Blog : Brick

The Ben Tre Hotel: A Brick Hotel amid Lush Orchards, Fresh Air and Sunshine

The Ben Tre Hotel: A Brick Hotel amid Lush Orchards, Fresh Air and Sunshine

/ Ben Tre, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki /

A brick hotel in warm, earthy orange hues rises above the lush orchards and bountiful farms of Ben Tre, a charming coastal city on the Mekong Delta two hours’ drive from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Once a sleepy little town surrounded by rice fields and coconut groves, Ben Tre is emerging as a destination for eco-tourism. New hotel openings tell the story of travel trends in the region where fresh water and shorelines merge with the ocean, astonishingly beautiful by any standards.

brick hotel Ben Tre Hotel

The Ben Tre Hotel is located on an oblong piece of ground measuring 28 by 128 meters, with the narrow frontage abutting on a major thoroughfare. As might be expected, the unusually long hotel building extends almost entirely over the rectangle-shaped land and still leaves plenty of room for lush lawns, side gardens, ample parking garages and service areas.

brick hotel Ben Tre Hotel
The restaurant also has semi-outdoor room for guests who prefer dining al fresco.

The hotel lobby lies upfront on the ground floor, while a restaurant is located at the midpoint of the elongated floor plan. To avoid a monotonous regularity in the design, the team of architects came up with zigzag design, featuring abrupt alternate left and right turns all the way to the end.

brick hotel Ben Tre Hotel
Semi-outdoor stairs afford an expansive panorama of lush landscapes, making every day a breath of fresh air.

There’s a refreshing change every step of the way. For relaxation, an array of cozy nooks adds visual interest to the corridor designed to soak up the view of dense green orchard landscapes.

brick hotel Ben Tre Hotel

A square opening in the perforate shell affords a vista of lush landscapes clearly visible from within the room.

The long passage along the outside of the building, aka the “single-load corridor”, means that hotel guests can enjoy the utmost privacy since there’s no unit situated directly across. It’s a thoughtfully devised building access arrangement, whereby all the rooms are placed only on one side. The same applies to the stairs that are semi-outdoors for better ventilation and lighting.

brick hotel Ben Tre Hotel

To add a rustic appeal, the hotel’s external envelope is built of handmade bricks sourced from within the locality. Bricklaying with openings in the walls, aka the perforate façades, offers many benefits. It allows for the expansion and contraction of the bricks when temperature changes.

A conceptual illustration portrays the layout of the building arranged in a zig-zag pattern across the site, harmonizing with the natural landscape by aligning itself with pre-existing trees and gardens. / Courtesy of Sanuki Daisuke Architects
The ground floor plan presents the usable public area of the building. / Courtesy of Saniki Daisuke Architects
The upper floor plans present the typology of guestrooms. / Courtesy of Sanuki Daisuke Architects

Plus, the perforate shell adds an aesthetic appeal to exterior walls and reduces the impact of outside noise, resulting in a more pleasant indoor environment.

brick hotel Ben Tre Hotel
An aerial view shows the hotel location amidst nature’s pristine environment on the Mekong Delta.

Architect: Sanuki Daisuke Architects (www.sanukiar.com)


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Premier Office: A Nature-Inspired Brick Office Design Giving off Good Vibes

Premier Office: A Nature-Inspired Brick Office Design Giving off Good Vibes

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Sut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Triệu Chiến /

Though we cannot count on the weather to be calm and delightful at all times, it is quite possible to bring physical ease, well-being and relaxation into the workplace, even without air conditioning. And this brick office named “Premier Office” has proved to be the case, thanks to clever passive cooling techniques and greenery giving off friendly vibes.

brick office

Handsomely nestled within a calm Ho Chi Minh City neighborhood, the building offering rental office spaces boasts the timeless beauty of brickwork in masonry construction.

Not only do bricks blend nicely into the surrounding landscape, but they also provide interior thermal comfort by absorbing moisture to some degree.

When wet, they dry out by evaporation thereby keeping the ambient temperature pleasant during the daytime.

brick office

The seven-story building with a parking garage below ground level offers vacant office spaces for lease that let tenants do their own setup and decorating.

