Blog : glass facade

Mitbury the Public House: A Café in Pastel Brown Humbly Camouflaged in Nature’s Embrace

Mitbury the Public House: A Café in Pastel Brown Humbly Camouflaged in Nature’s Embrace

/ Chiang Mai, Thailand /

/ Story: Kangsadan K. / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Prueksakun Kornudom, Ornpailin Leelasiriwong /

Tucked away amidst the crisp mountain air and dense green plants thriving under tree cover, a quaint country café takes center stage giving off friendly vibes. It’s enclosed by glass walls on three sides, while perimeter fence walls of large breeze blocks in pastel brown speak volumes for the humble origins of mankind.

Lying furthest from everything else, a lazy brook passes by reflecting sunlight glistening with sparkles in misty winds. Aptly named “Mitbury the Public House”, the café and nearby support buildings merge into the cool shade of wooded hills in the backdrop. It’s arguably the most exquisite kind of scenery. And it’s located right here in Mae Rim District, only a short ride from Chiang Mai’s city center.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the aroma of coffee beans being ground and roasted in the background smells like heaven. There’s nothing like chilling out, sipping one’s favorite Morning Brew on a quiet day at nature’s edge.

The project comprises three small buildings with a chic coffee bar located at the center of the property. The other two buildings lie hidden in plain sight behind the walls of perforate blocks in muted brown designed to promote ventilation and regulate sunlight. The coffee bar itself affords 140 square meters of restaurant space canopied by overhanging trees.

A charcoal sketch of the premises illustrates the positioning of the café and two support buildings enclosed by a perforate wall and surrounding terrain features. / Courtesy of WOS Architects
A side-elevation view of the café building in cross section, silhouetted against a breeze block wall lying under the canopy of overhanging trees / Courtesy of WOS Architects

The brainchild of WOS Architects, a Bangkok-based architectural practice, Mitburi the Public House is a design masterpiece that seeks reconnections with the natural world.

Walk in the door, and you find an ample space used for guests and seating. Interestingly, the rough textured wall in soft pastel beige at the back is the sight to behold. It stands overlooking the space used for preps, the coffee bar and kitchen.

From a distance, a paved passageway glides past lush lawns leading to first building that houses the café and kitchen. The second building holds storage space and staff quarters, while the third is a complete toilet building. By design, they lie hidden from view behind the perforate brick walls.

A footbridge gives access to nearby wooded hills. It’s built of structural I-beam framing, with wooden planks and railings of wire infill panels for protection against slip and fall accidents.

All of them are built of structural steel framing. Where appropriate, the exterior walls are crafted of natural building materials sourced from within the community. Immediately appealing among them is the floor tiled in grayish brown. It lies covered with thin slabs of baked clay from a local kiln, creating charm, good looks that embrace imperfect simplicity.

For visual continuity, the café building itself is enclosed by glass walls on three sides, with a pair of transom windows at the top of the front door. A clean, well-lighted place, the interior is warm and welcoming, thanks to pale soft lights that are less distracting, adding romantic appeal to the room.

From inside the café, glass walls provide undisrupted visual continuity between indoors and outdoors. The floor is tiled in reddish brown slabs fired the old-fashioned way by a local kiln, the beauty of imperfections that blends with the surroundings.
The café building stands among the trees, enclosed by glass walls on three sides. They open to admit natural daylight and fresh outdoor air into the room.

Out-of-doors, yard landscaping ideas are just impressive. Perforate blocks in reddish brown fill up the entire boundary fence, blending seamlessly into the dark green of the forest’s edge. Located furthest to the rear, a footbridge built of steel I-beams, wooden planks and wire infill railings provide access to nearby forested hills.

Attention to detail is evidenced by the breeze block fence in muted brown that separates the business premises into clearly defined zones depending on functionality.
The complete toilet building stands hidden from view, separated from nearby lush lawns and café space by a wall of perforate bricks for ventilation.

The I-beams are painted a grayish green hue that merges into large areas of old woodlands in the background. Underneath the footbridge, a babbling stream runs idly by meandering through the rock-covered forest floor. Above it, cool breezes and leaves rustling in the trees entice the imagination.

Overall, the business premises keep firmly to the owner’s initial resolve to leave every tree and the nearby brook where they have always been, giving rise to house-among-trees ideas. For a good reason, they are built small and disposed around the periphery of the project site. The building shell is topped with a simple gable roof made of natural materials that are friendly to the environment.

