Our documentary crew visited this house in the waterside area just off of Rama 2 Road that was famous for its simple lifestyle. We witnessed people go about their business in ways that were distinctive to a riparian community. We also noticed that change was just around the corner.

Overall, the design and build quality of the house represented the combination of ideas between traditional knowledge and technology of the modern era. Interestingly, it was like is a journey through time.

House on Stilts bangkok
The charm of a riparian wetland. The house at the water’s edge strikes the right balance between traditional and contemporary designs. Here, it makes a refreshing change to be able to live close to nature.

Charatsri Sribumrungkiat, the homeowner, said: “I acquired this piece of land thanks to assistance from the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts. It was part of an effort to provide affordable housing for the institute’s instructors. The program has aided the teaching staff in buying a piece of real estate at cost price, hence the name “Baan Bang-Gru”, which means the teacher’s home.”

House on Stilts bangkok
Family members are all smiles with the Thai-style ranch home in the backdrop.

Nanthapong added: “In my opinion, this piece of land has great potential. It affords good views both of the lake and the waterway that runs past the rear of the property.

“The house’s front façade rises facing south, and the building is oriented along the east-west axis. This enables it to reap the health benefits that come with southerly winds.

“The house plan in itself fits in very well with the waterside setting. Its house-on-stilts design provides an ample relaxation space on the open lower floor. The second floor features a wood balcony large enough for multiple functions, while the third holds a quiet, more secluded living space.”

House on Stilts bangkok
The rear of the house affords a view of lush greenery and a peaceful waterway. The designer puts in a gallery large enough for multiple purposes. The covered loggia provides plenty of relaxing outdoor spaces and keeps the house cool all year round.

Occupying 120 tarang wah (480 sq. m.) of land, this house on stilts boasts high quality craftsmanship, albeit built on a small budget. This is possible because as much as 90 percent of lumber supplies came from reclaimed wood and other recyclables. New lumber used in the project accounted for only about 10 percent.

The homeowner attributed the success to his sister, who was good at finding recyclable ideas and putting them to good use around the house. This not only saved a lot of money, but it also filled the home with cool pieces of furniture.

Reclaimed wood left over from other projects is used in making a covered gateway separating the serene courtyard and the car park.
The house elevated on concrete piles provides ample multi-use spaces on the open lower floor.

By design, the open lower floor is a feature that makes life less stressful. It provides easy access to practically everything, from the little lake in front of the property, to the peaceful waterway behind it.

It is the area that is used all day every day for relaxation, dining, tending plants and pruning trees in the garden. Plus, correct building orientation ensures the home receives the full benefits of natural ventilation especially during summer months.

House on Stilts bangkok
The lower floor under the house lies open on all sides.

Originally the homeowners had intended to build a normal two-story house, but later decided to raise it on concrete piles instead. The change of plan resulted in the first floor becoming second, and the old second becoming third.

The main kitchen is on the ground floor. There is a good-sized sitting space with a small kitchen and dining room on the second floor that’s reserved for use in the event the ground floor is flooded. The third floor holds three bedrooms and a Buddha room.

House on Stilts bangkok
A waterfront piece of ground is used for growing an herb garden. Earthen jars are placed underneath the gutter to harvest rainwater for use when needed.

The exterior walls are inspired by the rice granary in former times, in which vertical studs are installed on the outside and horizontal wood palettes on the inside. The edge joint technique that has existed for a long time ensures the wall is water impermeable during rains.

House on Stilts bangkok
A minimalist staircase without risers between the treads creates good ventilation and a lightweight look. The same treatment applies to balusters and handrails crafted of steel rods.
A beautiful array of windows opens to take in the view and plenty of fresh air. Narrow window design is used instead of side railing as protection against falling.

On the whole, it’s a beautifully crafted house on stilts, one that fits in perfectly with the peaceful riparian landscape on the outskirts of Bangkok. The interior living spaces are uncluttered in keeping with the minimalist style, while the exterior showcases the architecture, waterfront lifestyles and experiences unique to this part of Central Thailand.

House on Stilts
The loggia with crisp waterfront views is the family’s favorite hangout place and multi-use outdoor room.

Architect: Nanthapong Lertmaneethaweesap of Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts


Visit the Thai original article…

“บ้านบางครุ” สัดสวนที่เหมาะสมของ บ้านไม้


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Baan Gongsi: The Fusion of Chinese Heritage with Traditional Thai

Baan Gongsi: The Fusion of Chinese Heritage with Traditional Thai

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Supachart Boontang / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul and Arsom Arch Community and Environment Co., Ltd. A division of the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts /

Baan Gongsi, the home is built based on Chinese heritage in architecture mixed with defining features that are characteristic of the traditional Thai style home. The perfect visual blend is the brainchild of Pongsakorn Tumprueksa and Nattanan Pokinpitak of the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts.