Unlike the usual design offering the same old same old typical of everyday commercial real estate, the rental business spaces at Premier Office are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations, each of which is unique in its own special way.

brick office

brick office

brick office

As the architect intended, the new office block centers around the concept of climate-responsive design whereby forms, functions and nature blend together into one perfectly coordinated business property.

There is a courtyard-like open area at the center that affords an airy and bright atmosphere on every floor. It’s an architectural feature that goes together well with building facades made of ventilation blocks.

By design, the breathable envelope doubles as a passive cooling system that draws fresh outdoor air into this brick office and dissipates excess heat into the sky by rooftop ventilation.

brick office

brick office

Façade and Ventilation Conceptual Diagram Courtesy of Tropical Space
First Floor Plan Courtesy of Tropical Space
Second Floor Plan Courtesy of Tropical Space
Third Floor Plan Courtesy of Tropical Space
Fourth Floor Plan Courtesy of Tropical Space
Fifth Floor Plan Courtesy of Tropical Space
Sixth Floor Plan Courtesy of Tropical Space
Seventh Floor Plan Courtesy of Tropical Space

For the health benefits of natural light, the building envelope is constructed with spaces in between bricks. These little openings in the wall work in tandem with the skylight over the courtyard-like area at the center.

Together they create interior thermal comfort by admitting a defused light to illuminate the room, meantime protecting it from the sun’s harsh glare.

It’s a clever hack to promote well-being, by which only the indirect light filtered by brick walls and surrounding trees is allowed.

brick office

The architect believed that by integrating physical comfort in the design of this brick office, it would double as second home for many tenants working here.

To avoid invading people’s privacy, the business space for each and every tenant is easily identifiable and clearly defined by a brick masonry wall.

Even with that, all the rental spaces appear bright and airy, no doubt, a nature-inspired place in which to conduct business.


Owner: Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh
Architect: Tropical Space (https://tropicalspaceil.com/)


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Termitary House: Good Sunshine, Fresh Air, and Brick Walls

Termitary House: Good Sunshine, Fresh Air, and Brick Walls

/ Da Nang, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki /

The fact that the house is made of clay has enabled brick buildings to make deep connections with the natural world in so many ways. More importantly, the structures built of small rectangular blocks derived from nature are endowed with the power of storytelling that provides a window on vernacular culture, the environment, and the way of life native to a locality. These qualities are manifested in outstanding works of architecture, the likes of which are obvious at this house in Da Nang, Vietnam that uses brick walls as the main building element.

Good Sunshine, Fresh Air, and Plenty of Room to Breathe
The hall at the center of the house plan is spacious and well-lit, thanks to the skylight positioned directly above it. It has room for plenty of functions ranging from a sitting parlor to dining room to pantry. The natural light cycle interacts with the interior spaces, resulting in different color renditions as day goes by.

It all started with a family’s desire to renovate their home on a budget. A team of architects from the design firm Tropical Space soon came up with an idea inspired by termite mounds.

They knew that the small soft-bodied insects built their homes by cementing masses of earth with saliva. Amazingly, they are quite capable of withstanding hot and humid climates for long stretches of time.

For this reason, the architects designed the house walls to be built of bricks placed on top of each other with a break between blocks to create little ventilation holes that allow in light and drive natural air circulation.

Designed for tropical living, the 140-square-meter box-shaped house wrapped in perforate brick walls is going by the name “Termitary House.

To protect from heat, the team of architects put in perfectly opaque walls on the sides exposed to intense sunlight.

Meantime, the sides with less exposure to bright light had small openings built into the walls to promote air circulation, resulting in thermal comfort in the interior living spaces year round.

The same applied to the brick house façade that’s its most outstanding feature. The vertical flat structure was made of bricks fired the old-fashion way and laid with air holes at intervals all the way across.

The result is a breathing wall that allows in just enough light and a fresh supply of air. The light and spacious atmosphere lends a modern air to the home designed to be free from dust in summer and safe from inclement weather during the monsoon season.

More importantly, it’s about privacy that comes with unique design.

Situated on a rectangular plot with narrow frontage, this box shaped house is enclosed by brick walls with ventilation holes built into them. They serve multiple functions as privacy screens, breathing walls, and means of admitting daylight into the interior.

