Blog : internal courtyard

ACH House: An Airy, Bright and Well Composed Indonesian Home

ACH House: An Airy, Bright and Well Composed Indonesian Home

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kanamon Najaroen / English version: Bob Pitakwong

/ Photographs: Ernest Theofilu /

Here’s a narrow lot airy Indonesian home beautifully nestled in the south of Jakarta. Named “ACH House”, it’s simple yet strikingly contemporary in appearance. A brick façade in rustic reds adds visual interest and texture to the exterior. To create a calm and peaceful living space, the house plan is divided into two parts with a lush courtyard in between that increases natural ventilation and daylight streaming into the interior.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home
A façade of bricks laid at a 45-degree angle adds a classic, timeless look to the home exterior, a perfect complement to nearby concrete walls in cool-toned white.

The south-facing property gets the most natural light during the day, plus heavy rainfall that varies with the seasons. To deal with the problem, the architects rose to the challenge by creating a perforated façade of red bricks laid at a 45-degree angle to keep the heat out and let fresh outdoor air into the home.

In the meantime, tiny vents in the wall let trapped moisture escape into the air and evaporate. This enables the building envelope to withstand wear and damage over a long period of time, while the classic color and texture blends with nearby concrete walls in cool-toned whites.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home

A flight of stairs on the left side of the house plan leads to the main living area on the second floor.

Walk in the door, and you find the home made up of two buildings separated by a lush center courtyard with a swimming pool. It’s a layout that strikes the right balance between the south-facing front building that holds service areas and a carport, and the building at the rear that provides quiet, more secluded living spaces.

The center courtyard offers many benefits. Among other things, it lets natural light and breezes into the home, thereby reducing heat trapped inside, a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home

ACH House is a well thought out two-story home. The first floor has all the service spaces located in the front building; they include a carport, storage, washing and laundry, plus a domestic employee’s lodging. At the same time, the building at the rear contains children’s rooms, study room and bedroom for houseguests.

Floor Plans. / Courtesy of Wiyoga Nurdiansyah Architects

A side elevation drawing shows spatial relationships on the left side, top, and the right side of the house, bottom. / Courtesy of Wiyoga Nurdiansyah Architects

The second floor holds the main living areas easily accessed via a flight of stairs on the left side of the house plan. The front building has a prayer room and the primary bedroom with a bathroom en suite.

On the other side of the pool, the building at the rear holds a roomy sitting space with a kitchen and dining room. For added convenience, all the upstairs living areas can also be reached via an outdoor ramp on the right side of the house plan.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home

The primary bedroom is upstairs in the front building overlooking a swimming pool and wood deck connecting to the living room at the rear of the house plan.

Taking everything into account, it’s an airy Indonesian home that embraces the beauty of simplicity. The house is built using materials readily available in the locality.

There is one exception. Its gable roof is adapted for use in a new environment. It’s made asymmetrical for good reason. The steep pitch roof facing outward provides excellent water drainage, sending rainwater straight to the front yard and backyard gardens below.

In the meantime, the reasonable pitch roof facing inward allows rainwater to flow away gently onto the center courtyard garden, an easy hack to protect against flooding.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home
Seen from the primary bedroom, the kitchen and pantry, left, and main living area, right, are easily accessible via a wood deck by the swimming pool. At extreme right, an outdoor ramp connects to the front yard below.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home
Asymmetrical gable roof design. A high pitch roof makes the interior feel more spacious, increases ventilation and is more effective in shedding rainwater.

The design team wraps it up nicely. Despite its narrow frontage to the street, ACH House is made for calm and peaceful living. It’s very well composed to form a beautiful whole with all the spaces and functionality needed to fill the heart with happiness.

Plus, there’s a sense of open-air space that comes from having a lively green center courtyard and balance in interior design. Together they work in tandem to provide the peace of mind for whatever the future may hold.

ACH HOUSE airy indonesian home
There is beauty in simplicity. This airy Indonesian home is built of materials readily available in the locality, including deep red bricks and cement.

