Blog : Concrete House

RUPU HOUSE: White Geometric Design Bespeaks a Close Family Bond and Privacy at Home

RUPU HOUSE: White Geometric Design Bespeaks a Close Family Bond and Privacy at Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Nantiya Busabong /

It all began with a thoughtful son’s wish to build a new home and be close to his aging father. And Jun Sekino of the atelier JUNSEKINO Architect and Design was on hand to do precisely that.

Jun Sekino, the architect who designed it, said that originally the plan was to put in an add-on to the existing family home. Later there was a change of plan.

The owner preferred to build a new home on the opposite side of the street from his dad instead, so the design was revised in order to fit an entirely different context.

The result was a white geometric home of outstanding beauty – one that’s simple yet attractive and fully functional. It’s the product of a 360-degree turn.

And after making all necessary adjustments, the architect aptly named it “RUPU HOUSE,” a made-up term coined from the Japanese word for the action of rotating around an axis.

Built on 200 square wah of land (roughly 0.20 acre), the new two-story home offers 680 square meters in total.

It stands surrounded by greenery that’s kept further away at appropriate distances to create a well-lit, well-ventilated living space. The first floor contains functional areas including an open contemporary kitchen with dining space at the center.

There’s a sitting room tucked away in a quiet corner for relaxation. Nearby a semi-outdoor space is reserved for entertaining guests. It lies enclosed by the glass walls of the dining room and sitting room. Glass walls enhance visual continuity and the aesthetic appeal of the home.

By design, the semi-outdoor space on the ground floor is the heart of family life, said the architect. It’s easy to get why this cool and airy area has become the homeowner’s favorite niche.

The second-floor deck keeps it in shade for much of the day. It offers ample space perfect for entertaining.

Despite the house’s modern appearance, the semi-outdoor room evokes pleasant memories of comfort provided by the wooden house on stilts of former times. It’s an ideal place for receiving visitors without disturbing the peace in other parts of the house.

Climb a flight of stairs, and you come to the quiet and secluded second floor that contains three bedrooms. The master bedroom belongs to the homeowner, while two slightly smaller ones are reserved for kids. That’s what the future looks like.

To create a light and airy feel, the spacious master bedroom boasts high standards of comfort with a big bed at the center, a walk-in closet and en-suite bath. But what makes it exceptionally good is the double height ceiling, which gives enough room for a private office on the mezzanine floor.

It’s a layout option inspired by duplex design, a peaceful place in which to work undisrupted. According to Jun Sekino, it’s like having a beautiful office apartment hidden inside the home.

The overall effect is impressive. White geometric design adds interest and a sense of excitement to the house’s external appearance. As Jun Sekino puts it, there is an unadorned beauty plus clean simple lines that fit an easy lifestyle, and that’s exactly the way the homeowner likes it.

Technically, it’s meant to be a simple one-mass unit of construction with a high-pitch shed-style roof, a geometric shape without terra cotta tiles and minimal detailing. And the same treatment applies evenly from top to bottom.

To create a soothing ambience, the concrete exterior home is painted white, a single-color trend toward simplicity in design.

Its shed style roof and external envelope are characterized by regular lines and shapes. This is summed up in the vertical awnings that overhang the walls of the building on all sides.

Together they go to work keeping the sun and rain off the façade, windows and doorway on the ground floor. They also double as a design strategy to break the fall of vertical lines that run from the rooftop to the ground floor.

To improve visual and spatial continuity, the windows, doorway and most of the walls at ground level are glazed using clear glass panels.

The second floor is treated differently. Where appropriate, windows are installed only in the direction that’s not exposed to strong sunlight. Meanwhile, the external walls that face the sun have no wall openings at all.

These solid walls, in turn, make the white geometric home even more noticeable from a distance. As for the interior living spaces, a mix of wood and stone masonry is preferred for its ability to reduce the stiffness of strong geometric shapes.

Looking back over the years, Jun Sekino could still recall that concrete roof construction was the hardest part of the entire project. Steel-reinforced concrete roof building required special skills to ensure the remarkable smoothness of the outer surface and prevent leakage.

