Blog : Glass House

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

/ Lopburi, Thailand /

/ Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun, Sarayut Sreetip-ard / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul / Styling: Jeedwonder /

Deep study of local architectural lore and analysis of locale-specific environmental and climatic conditions combined to create this house of fluid chic modern lines mixed into a look that clearly suggests the traditional Thai house.

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era
Thick walls around the house match the design of the building itself. Note the fine interplay of diagonals between the wall and roof.

The owner wanted to provide his parents with a home where they could enjoy the ways of life of a new era. His first thought was to create a modern-style house with all customary functionality.

Combining the good points of old and new, the result is a single-story resort-style house with a contemporary look and a relaxed atmosphere reinforced by a swimming pool.

With a usable area of 700 square meters, the house takes the shape of the letter “U,” filling a wide space the architect tightened up for the sake of intimacy: family members feel in closer touch with each other.

The openness makes for good air circulation, yet acts as a divider between common areas of the living and dining room and a more private side. The roof reminds us of a traditional gabled Thai house, but the gable is clearly steeper and higher.

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

“Thai gabled roofs come in many forms,” said the architect, “but if the gable faced any way but front it wouldn’t be pretty, since it would make roof look unbalanced. From the side the sharply-sloping “lean-to roof” offers a rectangle.

“The house faces south to catch the wind, but also gets sun there, so the gable has to provide shade, and the eaves extend further out. Especially at the end the roof rises even higher, providing more welcoming open space in front of the house, an eye-catching feature with a contemporary look that also provides needed functionality.”

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

The high gables not only help protect against southern exposure to sun, but also build a characteristic aesthetic of this home continuous with interior building design elements.

The “U” shape leaves a space in the middle used as an open courtyard that holds the swimming pool and a gorgeous tree. Every point in the house looks out on it through the surrounding glass walls, connecting everyone with the courtyard and with each other.

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era
A pattern on the glass door with black laser-cut MDF paneling that helps filter light adds an air of mystery to the house interior.

From the exterior, the architectural design flows inside into the interior in a play of shapes and lines.

The interior ceiling opens up into the gable-shaped steel frame where the hardness of the steel is reduced with the use of wood, again reminding us that this is a Thai home.

The furniture blends right in, shapes with modern simplicity and a lot of wood in the mix adding a sense of relaxation to this Modern Thai House.

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era
Dining corner and pantry with sliding walls that close or open wide to make the space one with the porch and swimming pool
Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era
Open, airy walls framed with black aluminum and clear glass rising up to the ceiling, showcasing the continuity between the internal and external roof structure
Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era
On the bedroom-side, rooms open to the east, onto the pool, nice catching the morning light. A walkway edging the pool shortcuts from the bedroom porch directly into the common area.

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era


Landscape Architect: Lana Studio

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Inspiring Container Home with a Tropical Garden View

Inspiring Container Home with a Tropical Garden View

/ Bali, Indonesia /

/ Story: Samutcha Viraporn / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

The owner of this container house in Canggu, a resort town on the Indonesian island of Bali, began trying out a design concept with the intention of building a temporary home but, as luck would have it, he ended with a permanent family residence.

Designer/architect Andika Japa Wibisana, of the Studio Tana’s said the homeowner wanted to build a house and small office here, but the owner of the land wouldn’t sell. So he decided to put in a container home in case he would have to move and build elsewhere. The designer envisioned the possibilities, and came up with a house plan that answered the needs of all family members.

Container House with a Tropical Garden View

The design places smaller boxes inside a large box, the larger one a steel and glass frame, enabling creation of double walls that reduce sunlight and outside heat. The interior is composed of eighteen shipping containers, some opened up for a spacious, L-shaped central living area with a high ceiling.

“Family members from Jakarta come to visit sometimes, so the living room opens out to connect with the garden, where some vegetable plots are set aside for children’s use,” said Andika.

The property is lower than the road in front, making this container house about a half-story lower than street level, with the garden behind it gradually sloping further down. Looking up from the garden, the house appears to be set on a hill of fresh green grass. This beautiful atmosphere is enhanced by the gurgling of a nearby small stream.

The building’s left section holds an office and stairway, with that spacious open-plan living room to the right and service areas behind it. Above, the shipping container near the garden projects outward for a better view of the green space: here is the master bedroom.

Another section divides containers into kitchen and dining room. Interior décor here has lost the industrial look: ceiling and walls are surfaced white, with real wood taking away the rawness of the steel.