To live and let live, a native tree stands where it’s always been. Cutting it down is not a choice.

Nature lovers should find the small café in the woods a paradise, thanks to rocks being used to create a set of steps leading to the glass-glazed façade, a clever hack to create visual continuity between indoors and outdoors.

Surrounded by lush lawns and shade trees, a set of rock steps adds beauty and functionality to the building’s glass-glazed façade.

Thanks to thoughtful design, the trio of small buildings in earthy browns lies beautifully ensconced among the trees and wooded hills in the background. Day in, day out, the smell of coffee ground and roasted fresh on site induces a sense of warmth and comfort among people who feel a yearning for the mountains.

It comes as no surprise that they name it “Mitbury”, a Thai term literally translated as a place for friendly people, and in this particular case, a café built into nature that celebrates the easy, laidback lifestyles that have made Chiang Mai famous. Swing by next time you’re in town!

Architect: WOS Architects (

Interior Design: Estudio (

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Baan Noi Doi Hang: Little House on the Hill Boasts the Beauty of Work-from-Home Design

Baan Noi Doi Hang: Little House on the Hill Boasts the Beauty of Work-from-Home Design

/ Chiang Rai, Thailand /

/ Story: Nattawat Klysuban / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Rungkit Charoenwat /

It’s amazing how a small space can make a big difference. Here’s a little house on the hill located at Tambon Doi Hang in Chiang Rai’s Muang District. It’s only 35 square meters, which is no bigger than an average condominium unit in the city. But it’s location, location and location that makes it a stunning place to live. The homeowner couple wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and live somewhere out there in the countryside. Like a stroke of serendipity, their wish came true.

Little House on the hill

Theirs is a tiny home built into nature. It sits beautifully ensconced in the misty morning air and, beyond, forested mountains can be seen from miles around. It’s a calm living space designed for a remote work-from-home job and hence no time is wasted in daily rush-hour commutes.

Plus, they get to choose a way of life tailored to their needs. It’s a lifestyle pared down to the essentials thanks in part to a simple house plan, in which every square inch serves a purpose for which it’s intended.

Little House on the hill

The homeowner couple are natives of Bangkok. They had lived in other places before moving out to this northernmost corner of the country. So they pretty much had a clear picture of what they wanted in a new home plus the functionality and the size that would be right for them. They tossed the ideas around with a team of architects. And the overall result was impressive.

Little House on the hill

It’s a small house designed for two people to fit in comfortably, with a bedroom, workspace, bathroom and a kitchenette with coffee bar. It even has a closet and outdoor rooms for relaxation and al fresco cooking and dining.

Basically, it’s a small living space with many advantages. To begin with, it’s a way to avoid expensive cost overruns. It’s easy to keep clean and maintain in good condition, which translates into more time being devoted to something else more important.

Little House on the hill

A large countertop made out of hardwood is perfect for preparing favorite meals and beverages.
The closet with shelves attached to a wall has a wash basin nearby for extra convenience.

The house on a hill is positioned along the east west axis with the view of a lush landscape. The north and south sides have long eaves overhanging the walls that shield the bedroom from exposure to intense afternoon sun.

For health benefits, the architect puts in a front porch under the gable to create room to sit sipping coffee in the morning and to cook stakes in the late afternoon. The house plan is made in this way for good reason; the outdoors can impact human wellbeing. So it’s a good idea to step outside and connect with nature to reduce stress or just lean back and chill.

A floor plan illustrates relationships between spaces. / Courtesy of IS Architects
A drawing illustrates front and side elevations of the house built on sloped ground. / Courtesy of IS Architects

Little House on the hill

Little House on the hill
Multiple swing door systems are glazed using clear glass to soak up the views of lush countryside.

Like a good neighbor who cares about the community, the house was built using locally sourced materials by local builders and artisans highly skilled in woodworking and masonry.

The ingredients obtained from the locality included roofing materials, reclaimed hardwood, and cement for textured plaster walls. The builders were tasked with work according to their specialized skills so as to add countryside flair to the home.

A steel bracket connecting the house post with concrete footing helps protect against moisture damage.

Like everything else, the Northern Region is not without its challenges. It’s no stranger to air pollution caused by seasonal agricultural burning. To be prepared for all eventualities, the architect makes sure the doors and windows are impervious to dust and dirt when that happens.