Apart from that, other challenges included window fittings, which also needed specialized skills and craftsmanship to make sure they don’t leak when it rains.

All things considered, it’s a home project that brings deep pleasure derived from Jun Sekino’s abilities to accomplish a mission. The concrete exterior is smooth and with no apparent gaps or cracks of any kind. It’s a home carefully thought out to age gracefully.

Like so, the homeowner will be able to repaint the house when necessary without worrying about too many practical details. The new home offers a calm and cozy atmosphere with plenty of room for entertaining and the opportunity to be close to his aging father.

It’s a heartwarming moral story of unbreakable bonds.

Architect: JUNSEKINO Architect and Design

Interior designer: JUNSEKINO Interior Design

Contractor: M.W.K. Construction

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Baan Hing Hoi: A Modern House Exudes Old World Charm

Envelope House: Big Family Makes a Modern Space Feel Cozy

Envelope House: Big Family Makes a Modern Space Feel Cozy

Envelope House: Big Family Makes a Modern Space Feel Cozy

/ Singapore /

/ Story: Phattaraphon / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: KHOO Guo Jie /

Here’s a home with a Modern space designed for a big family in Singapore. Its generous interior provides great sensory pleasure with fresh air and plenty of room where plants grow luxuriantly. Unique and neatly planned, it redefines the meaning of Tropical design, which in this instance is manifested in an intriguing combination that makes the home feel more comfortable.

Modern space

Because Singapore is an island, every square inch counts and it doesn’t come cheap.

To build a good home, one must ponder the question of what functions and useable spaces it offers, plus all the modern conveniences.

At the same time, it’s nice to bring nature inside to create powerful psychological effects. And from this point of view, this beautiful oasis with in the city is truly a gem.

Modern space

Modern space

The multigenerational household comprises three families. Naturally, it makes sense to accommodate the needs of every age group without sacrificing the common area that’s available to everyone.

Done right, it allows interactions to take place in the family. To facilitate the socialization processes, greenery space is added to the mix to let house occupants reconnect with nature wherever they may be.

The well-planned common area gives the gift of healing and the human touch that everyone craves coming home at the end of the day.

Taking everything into account, the contemporary cube-shaped house is in a league of its own. It celebrates the simplicity of open living spaces conceived and developed by the Singapore-based architectural practice ASOLIDPLAN.

Among other things, what makes it unique is the use of rectangular openings in various dimensions to make the building façade aesthetically pleasing. Done right, the openings in the walls and rooftop admit light and air and allow people to see out.

In this particular case, the building sits facing west, so every precaution is taken to protect the interior from the sun’s harsh glare keeping it nice and cool all day.

The answer lies in a complete rethink of the building shell design, hence the name “Envelope House.”

Modern space

Modern space

Modern space

Step inside, and you come to a gorgeous center courtyard with triple-height ceilings and skylights on the rooftop. It’s a clever hack to reconnect with nature by bringing the outdoors into every nook and cranny of the interior.

Houseplants perfect for miniature landscaping thrive everywhere, even under the staircase. Nearby, young trees with healthy lush foliage stand front and center next to a garden water feature with stepping stones that decorates and refreshes the room.

Looking for a quiet place to lean back and chill? There’s a nice sitting room with a garden view by the window.

Modern space

The second floor contains living quarters for elderly parents, while the third affords plenty of private residential spaces for grownup children and their families.

Here, fresh greenery is never out of style. It’s an awesomely cool Modern space, where the beauty of plants is present everywhere, whether it’s on the staircase or along the corridors.

The entire interior is so well-lit by skylights that there’s no need for electric lights anywhere in the daytime. And the house plants benefit from it, too, no doubt.

1st Floor Plan Courtesy of ASOLIDPLAN
2nd, 3rd, and Roof Floor Plan Courtesy of ASOLIDPLAN

Speaking of design, there’s a special feature that makes the house with a Modern space feel more comfortable. Its thermal envelope is made of energy-saver double-layer walls that form the first line of defense against heat and the elements.