Plants grow by the glass wall as protection against heat.

On the other wing, the second floor holds two more bedrooms, one container used for one room. The entire second story lies under a sharply sloping steel roof that forms an eave for protection against too much sun and rain. Beneath is a balcony with a long walkway connecting to the building’s outer porch, all of exmet (expanded metal grating) for an attractive play of light and shadow below.

Even though some steel houses have a harsh look, this one is designed in response to a Tropical lifestyle, with industrial materials combined in a way that gives an Oriental look to the big 18- container home. Together they create convenience and comfort, meshing perfectly with the beautiful garden.

The front door divides the house left and right. Right is the office section, blocked off by a ridged container wall.
The front door divides the house left and right. Right is the office section, blocked off by a ridged container wall.
Large, spacious living room within a steel and glass frame that lets the sun in only in the morning. The tall ceiling helps reduce the heat. Evenings here are great for socializing.
Large, spacious living room within a steel and glass frame that lets the sun in only in the morning. The tall ceiling helps reduce the heat. Evenings here are great for socializing.
Another living room wall. On the ground floor is a washing area and bathroom. Clearly visible above is an arrangement of containers within the large steel frame.
Another living room wall. On the ground floor is a washing area and bathroom. Clearly visible above is an arrangement of containers within the large steel frame.
Container House with a Tropical Garden View
Spacious interior open area. Upstairs is a kitchen/pantry, dining area, and living space. The interior décor is in earth tones.
In the bedroom where the designer’s intent is to reduce the harshness of the steel with woodwork the walls and ceiling are white, as in an ordinary house. Utility systems are hidden in the pipe-like ceiling divider: the entire ceiling is not lowered, because of the height limitation of shipping containers.
In the bedroom, where the designer’s intent is to reduce the harshness of the steel with woodwork, the walls and ceiling are white, as in an ordinary house. Utility systems are hidden in the pipe-like ceiling divider: the entire ceiling is not lowered, because of the height limitation of shipping containers.
The kitchen/pantry in a container on the second storey, with a structural dividing post in the middle.
The kitchen/pantry is in a container on the second floor, with a structural dividing post in the middle.

Architect: Studio Tana by Andika Japa Wibisana

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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

Visit the original Thai article…

บ้านชั้นเดียวริมน้ำ กลางเขา และเงาไม้ใกล้อุทยานแห่งชาติเอราวัณ

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A House Under the Pines in Vietnam

A House Under the Pines in Vietnam

/ Hanoi, Vietnam /
/ Story: Sara’ / English version: Peter Montalbano / Photographs: Triệu Chiến /

This modern house under the pines is nestled in forested hills, surrounded by green grass and tree-studded scenery that provides privacy and accents its harmony with the natural setting.

Modern House

This house was designed by a Vietnamese team from Idee Architects, whose priorities involved respecting the former environment instead of leveling the hill and responding to the simplicity of the owner’s lifestyle.

This they managed with an “open space” concept in a home full of modern conveniences that still stays close to nature, washed in the sunlight that streams in through the pine woods.

Modern House

The house is built on two levels, the lower section holding a carport/garage and multipurpose room, and the upper level with a living room, kitchen, and four bedrooms set atop a piney hill with a magnificent view on three sides.

Interior colors are dominated by natural-looking mid-tone colors: whites, blacks, greys, and browns, conveying natural warmth and tranquility.

The “focus and flow” design creates points of interest with a play of straight, horizontal, and vertical lines laid against the curves of the drive.

modern house modern house

Three-meter eaves project out from the house to offer increased protection from Vietnam’s heavy rain and bright sunlight.

The house is designed in the shape of a slightly unbalanced “T” with a “semi-outdoor” pathway reaching all around. Except for the outdoor shower belonging to the master bedroom, on good-weather days doors and windows on every side of the house can be opened to let the air flow through.

A corridor on the west side acts as heat insulation for the bedroom, an elegant simplicity in design that creates balance between static and dynamic elements in the house.

The bedroom’s spaciousness shows dynamism, with the static element expressed through its privacy and sense of peace and quiet.

The house is securely tucked away in greenery, as the building was actually designed to blend in with the trees that were already present.

The big grass lawn out in front of the living room and bedrooms provides a great playground for the kids without blocking the idyllic view from inside.

modern house modern house modern house modern housemodern house modern house modern house

The house structure is made primarily of authentic materials like steel, brick, and glass, whose lightness makes for easier adjustments when encountering problems combining them in construction while helping reduce living expenses and minimize negative effects on the original land.