Well-made swing door systems and awning windows are chosen for their effectiveness in keeping dust out. At the same time, attention to detail ensures there are no gaps between the window pane and the frame when shut.

A teakwood post supports the roof truss consisting of beams and common rafters, a collaboration between the project architect and experienced local builders.

On the whole, the little house on the hill is designed to blend perfectly with the circumstances that form the setting of the area. It’s a product of thoughtful planning by the project architect and the homeowners. And the result is a humble abode that syncs with the rhythm of life in the highlands region of Chiang Rai. Priceless!

Little House on the hill
A bird’s-eye view of the little house on the hill in relation to lush greenery in the surroundings.

Architect: IS Architects (

Lead Architect: Pawin Tharatjai

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Bao Long Office: An Old Shophouse Beautifully Renovated

Bao Long Office: An Old Shophouse Beautifully Renovated

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Quang Dam /

Major renovations have given a drafty old shophouse a new lease on life. Thanks to great remodeling ideas, the tired-looking two-unit shophouse on Su Van Hanh Street, Ho Chi Minh City, transformed into a beautiful place that struck the right balance between a business and a private residence. Designed by the architecture firm H.a + NQN, the completely refurbished premises are home to a private enterprise named Bao Long Office.

Bao Long Office

As is often the case with shophouses in Vietnam, each of the two units has a frontage of 3 meters. It’s in the shape of an elongated rectangle with a whopping 20-meter length sandwiched between adjacent units.

To create ample, well-ventilated interior space, the wall separating the two units was torn down and replaced with a newer, more modern version.

Bao Long Office’s plan was redesigned to accommodate new business concepts as well as residential and lifestyle needs. To protect the building’s structural integrity, the internal framework remained intact.

The same applied to the ground floor that housed a business selling stainless steel products. For a neat appearance, the entire front façade was glazed in, giving it charms and good looks that set it apart from others in the neighborhood. By night the face of the building is aglow under the lights.

Bao Long Office
Second-floor workspace and private living quarters are clearly separated from each other.

Bao Long Office

Decorated with healthy green foliage, the second-floor balcony provides a relaxed outdoor room and protects the home from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Located in a commercial zone, the store at ground level is understandably busy and the crowded street bustling with activity.

Climb a flight of stairs to the second floor, and you come to an impressive office space. The area on this level of Bao Long Office is divided into two parts. There’s a warm and welcoming workspace at the office on one side that’s clearly separated from private living quarters on the other.

Both parts are conveniently accessible via the balcony connected to the front façade. The second-floor outdoor platform is decorated with an oasis of calm that’s very pleasant to look at.

Ground Floor Plan Courtesy of H.a
First Floor Plan Courtesy of H.a
Second Floor Plan Courtesy of H.a


Bao Long Office
Double-height ceiling design offers open and pleasing tranquility to a long and narrow living room.

Bao Long Office

Section Drawing Courtesy of H.a

The office consists of a workroom and meeting room with simple interior décor. The walls are painted white symbolizing a new beginning and the floors covered in terrazzo.

There’s a custom work table with drafting stools that runs parallel to the wall and stretches the entire length of the room.

The atmosphere is strikingly different from the calming space of nearby private living quarters. To create a homely atmosphere, the living room has a small beverage bar with pantries customized to the homeowner’s hosting style.

At the farthest end lies a peaceful sitting area decorated with deep colors that match the dark surfaces of terrazzo floors, concrete walls, and rustic walnut furniture.

Softened by the dim light, it’s a relaxation technique to create warmth and reduce stress in the home.

Bao Long Office
The homeowner’s sitting room on the third floor is quiet and secluded.

At the same time, a section of the upper floor was taken out to make room for an entrance hall with double-height ceiling design. Not far away, a set of stairs was installed to connect to the homeowner’s secluded living quarters on the top floor.

The private residential zone comes complete with a bedroom with en suite bath, sitting room, and dressing room.

Bao Long Office

A staircase painted orange creates an unexpected playful contrast with the calmness of a small interior space.

Painted a shade of orange color, the steel staircase leads from the ground level, where the retail store is located, all the way to the private residential zone on the top floor of Bao Long Office. Its playful design is intended to express pleasure and joy in everyday life.

You got that right! It’s part of a home improvement project designed to make life more fun. It serves the primary purpose of getting house occupants from one floor to the next, and it’s done in a unique, stylish way.