Where possible, landscaping plants thrive in between the two layers to protect the interior from the sun’s harsh UV rays. That’s not all. There’s also a rooftop deck with green grass lawns for outdoor relaxation in the cool of the evening.

Conceptual Diagram Courtesy of ASOLIDPLAN

Modern space

In the fewest possible words, it’s a perfect example of homes well suited to a Tropical climate — a complete rethink of strategies that doesn’t rely on adding or extending a roof overhang to protect from inclement weather.

Plus, double-layer wall construction makes this piece of architecture original and unique in itself simply by bringing the outdoors inside.

By integrating a green oasis into the design of the house’s Modern space, it succeeds in dealing with limitations that come with overcrowded urban spaces.

Architect: ASOLIDPLAN (

Lead Architect: QUCK Zhong Yi

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A Modern Home That is Quintessentially Thai Quiet Interaction of Landscape Design and Architecture

Never Too Small: Renovation Gives a Townhouse the Atmosphere of Home

Never Too Small: Renovation Gives a Townhouse the Atmosphere of Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Nattakit Jeerapatmitee /

An old townhouse in the heart of Bangkok’s downtown has been lovingly restored in ways that adapt to changing lifestyle needs. No longer is it a stuffy, overcrowded space lacking fresh air and ventilation. A redesigned open floor plan has given it the feeling of home, a sense of belonging and purpose. Incredibly light and airy, it feels like anything but a townhouse, so to speak.

Inheriting the townhouse from his parents, the new owner has made a firm decision to renovate it to a good state of repair.

It’s the place where he lives when traveling to the city for business. Or it can be available to be rented if need be.

The task of refurbishment was given to a team of architects from the design firm OAAS. Central to their work was the creation of an open concept home plan that’s flexible for multiple uses.



Accordingly, the old second-floor balcony was knocked down and replaced by steel framing for a light and spacious façade.

Upstairs, the entire floor plan was revised, while the ground floor platform was raised slightly to keep it above the edge of the water during a flood.


Never too small to make a difference, the newly refurbished townhouse stands out from the rest in that its building shell is made of air bricks that are great for natural ventilation.

The perforated bricks double as a decorative privacy screen that protects the home from prying eyes. It’s a surefire way to improve air circulation and get rid of stuffy smells, a common problem of townhouse living.


The wooden door opens into a surprisingly peaceful semi-outdoor room aptly named “Sala”, which is Thai for garden pavilion. Albeit situated at the front of the house, it’s a private living space that conveniently connects to the sitting room and dining area lying further inside.

Beautifully designed, it calls to mind an image of a garden sitting area with a side passage for walking along.


The overall effect is impressive. The side passage sets this townhouse apart from the others.

Since it’s often impossible to build a walkway around a townhouse, it makes perfect sense to build one on the inside that connects the garden pavilion at the front with the living room and other functions at the rear.


There is a challenge to overcome. Because the side passage takes away a large chunk of the square footage of the house, the designers have to make a choice from a range of possibilities.

Among them, an open concept floor plan is useful in making the home feel more spacious. There’s no need for room dividers for a home theater or TV lounge since it’s never a desirable lifestyle here.

Plus, by floating furniture, the owner is free to create a more intimate atmosphere and a layout that’s capable of multiple uses.

Owner: Jiramate Chanaturakarnnon

Architect: OAAS

Design team: Sineenart Suptanon, Sirakit Charoenkitpisut, Nattakit Jeerapatmitee, Jiramate Chanaturakarnnon

The article is an excerpt from “Shophouse & Townhome”, a proudly presented publication from the “Best Home Series” under “room Books Publishing.
Available in paperback (Thai Edition) at:
Here’s how to order online.

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Turning a Cold 20-Year-Old House into a Bright and Airy Tropical Home

Turning a Cold 20-Year-Old House into a Bright and Airy Tropical Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong / Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Every home tells a story. This good-sized two-story residence at “Mai Lom Ruen”, an upscale housing development near King Rama IX Memorial Park in Bangkok, is home to a couple and their six adorable pets (a dog and five cats). They moved to this outlying district of the city not that long ago. The 20-year-old house they bought needed improvements so as to answer their lifestyle needs. And a home renovation firm came in handy to do exactly that. The result is a light and airy tropical home with the warm sunshine, plus an image of the friendliness and youthful enthusiasm of the people living here.