Baan Gongsi
The two-storey home, which is the main building on the premises, features large double doors designed for air circulation by natural means. The interior space is kept cool all day because heat doesn’t build up inside it. There is hardly any need for mechanical air conditioning.

Known as “ Baan Gongsi ”, the handsome home embraces the concept of extended family living along with peaceful coexistence with nature. Thais of Chinese descent, the homeowners Thianchai and Noree Niyom want to perpetuate a traditional lifestyle that values family sharing and mutual benefits. Thianchai’s sister also lives in the same compound.

Baan Gongsi
A garden slate walkway leads to an elevated pool hemmed in by Applied Chinese architecture. Distinctive, slightly upturned roof design makes the main building and surrounding annexes appear lightweight.
Baan Gongsi
The center court pool stretches across the entire length of the veranda. It provides plenty of room for exercise. Meantime, the interior spaces are kept cool by breezes blowing in over the pool.

The design of Baan Gongsi features a Chinese architectural feature known as “Court House,” which relies on a central courtyard as the main engine driving air circulation by natural means.

The well-conceived design ensures the home fits in well with the hot and humid climate of the region. Its floor plan showcases a cluster home design similar to that of the typical Thai-style home of olden days. The main villa and nearby annexes are set around the center court. The sprawling design allows a healthy dose of morning sun to pour into the interior living spaces. At night the courtyard is aglow with moonlight.

Baan Gongsi
Long roof overhangs protect the buildings from harsh afternoon sun. Diamond-shaped tiles at the far end blend well with Chinese-style roofing on either side of the pool.
Baan Gongsi
The slightly upturned Chinese-style roofing is crafted the old-fashioned way. The design makes use of large structural wood timbers for primary support of the roof tiles.

The center court is referred to as “Heart” of the cluster home design. It brings joy into family life and supplies every part of the house with fresh air. There is a stone paver patio by the ancestral home that serves as a venue for morning tea.

Nearby the center court swimming pool means the health benefits of good exercise are there for the taking. Overall, it is a piece of architecture designed for the salubrious lifestyle of an extended family.

Baan Gongsi
The second-floor balcony looks out over the pool and the landscape beyond. The wood deck is reminiscent of Thai-style home design.

From a security perspective, Baan Gongsi is well crafted and based on an interesting access floor plan, which ensures privacy is protected.

Well thought out plan offers smooth transition from one area to another. There is a Welcome Court with patches of greenery where guests are met upon arrival, followed by a stone paver patio leading to the Moon Door, which is the house’s main entrance. From there stone paver walkways provide access to the main villa and nearby annexes. The center court itself lies protected by a lacy canopy of mature trees making this visit a warm and enchanting experience. Because it is nestled in the city center, the home relies on plenty of lush greenery to protect it from noises and air pollution.

Baan Gongsi
The interior boasts contiguous living spaces that stretch from the dining area to seating spaces to the library and all the way to the veranda beyond.
Baan Gongsi
The bathroom comes with contemporary design. The shower room is semi-outdoor reminiscent of traditional Thai-style home. Floor tiles with antique patterns complement the soft white color on the walls.
Baan Gongsi
Lush greenery adds a touch of nature to the central courtyard.

Real wood is one of the most outstanding features here. What makes it aesthetically pleasing is the gracefully upturned roof that is characteristic of Chinese architecture. All things considered, it has been a wholesome destination where nature and culture coexist in peaceful harmony.

Baan Gongsi
The Moon Door is adapted to sport a more contemporary look. The main entrance into the cluster home setting also serves as a defining feature that embraces respect for nature and traditional wisdom.
Baan Gongsi
The home’s front view design showcases the gracefully upturned roof style characteristic of traditional Chinese architecture.
Baan Gongsi
The peaceful stand-alone house of Buddha serves as a reminder of Thai architecture of olden days.
Baan Gongsi
[left] Concrete footing protects timber piles from humidity that could pose a threat to the home in the long term. [right] Primary roofing support is crafted the old-fashioned way utilizing of large structural timbers. The cutout at the top of the pole allows the ridge beam to rest securely for extra durability.

Owner: Thianchai and Noree Niyom

Architect: Arsom Arch Community and Environment Co., Ltd. A division of the Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts


 

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