Future energy use is optimized with the wide roof’s facilitation of solar energy storage as well as through clean water and the cultivation of vegetables, all of which truly support a comfortable and relaxing lifestyle.

Architect: Idee Architects

House Around a Tree: A House amid Fresh Air of Pak Chong

House Around a Tree: A House amid Fresh Air of Pak Chong

/ Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand /

/ Story: Wutthikon Sutthiapha / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Not many places make us feel comfortable every time we visit. It’s wonderful when a person’s own home is like this “House around a tree” at Baan Rai Thaw Si in the fresh mountain air of Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima.

An airy, open view from outside. Glass exterior and angled second floor make the house appear lighter.

Pui, the owner, became attached to Baan Rai Thaw Si when her mother used to come for meditation at nearby Baan Boon with the monk Shaun Jayasaro.

“She brought me here and I liked it,” said the owner.

“She wanted a country house, so here we are!”

The large tree stands in the center, a natural connection for people going from one part of the house to another.


Pui’s mother adds, “We built here for a lot of reasons. As Bangkok people, we feel safe living in a project, where neighbors watch out for each other, and this is a peaceful, comfortable atmosphere.”

This was certainly clear to our team. Most households are also involved with meditation, adding to the pleasant ambience.

Nature and house are imaginatively connected with the tree in the center, walkways inside and outside woven into a single path as in a classic Japanese style.
Multifunction walkway connecting the generations — Pui’s mother does walking meditation, but at other times grandkids run and play all around it

“We wanted a house where we could retire when we got old,” continued Pui.

“And Mother is making plans now. Rutjanamphon Ketkasemsuk – also known as Tang – is a university designer and architect whose designs we liked, and he created this open, airy house.”

The tree in the center leads into the reception parlor and gives the house a feeling of natural warmth.
The kitchen connects the dining area with the guest rooms, illustrating an “open plan” that facilitates family and group activities.

Tang’s design includes rooms for overnight guests, access to natural surroundings, and easy maintenance.

From the front, we get a wide view of the house, which blends right in with the natural environment. The first floor has floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, and a walkway surrounds it and also serves as a porch.

The second-storey angled roof panels make the house look lighter, and the color combination of white and gray adds to a proper, orderly look, making the tall tree in the center stand out, echoing the beautiful natural surroundings.

Young Poon and Pan’s bedroom, bright furniture colors against simple white walls and gray drapes. The bed has drawers for storing toys.

Interior décor is simple, partly because this is a vacation home, but also because the owners prefer it that way.

Furniture is movable, though there’s a built-in kitchen.

Floor and ceiling are dark-colored artificial wood, creating dimensional contrast with the glass frames, reflecting the natural world outside and creating a warm indoor atmosphere, especially in the evening when sun shining in through the trees creates breezy patterns on the white inside walls.

Easygoing décor in Pui and Nu’s room: white, with an angled ceiling slanting down to Pui’s pleasure-reading armchair.

The two wings of the house stand separated by a tall tree in the center.

One wing is like a small hostel, with eight guest beds; the other is the family wing, with Pui’s mother downstairs and bedrooms for Pui and her husband, with their kids on the second storey.

This “house around a tree” reflects the living arrangement and the comfort and happiness of living close to nature while coming together as a family.

Children behind the house, where sunflowers, okra, and other plants grow – beginnings of a kitchen vegetable garden where a greenhouse may someday be built.

Architect: Sook Architects

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A Retro Loft House with Colonial Accents in Selangor

A Retro Loft House with Colonial Accents in Selangor

/ Petaling Jaya, Malaysia /

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

/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /

Situated in Selangor state, Malaysia, the three-storey retro loft house redesigned by Ramesh Seshan is the one with endless possibility.

Retro Loft House
High ceilings and tall sliding glass brighten and enlarge the appearance of the living room.

Lee Kok Choong, the owner wished to turn the original space into a loft residence.

To serve the requirement, Seshan rethought the entire materials and design strategies. Unornamented concrete finishes and exposed brick walls become the center of attention. Rough textures were accentuated while retro Chinese style detailing was added.

The central court features a serene carp fish pond. The mellifluous sound of water fits in well with its loft atmosphere.
Retro Loft House
The concrete spiral staircase in the hallway stands ready to extend a warm welcome to the second-floor living spaces.
For a lightweight look, concrete flooring on the bridge is replaced by thick tempered glass panels.

