Blog : Bamboo house

A Bamboo House Embraced by Nature in Pak Chong

A Bamboo House Embraced by Nature in Pak Chong

/ Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand /

/ Story: Napasorn Srithong / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs:  Nathawut Pengkamphoo, Anupong Chaisukkasem / Styling: Suanpuk Stylist /

A bamboo house with contemporary appeal sits immersed in its natural surroundings. The home that’s also a medical clinic belongs to Nopharat Pitchanthuk MD, and his wife Kanyapak Silawatanawongse. Without question, his interest in the natural therapeutic concept is expressed in the warm, inviting atmosphere of the home office. The orthopedic doctor provides specialized care for the musculoskeletal system in the comfort of a peaceful country setting.

Dr. Nopharat and his better half Kanyapak are all smiles in front of their bamboo house.

Asked how all this was accomplished, the physician said: “Upon graduation from medical school, I taught medicine and operated a clinic in Bangkok for several years before coming out to Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima. At first, we opened a branch office in the city area just to get an idea about patient demands in the provinces. 

The attractive two-story bamboo house is evidence of streamlined design that fits into the natural surroundings.
Bamboo is the material of choice for the design encapsulating the good qualities of Thai-style residential architecture. Gable roof is pitched at an angle that drains storm water fast, thus preventing against leaking.
The attractive two-story home is evidence of streamlined design that fits into the natural surroundings.

“I was fortunate enough to receive help from a kindhearted person senior to me. He wanted to help patients in the rural area to have access to medical care. So, he let us use a facility free of charge for the purpose of opening a clinic.

“After having done it for a while, we felt like we were overstaying the welcome. At the same time, we needed a facility that would be more relaxed and convenient for the patients –  preferably a greenery space that was comfortable, well lighted, open and airy. Just didn’t want them to feel tense and unable to relax as was the case with a hospital visit in general. 

He said: “For a while, we went searching for a location that would suit our specific needs.

“We eventually came to a parcel of land that Kanyapak’s mother had bought some 20 years back. It was woodland filled with dense shrubbery and other plants.

“We had the area cleared to make room for a grassy lawn, and had new trees planted. Eventually it was ready for a wedding ceremony to take place. Needless to say we have grown emotionally attached to it from day one. Hence, the new house and the medical clinic that has been relocated from the city.

A hanging fixture directs light to specific points in the main hallway. Ample glass windows and transoms allow plenty of natural light during daytime hours.
A hanging fixture directs light to specific points in the main hallway. Ample glass windows and transoms allow plenty of natural light during daytime hours.
Exposed brickwork alternating with timber in shades of warm earth tones adorns the dining area adjoining the kitchen.
High ceilings, big windows, and open floor plans combine to make the interior space look large and airy. On one side, a mezzanine is easily accessible from the living room.
A sofa set in shades of indigo paired with earth tones on the walls and floor reduces a monotonous regularity in the interior living space. Nearby, a large awning window opens up to connect with the outdoors.

Why bamboo? The homeowner couple wanted their house in modern style to fuse into the pristine rural environment. Naturally, bamboo was the material of choice for it was easy to find at a reasonable price.

Bamboo is also strong and can be used proportionally to the weights for which it’s intended. It’s fast growing, easy to find, and reasonable as a building material. While it’s prone to be affected by moisture and insects, it can last a long time if well maintained.

Different kinds of bamboo were chosen to meet different construction needs. Pai Tong (Dendrocalamus), and Pai Sang Mon (Dendrocalamus Sericeus) two tropical kinds of giant clumping bamboos common to Southeast Asia, were used for house posts and other load bearing structures.

Other parts, such as roofing, walls, and ceilings were made using smaller farmed bamboos. They were adapted to fit in with modern building materials for durability and the conveniences of modern living. 

Where bamboo in brownish hues prove too much, white comes in handy to make the interior space look lightweight, spacious and airy. // Meantime, furniture placed against the walls make areas in the middle appear large and uncluttered.
A semi-outdoor room on the second floor is adorned with Thai-style chaise longues.
[left] The roof comes in two layers to better protect the house from the elements. To blend with the environment, the top sheeting is made of asphalt shingles, while the underlayment is adorned with bamboo paneling. [right] Giant bamboos, or Pai Tong (Dendrocalamus), are chosen to give rafters and roof battens their strength and ability to shore up the weight.
Selected to meet specific needs, bamboos are not painted or dyed. They undergo treatment procedures to increase durability, which include a thin coat of protective oils. Light color oils enhance the appearance that blends well with the natural environment.


The clinic’s interior features an open floor plan with large windows designed to connect to the outdoors. Large transoms and the roof opens up to allow plenty of natural daylight, which translates into big savings on electricity.