It’s a house plan that prioritizes thermal comfort as well as functions. The staircase, storage room and bath are strategically placed on the east and west sides.

During daytime hours they double as a layer of insulation to keep sunlight heat out. The hall at the center is spacious and well-lit, thanks to the skylight positioned directly above it.

The area offers plenty of space for a sitting parlor, pantry and dining area as well as easy access to the bedroom, bathroom and small reading room on the mezzanine.

Open concept design paired with perforated room dividers contributes to visual continuity that enables family to stay connected, happy and warm even on a busy day.

A small corridor lies between the outer brick wall and the inner wall decorated with transparent glass. Glass walls maximize natural light while protecting the interior living spaces from rain.

Well thought-out design adds privacy to the bedroom on the mezzanine. Opaque walls paired with perforated brick walls and skylight in the ceiling add a new dimension to design. Meantime, glass paneling for the wall is installed to protect the room from dust and inclement weather.

Breathing walls offer several advantages. By design, countless small holes in them let a moderate amount of light shine through, increase air circulation, and reduce interior temperatures to a comfortable level.

Upfront, the vertical brick structure provides an awesome privacy screen that’s energy efficient and allows people inside to see out. Made from inexpensive local materials, it comes alive when good sunshine creates movement and a shadow play on the surface.

And the show goes on day and night, thanks to the form, color and texture that give the brick wall its character.

The house walls are built of bricks placed on top of each other with a break between blocks to create countless small holes that allow light and air to enter and circulate freely. The resulting perforate shell contributes to physical ease and well-being in the tropical style home.

The night is aglow under the beams of electric light shining through the perforate shell. It’s a phenomenon that conjures up the image of a beautiful lantern symbolic of a joyful celebration.

This story is an excerpt from Modern Vernacular Homes Special Issue: Happiness Matters. (Available here in Thai and English)

Modern Vernacular Homes
This home is one of 13 Special Homes from the Modern Vernacular Homes: Happiness Matters, Thai and English by the Baan Lae Suan Team. The issue is available now! If you are interested, please contact us. >> www.facebook.com/messages/t/Baanlaesuanbooks

Architect: Tropical Space by Tran Thi Ngu Ngon and Nguyen Hai Long


The Beauty of Simplicity in a Single-Story Home

The Beauty of Simplicity in a Single-Story Home

/ Ang Thong, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul / Styling: Somboon Kringkrai /

Right in the middle of a field in Ang Thong Province stands a single-story house that has become a community point of interest.

Single-Storey House

Owner Chamnan Chatchawalyangkul says, “At my age, I really needed to make this happen while I was still strong enough to get around.

“I don’t want to be a burden on my kids when I’m not so capable anymore, living in a cramped room with them worrying about me all the time.

“I needed to plan in advance to have a house where I can take care of myself. And the house will eventually belong to the kids anyhow.” 

 

Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon

Chamnan’s design is spare and open, with excellent ventilation. With everything on the same level, each room is accessible by wheelchair.

One special place is a karaoke room for him and his friends. Architect Jim (Teerachai) Leesuraplanon tells us:

“Chamnan said he’d always lived in a rowhouse, a limited, safe space. Some people might want a house in the middle of an open lot to be open all around, but I think about safety, too.

“This is why we put the brick wall in front, and the iron bars, barriers that still allow light and air to pass through. I’d summarize the design I had in mind with the three words ‘balance,’ ‘blend,’ and ‘believe,’ expressing a balanced life, cause and effect, and faith.”

Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon

Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon

Standing in a rural field with a road in front, the house opens out on a rubber tree orchard in the rear.

Simplicity is the foundation of the design: a balance between vertical and horizontal lines and surfaces, no nooks or ridges to collect dust, and elemental materials such as concrete, wood, metal, brick, and gravel.

Single-Storey House

Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon

A metal frame lifts the roof at an angle to break the force of the wind. The floor is raised above the ground, facilitating maintenance work on utility systems beneath.

The front wall is a striking display of BPK brick, a local Ang Thong material, laid in a unique arrangement to create beautiful patterns of light and shade, with an additional layer of sliding glass windows for safety.

Around the house is laid a path of river gravel, so someone in the house can easily hear a person walking outside.

Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon

The big central living room is a great place to relax, but the real heart of this single-story house is the big porch.

When the folding doors are opened, the room opens up, and it’s much like an old-time Thai house, with the added benefit of a great view of the gorgeous rubber forest, just as the original design envisioned.

Single-Storey House / Teerachai Leesuraplanon


Owner: Chamnan Chatchawalyangkul

Architect: Teerachai Leesuraplanon


Visit the original Thai version of the article…

บ้านชั้นเดียวบนพื้นฐานความเรียบง่าย


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Long An House: A Charming Brick House in Vietnam

Long An House: A Charming Brick House in Vietnam

/ Long An, Vietnam /

/ Story: Nawapat, Nipapat Dusdul / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki /

An attractive brick house in Vietnam’s Long An Province is the pride and joy of Tropical Space, a homegrown design studio specializing in mixing traditional Vietnamese brickwork with modern architectural styles.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Inspired by the beauty and durability of brick, Tropical Space recently built the innovatively designed home on 750 square meters of land.

The sloped roof house plan combines three separate living spaces into one modern home with strong architectural language.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

The result is a beautiful blend of the traditional and the modern. There’s something that never changes. Brick is used here because it’s inherently a Vietnamese material used in building construction, and it’s indigenous to the area.

At the same time, with a deep understanding of Vietnamese culture and climate, the architects at Tropical Space are committed to the use of environment-friendly building practices and sustainable material selection.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

The brick house in Long An is designed for a warm and humid climate. To maximize ventilation efficiency, the architects divide the sloped roof into two parts and put a courtyard in between them.

There are corridors connecting the two parts of the house. Meantime, perforated brick walls allow breezes to pass through and around the building.

Traditional Vietnamese design provides continuous functional spaces that stretch from the front to the back of the house. Boundaries between spaces are marked by the different quantity of light that varies from place to place.

It’s a brilliant layout that keeps the interior living spaces cool all year round without air conditioning.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

The front yard floor is covered in brick pavers with holes capable of draining storm water fast and keeping ambient temperatures cool in summer. Next to the yard is a buffer space designed to create a beautifully transitional room from the yard to the living room, dining room and bedroom.

The kitchen is on the north side of the house plan along with other functions. It’s ideal for traditional Vietnamese cooking and offers very relaxing family rooms.

There are two bedrooms on the mezzanine with plenty of space for a quiet reading room and relaxation. The architects also put in stairs on both sides to easily connect with other areas inside and outside of the house.

This not only gives the children a play area, but also enables them to move around unhindered by solid walls.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

 


Architect: Tropical Space


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Right Renovation Leads to a Pleasing Hip, Modern Brick House

Right Renovation Leads to a Pleasing Hip, Modern Brick House

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Foryeah!/ English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs:  Nantiya Busabong /

The houses in this area all looked the same when parents brought the owner of this newly renovated house here when he was a child; now he has renovated their home into a hip, modern brick house with 200 square meters of usable space on a property of 400 square meters.

modern brick house
The lower floor retains the old “tai thun” space below, a brick wall with angled patterns perforated for ventilation on the floor above.

“After studying abroad I lived in a condo for years, but modern urban life is too full of needless accessories, so I finally came back to this house for its serenity and privacy,” said Roj Kanjanabanyakhom, the owner and architect of his own home.

“I like peace and quiet, listening to music, watching movies, and that’s enough.”

A staircase up to the hobby room, apparently playfully designed for legs of different lengths.
The old house wall was removed in favor of tall “picture windows”
modern brick house
Leaving open space between the old house and the addition makes for good ventilation and cooling.

An architect himself, he was the designer and construction supervisor. Since the house was in an old condition, there were a lot of problems: leaks and seepage, rusty pipes, etc., even asbestos tile, now recognized as carcinogenic.

The structure of the house had to be almost completely torn down to its basic frame: pillars, beams, and a couple of walls.

Striking improvements were made to suit Roj’s lifestyle in both the new building at the front and the old house at the back. The newly built structure at the front consists of bright orange brick walls with ventilation spaces below.

A former open “tai thun” (the space beneath the stilt) area, half the ground floor, became his own bicycle maintenance shop, with the other half a carport.