Architect: H.a ( + NQN. (

The article is an excerpt from “Home Office / Home Studio,” a book that compiles ideas on integrating “home” with “workspace” to create a comfortable and suitable environment for small companies, startups, and creative individuals.

You can find it at leading bookstores throughout Thailand or order it through various online channels.


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Mountains, Shady Trees and a Riverside Home

Mountains, Shady Trees and a Riverside Home

/ Kanchanaburi, Thailand /

/ Story: Patsiri Chot / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Anupong Chaisukkasem /

On the bank of the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi we stand beneath tall trees, their canopy of robust branches and green leaves filtering sunlight into shade as a cool, comfortable breeze riffles the water. The sight of the Erawan National Park forest fills us with awe. This enchanted spot is where Dr. Suwin Kraibhubes, CEO of Beauty Community, PLC decided to build his home on the riverfront.

Riverside HomeRiverside Home

“In the old days there was a resort here, but abandoned, it fell apart.” Dr. Suwin said.

“Coming here on a visit I found myself getting excited about this panoramic mountain view, the forest preserve and the peaceful river. I hadn’t known Kanchanaburi had such a quiet, pleasant riverside woodland as this.”

Riverside Home

Dr. Suwin had always had a deep feeling for good design and home decoration. He followed this up with a lot of reading from many sources, and bought furniture and house accessories to add to his own collection and deck out this home in a style suiting this great location on the River Kwai.

Riverside Home Nature House

“I had a lot of ideas, including building on the original resort’s foundations, and found an architect to help,” further explained the owner. “With modern-style gable roofs, the shapes are reminiscent of a tobacco-curing plant.

“I didn’t want to make the house too eye-catching, but more low-key, in tune with nature, so we used strong, dark colors with natural materials such as wood, stone, and steel, materials with beautiful colors and textures of their own, that also are easy to maintain.

“The result is a relaxed retreat where we don’t stay every day, but that fits in beautifully with the natural environment.”

Riverside Home Riverside Home Riverside Home

Dr. Suwin’s personal living space is a compact riverside home on a hill directly above the water. The full residence extends across the property: another three steel-frame buildings are set in a quiet corner.

There is a separate structure in the center for use as a reception area and common dining room near a two-story house built to accommodate more family members and friends.

Riverside Home Riverside Home Nature House

He also added, “I live on the river bank for comfort. It’s a little like a greenhouse: the walls are glass and face out on the river, giving both a beautiful view and privacy.

“Mornings I really enjoy looking out from the porch. I can see everything from there, it feels like we’re in the middle of everything!”

Nature House Nature House Riverside Home

Dr. Suwin gets a lot of outdoor time here, playing in the water with the kids, kayaking, jet skiing, enjoying nature by the Tha Thung Na Dam. Sometimes in the cool evening air he sits out on a raft, socializing with his friends.

Nature House

“I really love that this house has both the mountains and the river. Outside we get the full benefits of being close to nature: almost no landscaping needed,” he summarized beautifully.

“I love the big trees the most. They give this riverside home the refreshing, shady frame.”

Owner/Decorator: Dr. Suwin Kraibhubes

Architect: Rojanin Milintanasit

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บ้านชั้นเดียวริมน้ำ กลางเขา และเงาไม้ใกล้อุทยานแห่งชาติเอราวัณ

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A Breathtaking Trio of Modern Loft-Style Homes in Bangkok

A Breathtaking Trio of Modern Loft-Style Homes in Bangkok

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Tanakitt Khum-on /

In former times as families outgrew their homes, by tradition Thais would put in more houses on the same property. They shared basic facilities and landscaping fitting together to form a cohesive whole. But this tradition has been disappearing. Nowadays, grown children move away into single-family homes of their own. In this case, though, Manit and Yanrak Manithikhun decided to build a trio of modern loft-style houses as future homes for their children on their piece of land.

The trio of modern steel framed homes are connected by the perfect pathway with a private garden in the middle.

“We knew our sons would want their private space, and we had a sizeable piece of land. We thought it would be a good idea to build three new houses right here for them in the same place,” said Manit.

“The three new buildings include one common house where the whole family can get together. It’s for entertaining guests, too. And I wanted an herb garden. Thinking forward to retirement!”

Steel frames and brick walls: the hip, unfinished “loft” look.

The three new homes were added to the existing principle house of parents that was built after the big floods hit Bangkok in 2011. The expansion plan included a private garden and common space where the family could spend time together.