The project architect, Tharit Tossanaitada, who is design director of the Design In Motion Co., Ltd, said that in the primary stage, he would have to redraw a new house plan within the confines of the existing home.

It was good that the homeowners already had an idea about what to do and had a blueprint for all the rooms. And with that, the project was off to a very good start.


The 400-square-meter two-story home was ready for remodeling, starting with a teardown of most solid walls that divided the interior into different parts.

The building’s original frames and beams supporting the roof and floor above them remained intact. Thereafter new room dividers were put in place according to the activity and purpose intended for each space.

Meantime, the carport that originally stood front and center was moved to the right side of the house. Like so, side-by-side parking has now changed to parking in a column on the driveway.

The result was a house front design that’s wide open without vehicles cluttering up the passageway, creating the perfect front yard that’s easy on the eye.

The house’s first floor that lies in open view consists of a nice little foyer at the front that connects to a home office, kitchen and delightful secluded sitting room at the farthest end. By design, the parlor room is conveniently linked up with the new car park at the right side of the house.

Precisely it’s the architect’s intention to keep this back door entrance strictly for family use and hence no need to enter and leave through the front door every time.

On top of that, the architect had the entrance hall ceiling torn down to make room for a new metal staircase leading to the second floor. The remodeled foyer performs its dual role.

On the one hand, it gives the family direct access to the second floor. On the other hand, it adds consummate elegance to the warm and welcoming antechamber.

airy tropical home

Step outside, and you come into a central courtyard enclosed by the house walls. This, too, has undergone a complete makeover.

The grass lawn that had been there originally was removed to make room for a carp pond decorated with aquatic plants, leafy bushes and shrubs, making the outdoor room more enjoyable.

airy tropical home

As to be expected, the second floor is a little more private. Several rooms that had been there from the beginning were torn down to provide sufficient space for an ample common area.

The master bedroom remained intact, while a second bedroom originally next to it has since been replaced by a semi-outdoor sitting room enclosed by a balustrade on the outside of the building.

airy tropical home

airy tropical home

From the looks of it, this represents the most obvious attempt by the architect to bring the outdoors into what was once an uncomfortable drafty old house.

That being the case, the external envelope of the building was torn down to create a perfect outdoor room with bench seating that matches the house façade.

Consisting of strips of steel securely fastened together to form a privacy screen, the redesigned façade extends all the way to the translucent upper covering of the building that allows natural daylight into the home.

On the inside, the second floor also contains a family room and a third bedroom that has since been allocated to their beloved house pets.

airy tropical home

As Tharit put it, the most important part of the renovation project was the redesigned layout of the ground floor that made the traffic flow between major living areas easy and gave it ample space perfect for the family’s lifestyle needs.

He said: “What I was trying to achieve was a house plan with a good flow of traffic and carefully thought-out circulation patterns to create a well-lit and well-ventilated interior.

“So the first thing I did was dismantle all the rooms and rebuild them by setting the walls further back slightly to create more room for improved air circulation.

“Albeit viewed as separate units, all the rooms were connected to one another by natural air circulation.”

The architect reiterated that by setting the walls further back one meter, the interior rooms became smaller in size while the semi-outdoor veranda along the outside of the house overlooking the central courtyard gained more space.

This resulted in the good flow of traffic between major living areas.

Plus, there was natural circulation that came from using environmental-friendly systems such as walls fitted with large aluminum windows and roller blinds that open and shut to control the amounts of daylight and fresh, outdoor air coming into this airy tropical home.

These are among the features that help keep the interior cool without air conditioning.

airy tropical home

airy tropical home

airy tropical home

airy tropical home

Finally, materials matter. The products that the architect chose were all important to achieve a desirable outcome.

In this case, it was real timber used in the building that made this house stand out from the rest. Plus, the homeowners had a love for everything wood and took the time and effort to purchase the materials themselves.