On the second floor is a hobby workshop, and above that a roof deck where support pillars are capped with metal plates in anticipation of future additions.

modern brick house

At the back, the 2.4-meter outside wall of the old house was demolished and replaced with tall glass windows all around for a spacious feeling.

Bedrooms on the second floor were removed to create a “double space” area, and a projector was set up behind one wall for full-size movie viewing.

modern brick house

A skylight was put in to let sunlight in all day, relieving the stuffy, damp, dark atmosphere, and polycarbonate tile was laid on floor and walls.

“There were some difficult structural and material design limitations in the old house,” said Roj.

“Parts of the old roof weren’t able to support much weight, so besides replacing the asbestos with double Roman tile we used metal purlin trusses instead of wood.

“To avoid joint problems where the new roof meets the old gabled one, we used steel-reinforced flat slab concrete, which will be able to hold the weight of future additions.

“Sometimes it’s easier and cheaper just to tear everything out,” he continued. “But I renovated because I wanted to preserve the memories here,” said Roj with a smile.

And so here’s a home filled with remembrance, ready to bring present and future memories into the mix.

modern brick house
The roof deck, designed to hold weight for future additions and a path connecting the two buildings.

Owner/Architect: Roj Kanjanabanyakhom of Atom Design (www.facebook.com/atom.design.bkk)


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The Ironwood: A Chiang Mai Vacation Home Out in Nature

The Ironwood: A Chiang Mai Vacation Home Out in Nature

/ Chiang Mai, Thailand /

/ Story: Monosoda / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Nanthiya Bussabong /

Mountains, streams and forests in Mae Rim District embrace the open-air vacation home of a Bangkok metropolitan lady who has chosen tranquil Chiang Mai Province over big-city distraction and confusion.

chiang mai vacation home
Up front stands a beautiful Ceylon ironwood tree (scientific name: Mesua ferrea), also known as “Bunnag” in Thai. The building to the left side holds a reception lobby, with private residential areas upstairs. To the right is a spacious, open dining hall.

Three years earlier, this was just a holiday home for Lady Ying (Supapa Sanitwong). At that time, Prince Dighambara Yugala was in charge of it, and at his suggestion Lady Ying came to see if she should try living here permanently.

“Before, the house was surrounded by jungle. I explored a little each day, and found a nice view of the mountains. When the brush and grass was cut down, I found the river practically surrounded the house! Right then I fell in love with the place.”

chiang mai vacation home
The concrete structure with simple walls of brick perfectly suits the old-style doors and lunette windows.

Lady Ying bought the estate for her residence, naming it “Ironwood,” and put in a new building as lodging accommodation for visiting friends and family. Later, a hotel was added for guests wishing to experience the natural world of northern Thailand.

The name “Ironwood” refers to the Ceylon ironwood tree (scientific name: Mesua ferrea), also known as “Bunnag” in Thai. “This is a monument to my great-grandmother Jamreun (Bunnag) Sanitwong Na Ayutthaya, wife of Suwaphan Sanitwong in the reign of King Rama V. She’s not well-known, but is always in my thoughts,” she recalled.

chiang mai vacation home
The dining hall boasts the beauty of a high ceiling. It opens on all sides so guests can all experience the shady outdoor ambience.

jun161000

The hotel has 5 rooms, each with a view of the Mae Sa River and the pleasant shade of big trees.
The hotel has 5 rooms, each with a view of the Mae Sa River and the pleasant shade of big trees.

One of Lady Ying’s neighbors here is famous sculptor Jamnian Thongma, whose building design talents helped make her dreams come true. There are two zones on the premises, one in front and the other at the rear.

The front area holds two buildings; on the left, a reception lobby, with Lady Ying’s private residence above; on the right, a dining room and catering area. A walkway connects the buildings. The rear zone holds a riverside guest house.

jun161201_09333
The simplicity of the bare concrete wall helps direct guests’ attention to the natural world all about.
chiang mai vacation home
Climbing vines on the outer brick wall adds to a pleasant, shaded look, also reducing heat absorption.

Lady Ying walks us up the white metal spiral stair to her space on the second floor: a comfy, airy little studio with classic décor and a great view of the mountains.