It was made up of two steel framed loft-style houses for the sons and one building as a common room. By and large, it was designed to serve and filled in many parts that were missing in life, a garden and common room where the family can spend time together.

“The kids wanted the style to be simple and unfinished. The houses all have the same design, but they’ll change and take on the personalities of the families living in them,” Manit explained.

“I added the garden and shady spots. I wanted a resort-like feeling, and we have that now: garden, swimming pool, all in our own home.”

The cantilever deck that’s a part of the common building reaches out above the pool creating an impression of a home floating on water.

Besides a great family home with delightful common space, the architects also designed the house to be eco-friendly. The roofs were set at a 15-degree angle, facing south to prevent full sun exposure. All the houses – even the carports – have solar panels, reducing energy costs of the whole residence by 50%.

Solar cell panels installed on the roof at a 15-degree slant offer 50% savings on energy bills.

“We chose the steel house frame not only for speed in building, but also because there’s less noise pollution during construction than using other materials,” said house architect Piriya Techaratpong.

“Plus it gives a wider choice of forms than traditional concrete or column and beam structures, and is many times cheaper than building a concrete weight-bearing wall.

“The common house has spaced steel columns, with lightweight lines that give the impression the building is floating over the pool below. This is the elegant design we were trying for.”

The result of all this? A design that’s an expression of the unconditional love and aspirations these parents feel for their children.

Owner: Manit and Yanrak Manithikhun

Architect: Mee-D Architect Co., Ltd. ( by Piriya Techaratpong and Pawit Chuankumnerdkarn

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A Compact Home Studio Where the Old Tells a New Story

A Compact Home Studio Where the Old Tells a New Story

/ Chiang Mai, Thailand /

/ Story: Polaroid / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham / Styling: Prapaiwadee Phoksawad /

Let’s look inside a compact home studio that’s truly in a class of its own. Glass panels everywhere give it a bright and sunny personality. Interior décor features charming antiques, many redesigned with new forms and functions.

koh161206-010+ compact house
Double height room design reduces heat radiation through the glass.

Torlarp Larpjaroensook, a young and upcoming artist, founded “Gallery Seescape” in Chiang Mai, where his well-known works “Grandma’s Spaceship” and the light switch manikin “Bestto Boy” are on display.

His new pad, a very cool three-story home studio just a few steps away from an old house, stands where Torlarp and his construction team tore down what used to be a 4-by-8-meter art materials storage shed.

A tree in the bathroom! The skylight above provides natural light. Take a shower, and the drainage waters tree roots below.

The new compact house faces west to greet the old place of residence, with the two connected by a flyover walkway. It’s thoughtfully devised to give new form and function to favorite materials he’s collected. Torlarp’s idea: the narrative in things which have lasted over time will take people’s memories on trips without end.

“My first vision was a bridge between buildings which would give the feeling of being in a tree: look up, see the sky. So from the start the building had to be tall, but the most important element really was the proper use of the antiques I’d collected,” Torlarp explained.

koh161206-144+++ compact house

As the artist puts it, more than 30 percent of the new house and fittings come from the redesign of old things. “Teak, old metal: it’s all about what could be used for what, and how? Take for example an old teak door that has been repurposed as a dining table. It’s edged round with copper and refitted with rusty antique iron legs.”

sofa and dining ++

compact house

From the start, Torlarp wanted the house to be both art showroom and workshop, which is why it’s so open: installed rectangular steel frames are fit with glass to build entire walls, with a “double space” interior height, creating lines of sight giving a good view of the art work from every spot.

koh161206-0688 compact house
Attic bedroom: The east wall at the head of the bed is a clear glass window designed for waking with the morning light.

The lower level interior is divided into a painting studio, dining area/kitchen, and a sitting parlor. The second floor holds the living room and home office, while the third floor is an attic bedroom with a round skylight to allow sleeping beneath the stars and waking with the sun.

“I’m interested in architectural openings: doors, windows, etc., connecting the indoor and outdoor worlds. They’re points of change for wind, sunshine, and even people. That’s how the project started,” Torlarp explained.

The convex curvature of the kitchen countertop is a space-saver.
The convex curvature of the kitchen countertop is a space-saver.

koh161206-030-rttt compact house

Under extreme space limitations, free and comfortable living can only come from well-thought-out planning. In this particular case, the stairs were a challenge.

“The staircase is actually a showy part of the house I’m really interested in, since it’s involved with both building height and space used. It had to take up the least possible space and, at the same time, function as a piece of art right in the center of the house,” added the artist/homeowner.