They included the golden species of teakwood that’s ideal for building the veranda around the central courtyard, door and window casings, ceiling panels, and parts of walls.

The renovation process also saw the original ceramic roof tiles being replaced by cedar shingles that gave the house its inviting appeal.

airy tropical home

In summary, the relocation of functions represents a rethink of strategy and practical use in building design. The result is a renovation done right — a bright and airy tropical home that exudes peace and tranquility thanks to natural materials and environment-friendly systems.

As the architect puts it, “even one meter matters” when it comes to quality home improvements. It’s a metamorphosis of purpose that transforms the unpleasantly cold 20-year-old house into an airy tropical home with a sunny personality that gives a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.

Architect: Design In Motion Co., Ltd.


MP House: A New State-of-the-Art Live/Work Design

MP House: A New State-of-the-Art Live/Work Design

/ Tangerang, Indonesia /

/ Story: Phattaraphon / English Version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Arti Pictures /

A live/work design solution could be just what you’re looking for. Here’s a home developed for a designer couple in Tangerang, Indonesia. Known as MP House, it marries work-from-home essentials with well-planned living spaces that come loaded with personality.

live/work design

The secret to a productive daily routine, it combines both residential and home office functions. The workspace lies on the first floor, that also includes a semi-basement, while the more private residential area is placed on the level above it.

The ample residential space is divided into two parts. Semi‐private facilities such as the living room and dining room take up the front of the house, whereas more private spaces and bedrooms are located at the rear that are designed for peace and seclusion.


On the first floor, only a dry garden separates the home office from the guest and kids’ bedrooms at the rear. By design, healthy green foliage in the center courtyard serves as an engine that drives natural ventilation and provides a light and heat barrier. The result is a tranquil indoor environment that’s the key to a happy family life.

In a sensitive and practical way, indoor ramps with handrails are chosen as an alternative to a set of stairs to provide access between different levels. The sloped pathways are particularly useful for the homeowner’s elderly parents. Plus, it’s the split-level design that makes the most effective use of available space.

There is a real sense of achievement in the way the living room and dining room merge into one large lounge with comforting earth tones and double-height ceiling design. It’s a place to eat home-cooked meals and enjoy family conversations that help keep everyone together. Semi-private by design, the ample social interaction space is well-lit and well-ventilated.


The house has a modern exterior. Filled with cement breeze blocks, aka screen blocks, the front façade looks onto another dry garden located just above the carport.

The decorative breeze blocks are chosen for their ability to provide sun protection and maintain openness and airflow. Meantime, flat masonry textures that are repetitive and earthy in color provide a variety of light refraction that adds aesthetic pleasure to the interior living space.



The building is roofed over with a gable design that offers many benefits. Besides strength and durability, it allows the architects to create all kinds of space underneath.

The result is a hybrid live/work design of the home office and the place of residence that feels pleasantly comfortable and capacious.

Architect: TIES (

Lead Architects: Sansan & Tritya

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Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

Urban Courtyard House for an Extended Family

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Sarayut / English version: Bob Pitakwong / Photographs: Ritthirong /

Let’s say you’re looking for a modern urban 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 urban courtyard 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

Architect: The Atelier of Architects Co., Ltd by Salyawate Prasertwitayakarn
Owner: Salyawate, Piyasuda Prasertwitayakarn

Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Traditional Cluster Homes

Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Traditional Cluster Homes

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Sarayut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham / Styling: Worawat /

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 homes 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 (800 sq.m.) 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 cluster homes, 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

Architect: Pipol Likanapaisal and Apichart Rojthoranin (Space Story Studio)

Baan Hing Hoi: A Modern House Exudes Old World Charm

Baan Hing Hoi: A Modern House Exudes Old World Charm

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Sarayut Sreetip-ard / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul, Wasin Pummarin / Styling: Suanpuk Stylist /

A duplex modern house design by EAST Architects avails natural light, sun and airflow to provide indoor thermal comfort that’s the hallmark of the ultimate tropical design.