The bedroom connects directly to a spacious bathroom; the kitchen is separated, and from there a stairway leads down to a greenhouse garden. The Ironwood grounds are shady and pleasant, landscaped by Siriwit Riwbamrung and Jaturong Khunkong of the Little Tree Landscape.

chiang mai vacation home
A wrought iron spiral stair leads up to the private residential area.
chiang mai vacation home
A tidy bedroom all in white, even the floor, with lots of natural light from the balcony.

The rooms contain antique decorative items collected over several decades: wooden screens from Burma, handmade chandeliers from Italy, mortared columns from India: many remarkable masterpieces arranged to produce a multicultural atmosphere by interior decorator Sorasak Chatrakul Na Ayutthaya.

Taken as a whole, the vacation home has a remarkable mix of a natural setting and cultural atmosphere, with universal narratives everyone can understand. It’s a place that gives a sense of peace and tranquility, just waiting to be experienced.

chiang mai vacation home
[Left] The welcome hall features a high ceiling from which hangs a handmade glass chandelier from Murano, Italy. / [Right] A sewing and needlecraft hobby corner in the loft style, furnished with antiques which keep it from looking overly contemporary.
chiang mai vacation home
Drapery hanging in loose folds separates the bedroom and bath for an open, uncluttered look.
The kitchen opens out to a stairway reaching up to the rooftop deck and down to the garden below.
The kitchen opens out to a stairway reaching up to the rooftop deck and down to the garden below.

Architect: Sorrasak Chatkul na Ayutthaya, Jamnian Tongma

Garden Designer: Siriwit Rewbamrung, Little Tree Landscape (www.facebook.com/Littletreelandscape)


Visit the original Thai article…

THE IRONWOOD – บ้านหลังใหม่ ในอ้อมกอดขุนเขาที่อำเภอแม่ริม


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A Modern Steel Framed Home Holds the Secret to Happiness

A Modern Steel Framed Home Holds the Secret to Happiness

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Ekkarat Laksanasamrit / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

A person’s sense of proportion in creating a house to suit his own lifestyle can have energizing results. We recently visited a modern steel framed home in Bangkok’s Viphavadi Rangsit area that illustrated this. Nutt Chenyawanit, owner of Tin Home Toy merchandise, designed this house as a reflection of his identity.

modern steel framed home
A high pitched gable roof and bare concrete surfaces set at varying depths for a modern appeal.

From details of home décor, such as galvanized iron and stylish plant containers, to the overall house design, we saw a modern steel framed home that retained the flavor of Tropical architecture.

Open and relaxed in a traditional house style reduced to essentials, with a high pitched gable roof, extended eaves and awnings for sun and rain protection, this house with a modern appeal looks the epitome of good design, one that holds the secret to what makes people happy in life. An it looks fun to live in, too.

We asked the homeowner for his thoughts on design. He explained: “We like high ceilings; low ones feel cramped. The living room and stairwell area reaches up a full two stories, and elsewhere on the ground floor ceilings are generally three meters or higher. On the second floor, ceilings follow the roof slope, for the most part.”

The exception is the master bedroom, which has a standard ceiling height. “Bedrooms with high ceilings feel too buoyant,” he said.

modern steel framed home
The carport beneath an attractive latticework awning that blocks sun and rain.
3
The entry area has eaves overhanging the walls reaching out 4 meters, both aesthetic and practical.

The Tin Home Toy office building next door, built in a similar style, was here before the house and now is separated from it by a swimming pool. Nutt favors architecture with steel-based frames that give it a raw cool modern style.

The metal post-and-beam design for floor and roof here made for rapid construction and quick cleanup. It presents a stylish façade of show brick walls and glass panels.

modern steel framed home
Next to the garden a metal-frame eave filters sunlight above a rest area, keeping it cool and comfortable even in bright sunlight.
modern steel framed home
The walkway around the house is set out in straightforward lines using low-maintenance materials such as concrete patio pavers.

Extended eaves, large doors and windows provide good ventilation and make the house comfortable for living. Metal frameworks minimize the need of support posts for the extended eaves, freeing more space for parking. High ceilings allow warm air to rise and exit through upstairs windows.

modern steel framed home
The different textures of metal, glass, concrete, and wood mix and match well. The swimming pool is a great feature, beneficial for both the home and the office next door.
7
The living room with a double height ceiling is open wide on two sides to catch the sun so artificial light isn’t needed.