“Managing materials is hard, especially using leftovers. I needed ten steel segments to make the stairs, but could only get four, so I had to scramble and rethink the whole process,” said Torlarp, smiling with pride at the end result.


Owner/Designer: Torlarp Larpjaroensook (

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A Glass House with Spectacular Mountain Views

A Glass House with Spectacular Mountain Views

/ Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

When it comes to embracing the great outdoors from within, nothing beats this house with glass walls all the way around. Aptly named “Baan Asai,” literally a house to live in, the modern living space in Nakhon Ratchasima is crafted with skill and imagination to achieve one goal – soak up the spectacular mountain views. The homeowner, Issaraporn Prasongkij, designed this residential cluster herself.


An interesting amalgam of the traditional and the modern, the two-story home was built fast thanks to advancements in metal tech industries. Metal became the primary building materials for two reasons – shorten construction time, and in turn avoid any negative impacts on the environment.



From a distance, the house looks like the coming together of three mirror cubes, each serving specific purposes. To minimize reflections on glassy and metal materials, the architect chose to cover them with hip roof design in pleasing shades of brown. The muted earth-tone colors not only gave the house a comfortable feel, but also enabled it to blend into the natural surroundings.



Because the outside walls are transparent, much of the house’s interior can be easily seen outside. The beauty of it lies in the detail of furniture, fittings, and other decorative accessories.

The owner and her husband handpicked these items for their cozy appeal, from area rugs to cushions and throw pillows to porcelain sets. They even designed some of the items themselves and had them made to specification.


To take in a panorama of the surrounding mountains, all the exterior walls are glazed using clear glass mounted on aluminum framing that takes priority over any other building materials.

The first floor living room boasts double height ceilings that rise as tall as 10 meters from the floor to the apex. Close at hand, an alfresco leisure corner and dining space with an island kitchen counter lie within easy reach from the carport.


With good reason, areas that require privacy, such as bedrooms with en suite baths, are partitioned off from the rest. The house’s two bedrooms are tucked away in the innermost part of the second floor with sweeping views of the Khao Yai Mountains.

The couple also has plans to build a community of urban residents who have come to call this part of the country home. They are looking at a form of co-housing similar to the ways of life of the Thai people in times past. It’s interesting to see how such a fascinating scene will unfold in years to come.



Owner/Designer: Issaraporn Prasongkij

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บ้านอาศรัย ความเป็นโมเดิร์นที่รายล้อมด้วยธรรมชาติ

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Aluminum House: A Bright and Airy Home with a Twist

Aluminum House: A Bright and Airy Home with a Twist

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: wanoi / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Tropical houses are known for being well-ventilated and filled with natural light, and we have come to expect that they be built the traditional way. Well, they need not be. This airy house with a twist looks cool with a beautiful swimming pool beside the living room.

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

Wanting to build a stylishly chic modern home, the owner sought the advice of Ayutt Mahasom, the architect renowned for innovative integrated design that was his signature. Obviously he came to the right place.

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

The architect started out with the form, color and texture first and foremost. All aspects of interior and exterior design were taken into account until he found the right balance.

To fulfill the owner’s wish, he designed rooms on the upper floor to appear as if they were hovering in mid-air. This was achieved by concealing supports in beams and structures that connect them to the foundation behind aluminum composite panels in black.

The result is an airy house filled with natural light that appears lightweight, while the external envelope is characterized by sharply angled architectural designs.


The front façade is the house’s most eye-catching feature. It’s built strong using aluminum board and batten siding in rich, gleaming shades of bronze.

The exterior wall panels go through mesmerizing color shifts as sunlight and temperatures change throughout the day.

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

Great looks matter, but attention to detail is just as important. The house sits on high ground 1.5 meters above street level. To conceal the difference in elevation, the architect puts in subtle steps and gentle slopes arranged in way that’s well suited to the purpose.

Taken as a whole, inspiring beautiful yards add curb appeal to the home. Nature pervades the landscape. Where appropriate, the architect puts in lush green lawns and leafy trees to create a peaceful Tropical ambience. It’s so thoughtfully designed that visitors don’t even notice the difference in ground level.

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

The hallway is lined with mirrors to make the indoor green space appear larger than it is.
The hallway is lined with mirrors to make the indoor green space appear larger than it is.

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

The house affords 1,200 square meters of living spaces divided into three separate units for the parents and their two daughters.