The building is now rich in outstanding features. The Hong Kong colonial-inspired opening area adorns the second floor. Geometric-shaped ceramic tile was custom-made for flooring, which matched well with wrought iron detailing on safety handrails.

The façade is covered by rustic-style panels resembling those from a so-called Jawa‘s spacecraft in Star Wars.

Its spiral staircase is interestingly crafted from naked concrete and black metal meshes, reflecting an industrial loft style.

The main kitchen is located next to the living area for convenience. The floor is covered in smooth, green marble, while exposed bricks add a hint of interest to nearby walls.

Each floor has its own character. Flooring on the ground level is covered with green marble imported from India, while Rosa Levanto or red marble adds a bold personality to the living room on the second floor.

The third floor is unexpectedly switched to various concrete surfaces. The interior also comes with a fun twist.

Instead of using bar stools, vintage barber chairs are placed in front of a bar counter. An antique cabinet and aged décor items are also in use here.

Retro Loft House
Concrete spiral stairs lead to living spaces on the second and third floors.

The U-shaped floor plan features a central court that opens to natural light. The light and airy atmosphere is further enhanced by large glass doors.

Even though the design was influenced by many styles and the house was invested in different materials, the architect had finally managed to keep the overall retro loft look in unity.

It’s safe to say the house is both comfortable and, at the same time, unique.

Huge rust-colored panels serve as blinds for the spacious en suite bedroom.
Different color marble floors mark the boundaries between the bedroom and the adjoining bath.
Retro Loft House
The opening area on the second floor is inspired by the traditional way of life in old Hong Kong. The Blank and white stripe bamboo blinds are influenced by a popular design during Malaysian colonial period.
Retro Loft House
The Modern Malaysia House design brings out cool personality of the Retro-Loft style inspired by the Colonial way of life in old Hong Kong.

Owner: Lee Kok Choong

Architect: Seshan Design by Ramesh Seshan

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A Well-Ventilated Modern Bamboo House in Malaysia

A Well-Ventilated Modern Bamboo House in Malaysia

/ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Owner: Fung Kai Jin

Architect: Design Unit Architects Sdn. Bhd.

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M11 House: A Comfy Minimalist House in HCMC

M11 House: A Comfy Minimalist House in HCMC

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

/ Story: Skiixy / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Located in a suburban area, this minimalist house has plenty of ample space for a family. The owner reaches out to A21 Studio group of architects to design the place.

Minimalist House
Double-space design ideas make the interior very open and airy, allowing plenty of natural light to illuminate all the way to the ground floor.

This minimalist house incorporated many natural features. The ground floor interior appears open, airy and uncluttered, using glass to divide the room area. A green oasis in the center court can be seen in full view from anywhere. The cozy innermost section is a private area designed to accommodate visiting acquaintances.

The ground-floor bedroom is located in the cozy innermost section, separated from the rest by a wood lattice.
Minimalist House
Tall glass walls on the terrace let plenty of sunshine into to interior. A built-in bed is illuminated by soft lights.

Double-space design boasts a sense of virtual unity within the first and the second floor. A kid’s homework room and a sitting room on the second floor can be either connected or separated as needed. On the third floor is where a home gym and a bathtub are located and nicely furnished for a good rest after a long day.

The stairwell leading to the third floor lets plenty of sunlight into the interior.
The atmosphere inside the second-floor sitting room is uncluttered. A verdant center court can be seen behind the television set.

The highlights of the clean-cut interior are gloss finish concrete floors, glass room dividers, and solid walls painted in polite colors. Streamlined furniture makes for comfortable living in a Minimalist style.

Minimalist House
A minimal built-in sofa is a part of the living room, a simple layout resulting in the least amount of disruption.
The bathroom is enclosed in clear glass panels to create a sense of connectedness with the rest of the private area.

The least disruption of airflow makes it possible to do without turning on the air condition. That means saving on electricity and other energy-related expenses.

A small garden is visible from every point of view.
Wood lattice effectively separates the kitchen from the corridor without disrupting air circulation.

The ordinary creation to answer the homeowner’s needs is achieved here. With an environmental consciousness and a minimalist house design, the home gives residents a better living.

Minimalist House
The bedroom is in the snug innermost part of the house. Tall glass walls allow natural light to illuminate the interior.
A spare parking area is set aside for future needs. A tree is already put in place to provide a canopy.

Architect: A21 Studio

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