Usable space on the ground floor holds the living room, stairwell, dining room, kitchen, and service areas like a storeroom and laundry. Upstairs consists of bedrooms and a workroom. Hallways are at least 2.5 meters wide for a spacious feel.

Walking around, a visitor has the sense that each space is made for specific purpose, some for children, some for moving around in comfort, some for convenience.

modern steel framed home
Old-fashioned shelving at the far end of the living room reaches up to the mezzanine.

modern steel framed home

modern steel framed home
Although the ceiling is really high, it has a horizontal dimension, too, as the mezzanine is filled with built-in cabinets and bookcases.
modern style steel home
A small storage space by the stairs for bicycles gives a hint about Nutt’s spare time activity.

A closer look at the details reveals a “set aside” concept that reflects the way good judgements are made. In this particular case, it shows in design innovations such as high ceilings that bring the sort of happiness and contentment we find in this modern steel framed home.

modern style steel home
The master bedroom overlooking the garden is simply decorated in white and wood colors.
13
The bedroom with windows opening into the bathroom: open, relaxed, and good ventilation.
14
The ceiling follows the roof slope in this relatively large bathroom. An array of wooden shutters opens directly into the bedroom.
modern steel framed home
One side of the dining room is a food preparation area; on the other a line of windows looks out over the carport.

Architect: Nutt Chenyawanit and Jirayut Chaiyajamrunphon


Visit the original Thai article…

องค์ประกอบอย่างลงตัวในแบบ บ้านสไตล์ดิบเท่


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Baan Somjai: Where Time Seems to Stand Still on Pha-Ngan Island

Baan Somjai: Where Time Seems to Stand Still on Pha-Ngan Island

/ Surat Thani, Thailand / 

/ Story: Wuthikorn Sut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

Peacefully ensconced in a coconut grove by the sea, “Baan Somjai” is both a vacation destination and private residence located on beautiful Pha-Ngan Island. Everything goes by slowly on this side of the world, so slow it feels like time is standing still.

Pha-ngan Island

Pha-ngan Island
Nature’s A/C system at work. A water pond runs the entire stretch of the building, lowering indoor temperatures as winds carry water vapor into the room.

The seaside resort is the brainchild of Nattawut Piriyaprakob, of the architectural practice NPDA Studio. He’s both the designer and son of landowners Banjob and Somjai Piriyaprakob. The property on Pha-Ngan Island is an inheritance from Nattawut’s grandmother.

Back in the day, it was nothing but a family-owned coconut orchard. Nattawut could still recall traveling back and forth often to tend trees on the property. Nowadays travel to and from Pha-Ngan has become more convenient. That’s reason enough for the family to put in a home here.

Pha-ngan Island
A wide-open hall used for public gatherings has movable furniture for ease of care and flexible uses of space.

As Nattawut put it: “Mom and Dad had worked in other provinces for a period of time. They returned home to Pha-Ngan after retirement and started out with a homestay called Coconut and Noom Resort.

“The hospitality business had welcomed all kinds of tourists, from backpackers attending the famous Full Moon Party, to well-to-do European families looking for peace and quiet on an island paradise. As luck would have it, Mom and Dad decided to put in a permanent home here, and the rest was history. They enjoyed meeting new people every day.”

Pha-ngan Island
Vertical fins and roof lines fixed at a tilted angle work in tandem to protect the porches and guest rooms from the sun.

Pha-ngan Island

Pha-ngan Island

Pha-ngan Island
Diagonal plaster stripes in glossy red contrast with the brick foundation in flat finish, adding visual interest to the exterior wall.

Nattawut said that he designed the buildings on Pha-Ngan Island from experience, memories and knowledge of indigenous building materials. “The homes are built by local builders using local materials and wisdom. Together, they culminate in a unique design that stands out.

“Take for example eco-friendly bamboo items and paneling that are easy to find. The walls are crafted of red brick and flooring is made of polished concrete finishes.”

The designer intentionally added vivid colors into the work. He said: “As you can see, I chose bold colors for the building, such as the bright external envelope. The shadow cast by coconut trees makes the landscape even more interesting.”