There is a shared poolside living room that looks like a summerhouse with 3.5-meter-high ceilings. A peaceful and relaxing place, it’s the heart of family life thanks to Ayutt taking the time to make sure the furniture selected is right and appropriate.

To avoid muddling up the general appearance of the bronze façade, the architect chose only pieces in light colors in keeping with the modern minimalist-style home.

All things considered, the house is elegantly fashionable. It’s light and airy, and it’s made for comfortable living taking into account the climate of Tropical regions

Stunning Airy House with a Twist /// LivingASEAN

Architect: Ayutt Mahasom of Ayutt and Associates Design (AAd) (

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Siri House: From Ordinary Shophouses to a Charming Family Co-living Space

Siri House: From Ordinary Shophouses to a Charming Family Co-living Space

/ Bangkok, Thailand

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

/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /

Who would have thought a pair of shophouses lacking interest and imagination could turn into a pleasant family co-living home? Only recently the shophouse duo located on Surawong Road in the heart of Bangkok’s downtown was tastefully renovated as a shared residential community model. The result is a co-living space and place of business integration that’s well designed, full of life and energy.

Co-living space

The place of residence aptly named “Siri House” is the brainchild of the Bangkok-based architectural firm IDIN Architects Co., Ltd. Architect Jeravej Hongsakul is the driving force behind the design and renovation project. He attributed the firm’s success to its ability to reinterpret co-living spaces from entirely different perspectives.

Co-living space
The building’s diamond-shape façade bears the distinctive hallmarks of the family’s jewelry business. Plus, it highlights the three design considerations that create an effective and attractive composition – the qualities of being direct, clean and outstanding.
Flashback. The early stage before the renovation project takes physical form.

There’s a solution to every challenge,” said Jiravej. When horizontal living is no longer the suitable choice in an urban setting, the idea of vertical living comes in handy so as to combine residential and social areas in one coherent whole. And in this particular case, the only way to build is upwards.

In essence, it’s about creating a happy, healthy and thriving home, and hence the name “Siri House” meaning the place of prosperity.

Co-living space


The family living space on the top floor consists of a dining room and nearby sitting area holding a home theater and spaces for relaxation.

Co-living space

A new landmark on Surawong, the building with a distinctive facade belongs to Suree Sirivatjanangkun who shares the co-living space with her siblings.

On the emotional bonds between the people and the place, she said, “We figured it should also be an office for our family business. It’s better to live and work together as one extended family, a big family in the business neighborhood.

Co-living space
The house has four private residential units accessible via the entrance hall illuminated by natural light.


“We wanted a living space that is warm and welcoming, the kind that provides a modern living atmosphere in which family members interact and socialize with one another. Everyone needs a place and time to unwind and still wants to see and care for each other. To me, that’s co-living.” Suree continued.

“Precisely, we wanted a design that’s inclusive, in which every one live together sharing a co-living space, not the type that’s divided into different floors, one floor per person. That would be no different than living separately.”

Co-living space

With this in mind, Jeravej came up with a solution. “I designed each residential unit to be able to stand alone and is fully functional. I paid attention to detail in each component, from the living room, bedroom and workspace, to the double volume leisure room, bathroom and kitchen, and made sure they fitted together in an effective and practical way.

“Because it’s a good-sized place with lots of functions, I needed to manage them very carefully. To improve traffic flow in the home, each residential unit is accessible via the main hallway that allows plenty of natural light into the interior. And by design, each unit is unique in its own special way.”

Co-living space
Bedroom windows at the rear of the building open to relaxing greenery. Nearby, a clean, uncluttered workspace is peacefully ensconced behind the diamond-shaped façade overlooking the street in front, a scene reminiscent of a cafe-esque view.
Co-living space
The family business operation on the first floor offers customer reception seating in deep blue that calls to the mind feelings of calmness and stability. Nearby, a lightweight spiral staircase leads to meeting rooms on the mezzanine.


The homeowner wrapped it up nicely. Siri House will always be home to the close-knit siblings who live and work here. To them, it doesn’t matter it’s built for horizontal or vertical living arrangements. More so than anything else, it’s about living a lifestyle centered around family relationship, a good quality of life, and being in a location that’s great for doing business.

Bottom line, the mid-city co-living space is named “Siri House” for obvious reasons. To do business, you need Siri. It’s a word meaning prosperity and the quality conducive to success. You get the idea.