One wing is a semi-outdoor living space roofed over with ceramic shingles in a timeless shade of white. It’s made almost entirely of wood with a balcony and the Thai-style underfloor space high enough for additional uses. The other wing boasts the stylistic characteristics of the postmodern era.

To make the most of natural light, the external walls are made of glass. Upstairs a straight passageway connecting individual rooms leads to a cantilevered addition that extends 6 meters supported by a V-shaped steel rigid frame – an unusual approach to lightweight modern house design.

Modern HouseModern House

The upper covering of a living wing is made of steel reinforced concrete slabs. The gable roof that rises above them is topped with corrugated aluminum panels to allow light to pass through.

This keeps the modern tropical home well-lit by day and glowing with light and color by night. No wonder they call it “Baan Hing Hoi”, literally translated as “Fireflies House”.

A piece of architecture representing the nexus between Eastern and Western cultures, Fireflies House is a design that merges Modern and Traditional in a tropical home.

The house plan doesn’t sit parallel to the road in front of it. Neither does it align with property boundary lines. Rather, it’s designed to respond to wind direction and the sun’s path across the sky.

That pretty much summarizes the design concept embraced by two assistant professors, Pirast Pacharaswate and Sayanee Virochrut, of EAST Architects. The design duo prides themselves on being “architects of tropical rainforests”.

EAST Architect Modern Thai HouseEAST Architect Modern Thai HouseEAST Architect Modern Thai House

Together they turned a wish into reality. The homeowner, Thanawat Yongsanguanchai, wanted to build a modern house for a big family, a place to spend more time in nature.

He was looking for a light and airy house plan, one that’s comfortable without air conditioning. The architects responded by using a lot of natural building materials.

The result was a well-thought-out design that made people feel as if they were tunnelling their way into another world hidden at the rear of the property.

Modern House

“In essence, the design takes into account basic human needs and the culture in which people live. The relationship between culture and climate is one of the inevitabilities of life.

“It’s for this reason that the house is built with knowledge of the climate in mind,” said architect Pirast Pacharaswate.

“We think up contradictory thoughts when designing the duplex house plan. The kids belong to a new generation, but their living wing boasts certain features that are characteristic of the traditional Thai style. This is contrary to the design of the parents wing, which is evidence of a new language of architecture.

“It sits under a roof that glows with light and color, which bespeaks the postmodern discipline of art. The upper covering of the parents wing is made of steel-reinforced concrete slabs. The gable roof that rises above them doesn’t function as a roof in a proper way.

“It’s our intention to present a Thai-style house under the gable roof that many consider old-fashioned. So we use a modern building material instead.

The result is a roof that’s topped with corrugated aluminum panels. It looks light, airy and very noticeable with an entirely new perception.”

EAST Architect Modern Thai House

“We learned through conversation that the homeowner preferred white, and responded with a house plan in shades of white. The children’s wing gives a powerful impression of being Thai. It’s protected by ceramic roof shingles in the lightest shade. Wood is the main building material here. Although metal is part of roof framing, the skill and craftsmanship are Thai style.

“The living spaces are linked by a roofed platform along the outside of the house, unlike the parents wing where spaces are connected via corridors that bespeak modern design.”


The children’s wing is designed for semi-outdoor living, thanks to the veranda and spacious Thai-style underfloor spaces. Proceed to the parents wing, and you come into a glass-enclosed room that’s a great way to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside. A straight corridor connects individual areas and functions reminiscent of Western-style house plans.

Modern House

The ground floor has pantries and a dining area with a sitting room. It’s dominated by a long dining table that’s custom-made. The upper floor contains Mom and Dad’s bedroom that projects horizontally into space. Glass walls pour natural light into the room that’s embraced by nature.

There’s a multifunctional room with wood décor ideas. An array of alternating plain and hand-carved wood cabinets ooze the charm and poise of Thai style.

Modern House

The upstairs bedroom projects 6 meters into space, supported by a V-shaped steel rigid frame for a lightweight look. Floor-to-ceiling glass wall systems afford views of the landscape.

Not all ceilings are horizontal. Above, the children’s bedroom boasts a ceiling that slopes in agreement with the gable roof. The front side under the gable is open to bring natural brightness inside, while accent wall ideas behind the headboard fill the room in style.