The sundeck that is Banjob’s vantage point offers a 360-degree view of the coconut grove and the sea to the further side.

Benefiting from the sea breeze, the rooms are nice and cozy. Solid walls facing west shield them from the afternoon sun, while the cooling pond helps disperse the heat. Together, they go to work creating a light and airy atmosphere even when the weather is hot.

Remembered for its good design, warmth and southern hospitality, Baan Somjai Seaside Resort on Pha-Ngan is welcoming visitors to their home. It’s not only the home to the Piriyaprakob family. It’s also a dream destination for travelers from across the globe

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Architect: NPDA Studio (www.npdastudio.com)


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3×9 House: A Compact Row House Renovation in Vietnam

3×9 House: A Compact Row House Renovation in Vietnam

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

A lot of work and research was invested in this row house renovation project. The big question is: how to make the compact house look wider?

Home renovation: The project is accomplished without any concrete construction. The new second floor rests on cylindrical steel posts instead of big cement pillars.
Home renovation: The project is accomplished without any concrete construction. The new second floor rests on cylindrical steel posts instead of big cement pillars.

Like most urban residential buildings in Vietnam, “3×9 House” was formerly a shophouse built a long time ago. Only recently it was restored to a good state of repair. Looking back over the years, the old place lacking fresh air and ventilation had only a few windows and lots of solid brick walls, which made the building look dim.

A bold move was needed to rejuvenate it. The result is a modern living space that looks and feels fresher, younger and more lively, plus it helps to lift up the mood of the residents.

Renovated Row House vietnam
The 3-by-9-meter house has become a point of interest by integrating natural features in the design.

As land prices in Vietnam continued to rise rapidly and steeply every year, buying a new house seemed like a formidable task. So the owner thought it wise to invest in renovating his existing home.

He reached out to A21 Studio for their good reputations in the building industry, especially when it came to turning small, stuffy old houses into nice, uncluttered and environment-friendly homes.

Renovated Row House vietnam

Renovated Row House vietnam
Clay tiles are placed inversely on the entire interior walls to create a stripe pattern and unique touch.

Walk in the door, and the first thing that catches our eyes is a tree growing up through an opening in the footbridge set against the wall. It’s a sign of welcome warmly greeting visitors coming into the entryway. The overall effect is bright and airy, thanks in part to a rooftop skylight illuminating the interior living spaces and letting sunlight shine on the tree.

For indoor thermal comfort, openings in the walls let breezy wind enter through the front door and circulate inside the home. As a result of this, the entire interior feels fresh and full of life all the way to the rear section, the second floor and the room under translucent sliding panels on the rooftop.

Flanked by three-story row houses on both sides, “3×9 House” is exposed to direct sunlight only in the middle of the day. For the rest of the time, the home is full of nice cool shade, making it feel very comfortable, warm and cozy, so there’s no need for air-conditioning.

Renovated Row House vietnam
The steel framework supporting the roof is equipped with a sliding skylight. This effectively illuminates interior spaces and allows the tree to keep on thriving.
Renovated Row House vietnam
For the health benefits of a well-lit home, the bedroom space connects to the footbridge with an opening for a tree to thrive under the rooftop skylight.
Renovated Row House vietnam
Loft style ideas paired with earth-tone color make the simple bedroom feel open, airy and uncluttered, thanks in part to the absence of solid room dividers.
A modern kitchen setup gets rid of smoke and smell fast, as a result of a range hood blower and openings in the rooftop.
A modern kitchen setup gets rid of smoke and smell fast, as a result of a range hood blower and openings in the rooftop.

For a bigger, more open vibe in the interior, solid room dividers are avoided, with the exception of the bathroom. The ground floor consists of a living room, dining area and kitchen; all connected.

The bedroom and leisure areas are upstairs. Since the homeowner lives alone, solid room dividers are of no use. In a nutshell, it’s about integrating natural features, openings in the walls and a good ventilation system in the overall design. That’s what makes it a good place to live.

Renovated Row House vietnam

A colorful mix of tiles are reminiscent of vernacular architecture.
A colorful mix of tiles are reminiscent of vernacular architecture.

Architect: A21 Studio (www.a21studio.com.vn)


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