Designed to take in panoramic views of the landscape, Dr. Nopharat’s office takes stress and anxiety out of everyday work life.
A parlor provides relaxed seating and waiting areas for families accompanying the patients. Overhead, the roof opens up to allow natural light into the room and shuts when not needed.

Bamboo isn’t the only thing that contributes to the house’s country appeal. It’s the feel and functionality that go into making it unique

House-on-stilts design not only protects it from humidity, but also makes it suitable to build on uneven ground common to the rolling hill landscape. The raised floorboard of the bamboo house serves as an engine that drives natural air circulation, which results in thermal comfort on the inside.

Meantime, the gable roof with long overhangs unique to Thai-style residential architecture protects the home from the elements. Inside, vertical bamboo paneling alternating with horizontal sheets gives it a sense of perspective. Plenty of windows and transoms allow natural light into the room.

After all, this bamboo house not only harmonizes with the environment, but also stands for the country’s wisdom based on a sufficiency economy.

In the end, life is about balance.

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A Well-Ventilated Modern Bamboo House in Malaysia

A Well-Ventilated Modern Bamboo House in Malaysia

/ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia /

/ Story: Ekkarach Laksanasamrich / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

With bamboo as its main material, the architect has integrated the modern tropical design into nature.

Bamboo House in Malaysia
A concrete roof spanning 15 meters across provides protection for the sitting room, dining room, and bedrooms.

The house is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The design was responsible by John G N Bulcock of Design Unit Architects Sdn. Bhd. Though the theme is modern tropical, Bulcock preferred not to limit his idea only to the word.

“Actually, I’m not interested in defining it. I’m more curious to look into the floor plan, the atmosphere, and the functions. And I like it the way it is,” said the architect.

Bamboo House in Malaysia
[left] The swimming pool and terraces lie at the low end of sloping ground surrounded by full-grown trees. [right] The door is especially made to open wide from one end to the other. So, the view is not blocked.
Fung Kai Jin, the owner of this bamboo house in Malaysia, gave Bulcock freedom to design. The only request was to feature bamboo in the work, although the material has some flaws of its own.

“Bamboo is a gift from nature,” said Fung.

“It is strong and durable to a certain extent. But it has some weaknesses. It doesn’t last as long as other kinds of wood, or steel and concrete masonry, and it requires more maintenance than other materials.

“But for those who have a penchant for bamboo, I think it worths the effort. After all, you get to spend time in the house that you love every day.”

Bamboo House in Malaysia
The sitting room has high ceilings. The upstairs TV room is protected from the sunlight by a bamboo lattice.
Bamboo House in Malaysia
Spaces between the walls promote good air circulation.

Bulcock then decided the house has to be an integrated one. “The main idea is to make the house an integral part of the nature,” he recalled.

“Meaning, it has to blend well with the land features and trees around it. So the plan calls for plenty of open spaces and undisturbed materials, such as plain concrete finishes, glass, and bamboo.”

Bamboo House in Malaysia
Imitating nature with a rain garden, the architects put in a nice little green alfresco oasis on the second floor.
Bamboo House in Malaysia
A semi-outdoor area stays cool and comfortable all day thanks to leafy plants and underground vapors.

The three-storey house was set on a slope. So, Bullock placed a carport and a main entrance on the second floor for practical use.

The floor consists of a dining room, a kitchen, a TV room and a wide balcony overlooking a swimming pool. The lower floor includes a home office, a living room, a storage room and a maid’s quarter. The private area is reserved on the third floor.

The bedroom is adorned with simple decoration. Plain concrete walls and white ceilings spice up the atmosphere. The floorboard is made of hardwood for durability and a stress-free environment.

The house is kept small and uncluttered by dividing into rooms connecting through a roofed hallway that spans over 15 meters across the area. A small interval between the roof and the building is allowed for the rain and sunshine in.

There are also gaps between the main roof and nearby rooms to promote a good ventilation system. Fresh air circulates throughout the day through passageways and gaps in the bamboo lattice. Courtesy of the tropical weather, there is no need for an air-conditioning machine for this bamboo house in Malaysia.

Bamboo House in Malaysia
The architects install bamboo lattice in the interiors as well to create visual continuity.
Fixed windows at the top edge of dining room walls allow light to shine through, while effectively keeping the heat out.

“As it rains, a fine spray of water descends upon bamboo lattice. When the owner chose this kind of material, he accepted that wet weather is normal,” Bulcock said

“Call it living close to nature. We need to plan which part can be exposed to the rain and vice versa to avoid damage to the structure over time.”

Bamboo House in Malaysia
Large windows in the son’s bedroom make the interior very light and airy. The swimming pool below can be seen in full view from here.

All things considered, this bamboo house in Malaysia is a good example of what living close to nature should look like.

For maximum exposure to the natural surroundings, stair railings are crafted of glass panels.

Owner: Fung Kai Jin

Architect: Design Unit Architects Sdn. Bhd.

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