There’s something quintessentially Thai in the other bedroom where the platform bed frame is wider than the mattress, an easy hack to create space for wedge pillows and the triangle pillow that’s unique to Thai culture.

EAST Architect Modern Thai House

“To create a good first impression, an architectural space has to be a noticeable new phenomenon. Hence, a garden passageway is designed for people to recognize what’s unique about ceramic roof shingles as they approach the house from various distances, each resulting in different impressions.

“Psychologically, humans and architecture interact with each other all the time. Circulation, or human movement in and around a piece of architecture, constitutes an interaction.

“It’s interactive experience that creates an awareness and evokes admiration of architectural beauty,” said architect Pirast.

This modern house under the gable roof evokes admiration through design and the power of storytelling about the architectural design concept that integrates traditional values, longing for nature, and great aesthetic pleasure to form a coherent whole.

Modern House

Owner: Thanawat Yongsanguanchai

Architect: EAST Architects (

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A Box-shaped House in A Mid-City Garden by Vin Varavarn Architects 

A Box-shaped House in A Mid-City Garden by Vin Varavarn Architects 

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Samutcha Viraporn / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

To have more space for his three children, M.L. Varudh Varavarn (Vin) of Vin Varavarn Architects built this modern house amid a garden on a quarter-acre property in the heart of Bangkok’s Chidlom District.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects


“Children need a place with trees to run and play,” was Vin’s first thought in keeping all the original trees for the garden. Each room looks out on this great play area.

“When we built the place we’d just come back from living abroad in a town house. There wasn’t really enough space for the kids there, so we made this home more about the kids than ourselves,” he told LivingASEAN.


Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
The house, the balcony, and the garden are simple components of a tropical house. Although porous from wood borer beetles, these folding doors are perfectly functional. The decorative garden stones were dug up from the property.


One primary building material was 20-year-old teakwood from Vin’s mother’s plantation in Kamphaeng Phet, much of which had been eaten hollow by wood boring beetles and couldn’t be sold to a lumber yard.

“We figured wood like this might give an interesting look. Talking with The Jam Factory contractor Subhashok gave us some ideas.

“We wanted something that didn’t look too slick, but had unique character and was durable. Wood, concrete, and steel were our main building materials.”

With porous teak, it’s best to cut the wood into narrow boards, sort out the more porous ones, then use the different types in different parts of the house.

Wood with no holes is used for flooring. Even though you can see into the sapwood on some, porous wood panels can be used for latticework, folding doors/windows, and ceilings, which are not usually touched by people, and they can be patched where called for.


Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
The wall separating the stairwell from the living room displays a rough concrete surface.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
By the stair to the 2nd floor, natural light shines into the front hall indoor courtyard. The living room is behind the wall on the right.


This steel-frame box-shaped house uses cement walls as artifice: for instance, the wall of rough concrete next to the parking area creates a vertical play of light and shadow on garden stone surfaces.

Meantime, the living room’s big brick walls are surfaced with concrete poured in different concentrations, creating gray stripes in gentle contrast to the rough harshness of the concrete itself.

The house plan visually connects interior and outdoor spaces in a number of places: coming in the door, we first encounter an interior court with a tree, then walk around into the living area, dining space, and large open-plan pantry flanked on both sides by gardens, seeming to switch character back and forth between being indoors and outdoors.

By the tree court is a latticed staircase of wood and steel leading to the 2nd floor, where we find a living area, children’s activity room, and all the bedrooms.


Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
The living room with a big sofa for family socializing. To save building expense the steel frame is light as possible, which also gives the house a light, open look.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
Folding doors filter light and give security and privacy. Adding to the green, plants grow along the wall by the neighboring house.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
Close by the open living area is a dining table where Vin does a little work most mornings. Furthest in is a long, narrow pantry-style kitchen also used for informal eating.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
On the 2nd floor is a children’s activity room, the surrounding glass adding openness and drawing natural light from both the interior court and the side facing the house next door.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
On the 2nd floor is a children’s activity room, the surrounding glass adding openness and drawing natural light from both the interior court and the side facing the house next door.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects

“The kids have been happy here, and feel more like staying at home, so we’ve achieved a nice level of success,” added M.L. Varudh. Before the evening came we got to see all 3 of Vin’s children as they got back from school to run, play, climb, and have fun, laughing and smiling, sometimes in the children’s activity room.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects

Architect: M.L. Varudh Varavarn of Vin Varavarn Architects

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Baan Lek Villa: A House-Cum-Homestay in Chanthaburi

Baan Lek Villa: A House-Cum-Homestay in Chanthaburi

/ Chanthaburi, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

This is a stilt house design where the contemporary style merges with rural vernacular in Chanthaburi. It’s built on the concept of home with a dual nature – a villa-cum-homestay. The design pays particular attention to the simple life and harmony with the surroundings, plus good positioning in relation to light and wind patterns makes it more comfortable to live.

Baan Lek Villa is the work of “KaewRinrada Nirote, homeowner and architect at GLA DESIGN STUDIO, in collaboration with designer Pitch Nimchinda. It’s intended to accommodate her family, house guests and friends of her mother (“LekKuna Nirote).


Rinrada came to Bangkok to further her studies and has worked there since graduation. Little by little it dawned on her that building a new house in her native Chanthaburi would be a good idea.

It would give her a place to stay and a small office away from the city. She wanted a design that looked simple yet attractive, kept within the budget, and blended into the community.


The result is a home that merges with the surrounding countryside. Simple house design offers two distinctly different zones – private and public areas.

The living space is raised up on piles, while the ample multi-use area underneath it is meant for dining and receiving guests.


Sharing her slice of paradise, Rinrada says that nowadays more people are yearning for a simple way of living. Advances in technology have made it possible for us live anywhere and still be able to work. What we need is a case for carrying clothes and a few personal belongings, plus a portable computer.

Even better if you have a place of your choice that helps you relax in nature. Intended to make our breaks truly refreshing in the countryside, this house was complete only recently. So far it has received many guests and friends of her mother and brother.

“We didn’t intend to make it a family business. I was into hotel designing to begin with. Now that I have a house of my own, Mom has invited her friends over. They loved it and spread the good word. So we thought the time was ripe to provide the accommodation of guests. It’s important that they get to experience the relaxing side of Chantaburi town,” she said.


What makes this house unique is the architectural detail that’s right for the climate of Thailand.

The design takes into account seasonal variations, such as sunlight and wind patterns, to create a comfortable environment. Rinrada got the inspiration for the multi-use ground floor from “Have you eaten yet?” a traditional expression of goodwill that Thais say as a sign of welcome.

This explains why a dining table set and kitchen counter are there. The area doubles as waiting room for people who drop by for a visit just like old times.

Walk up the stairs and you come to a more private area of the house, which consists of a large balcony and main living quarters.

Overall, the building is made of concrete that works well with beautiful wood accents. To make the building appear lightweight, the entire floor of the overhanging balcony is made of steel framework.

Taken as a whole, it’s a perfect mix of concrete, steel and clever design that lets the beauty of natural wood stand out.


For an aesthetic appeal, the ground floor is covered to some extent by eggshell pebble pavers that seamlessly connect with the surrounding landscape. The garden sits in the shade for much of the day thanks to the house being positioned on the western side of land.

The fact that it’s located in the further reach also leaves plenty of extra room available for future projects. For the time being, Rinrada intends to turn the front yard into an ample garden filled with large trees, shrubs and natural light.


Most importantly, Rinrada says it’s the understanding of the context that sets the main idea about good house design. Appropriate orientation involves more than just the sun’s path or seasonal wind patterns. Every little detail must be taken into account.

This modest home is designed to blend with the environment and other key attributes that have made Chanthaburi town famous. It merges with rural vernacular and sprawling fruit orchards. It’s built of material that’s available locally, reclaimed lumber included.

All told, it’s one that stands in perfect harmony with the community.

Owner: Rinrada Nirote

Architect: GLA Design Studio

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