Co-living space

Co-living space

Architect: IDIN Architects Co.,Ltd. (

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A Modern Steel Home Promotes Wellness through Reconnecting with Nature

A Modern Steel Home Promotes Wellness through Reconnecting with Nature

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Supachart Boontang / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

The design of this modern steel house fosters a harmonious relationship between man and mother nature. What presents itself as a chic, cubic steel structure draws its inspiration from traditional homes in the neighborhood and the lifestyles characteristic of the people in a locality.

Modern Steel House
The materials selected for this house are primarily recycled. The use of steel structures enables rapid construction, aligning seamlessly with the Dry Process approach.

For the most part, the house is made of recycled building materials adapted to suit a new use. Among them is the steel structural framing that reduces building time and noise pollution on the job site, making it suitable for dry construction.

The homeowner, Thitiwoot Chaisawataree, who is an architect and professor of architecture at Kasetsart University, shared the following with us:

“My parents wanted to transform the storage building at the back of their house into a relaxation room for hosting friends and relatives. The renovation plan involved dismantling and repurposing parts of the old structures that were no longer needed.

“The plan also emphasized adapting materials from past projects for use in a different purpose. They included hollow cement blocks, glazed tiles, electrical switches and outlets, paint, cast iron decorations, spiral staircases and steel rod fencing. And as the result of all this, a bright and airy modern steel home was created.”

Modern Steel House
The area beneath the house is spacious and well-ventilated. A long wood bench securely mounted on H-shaped steel framing is a perfect addition to the entrance of the building.

To lower humidity and enhance air circulation in the home, the floor was elevated to a plinth height above the natural ground level. Hardwood flooring materials were scarce. It was fortunate that the homeowner had purchased these materials and stored them for eight years prior.

They included wood planks 20 inches wide, 2 inches thick and 5 meters long that were used to build hardwood flooring. The design stipulated that none should be cut. One advantage of reclaimed timber is its low humidity content and reduced vulnerability to insect infestations.

Modern Steel House
Lightweight building materials were chosen since the renovated home rests on the original, long-standing foundation. The foundation sits on older pilings, which are shorter and have a limited weight-bearing capacity.
Modern Steel House
The master bedroom boasts a variety of features, ranging from a workspace and sitting area to a cozy nook for relaxation.

The newly renovated home, spanning approximately 100 sq. m., is spread over two floors. The ground floor encompasses the primary open-plan living area. The second floor, which can be reached through a staircase outside the first-floor corridor, houses a bedroom, sitting room, workspace, and bathroom.

The architect, reflecting on his project, said: “Despite the ceilings being lower than usual at around 2.30 meters, the sitting area feels spacious. It draws inspiration from traditional Thai-style homes which prioritize creating living spaces in harmony with the environment, rather than emphasizing decorative elements.

“With this in mind, even a box-shaped house can be adapted to incorporate such design principles.”

Modern Steel House Bangkok
Reclaimed wood planks find a new use as flooring materials on the first level. The use of movable furniture allows for future updates to meet the changing needs for space.

Speaking of the current trend in urban design, the homeowner wrapped up his perspective about this modern steel house very nicely.

“I’ve observed that today, we often face challenges in integrating the environment seamlessly into our home design. We’ve distanced ourselves so much from nature and, consequently, become more reliant on energy for various necessities, such as air conditioning and insulation.

“It seems we’re prioritizing the aesthetics of our home’s exterior over a design that naturally shields us from environmental factors. Over time, when we realize that the house doesn’t meet our needs, we consider expanding our living spaces. Ill-conceived designs can sometimes result in aesthetically displeasing outcomes.”

[Left] The contrast of orange with black enlivens the interior living spaces. / [Right] A perforated cement block wall promotes effective air circulation.

“Specifically for the Thai lifestyle, a comfortable home is one that’s tailored to the needs of its residents. Even better if the functional spaces are adaptable, allowing for potential future expansions.

“Simultaneously, the Tropical hot and humid climate of Thailand should be a primary consideration in home design. Comfortable interiors stem from design that harmoniously coexist with nature. Well-conceived floor plans ensure optimal air circulation and offer protection from the elements. It’s advisable to steer clear of materials that retain excessive heat.”

Modern Steel House

Modern steel house
Like sunshine after rain, the interior spaces evoke memories of traditional Thai houses from days gone by.

Owner/Architect: Thitiwoot Chaisawataree

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