Architect: Wiyoga Nurdiansyah, of Wiyoga Nurdiansyah Architects (

Design Team: Adecya Louis Azzahro, Ananda Trisiana, Mohammad Diky Priatna

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MA Architects Office: Integrating Natural Features in Workspace Design

MA Architects Office: Integrating Natural Features in Workspace Design

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Paul Phan /

Overcrowding conditions in Ho Chi Minh City have given rise to both challenges and opportunities for the design team at MA Architects, a homegrown architectural practice in Vietnam. Back in the day, their office was on rental property with little to no room for flexibility. Albeit equipped with air conditioning and modern conveniences, the small workspace was lacking fresh air and ventilation, a far cry from the environment conducive to a relaxed atmosphere and creativity.

Coconut fiber coverings shield parts of the roof for best interior lighting and insulation.
The front façade in cool-toned gray stands sandwiched between a vacant lot and a tall building on the street corner.

Because of that, they decided to break out of the confined space into a home of their own. The new office stands sandwiched between two properties, a tall building on one side and a vacant lot on the other. Its front yard landscape is infused with green foliage.

Thoughtfully devised, the design atelier with an awesome cool gray façade is open to plenty of sunlight and fresh outdoor air plus trees and shrubbery. And the result of all this: a workplace ambience free from disturbance, one that’s good for staff’s ability to create and stay focused on their tasks.

The hallway holds a reception room that’s light and airy.

Bringing the outdoors inside, the office holds workspaces set on concrete slabs along one side and a strip of sand earth for in-ground gardening on the other.

The small, 100-square-meter office space is nestled in a peaceful city neighborhood. It occupies the full extent of a rectangular shaped lot measuring 5 by 20 meters.

The building has a narrow frontage to the street. Its external envelope is built of brick masonry plastered to form a smooth hard surface. In front of it, a small earthen terrace hemmed in by lush greenery provides a neat appearance.

An isometric drawing shows three principal dimensions of architectural features with elements of nature integrated in interior design. / Courtesy of MA Architects
An architectural drawing shows the positioning of natural elements in relation to upstairs and downstairs rooms. / Courtesy of MA Architects
In cross section, a side elevation drawing illustrates cross air flow patterns through the workspaces and under the roof. / Courtesy of MA Architects
Flashback: A photo collage shows stages of construction in chronological order. / Courtesy of MA Architects

Downstairs, a spacious workplace lies connected to a woodworking shop in the back of the building. The meeting room is upstairs that’s open to allow plenty of natural daylight and cool breezes into the interior.

Overhead, the trusses that support the roof are made entirely of timber covered by transparent corrugated roofing materials for best indoor lighting. Where appropriate, sections of the roof are protected by dry coconut fiber coverings for insulation from the sun’s harsh glare.

A woodworking shop occupies the back room, from which a staircase leads to the second-floor meeting room.
The woodworking shop lies on the earth floor with a kitchen and bathroom at the farthest end.

Because when it rains it pours in the Tropics, it makes perfect sense to plaster the entire building envelope. The hard and smooth surface goes to work protecting the building from extreme heat and wet weather all year round.

Although relatively small in size, the office interior crafted of wood is impressive thanks to an open-concept, well-ventilated layout. While dry coconut fiber coverings over the roof make the interior feel cool and dry, the uncovered part works like a skylight turning indoors into a well-lighted place.

Besides light and wind, the architect also integrated other elements of nature in the design, among them earthen floors that cover parts of the ground level. Only the workspace and kitchen floors are made of concrete slabs for ease of use and safety.

Nearby, earthen floors add a warm, natural feel to the interior with plenty of room for growing plants in-ground. As the architect puts it, being in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city, anything that brings a touch of nature, however small, is priceless.

The second-floor meeting room is open to natural daylight and connects to the trees.

A building material of choice, earthen flooring makes it possible to fill the interior with healthy green foliage along the entire wall. Earth and sand absorb and release some moisture, which contributes to a relaxed indoor ambience.

At the same time, vegetation in the front yard and decorative indoor plants both in ground and in containers go to work in tandem keeping the new office building cool and cozy just like home.

Architect: MA Architects (

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Tile House: Façades of Glimmering Tiles with a Story to Tell

Tile House: Façades of Glimmering Tiles with a Story to Tell

/ Lam Dong, Vietnam /

/ Story: Kanamon Najaroen / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki /

This eye-catching home with a glimmering tile façade is situated in Bao Loc, a town in Lam Dong Province on Vietnam’s Central Highlands. It stands surrounded by buildings made of concrete and metal scattered across the cityscape, calling to the mind the image of a hot and dry summer. The house is roofed over with ceramic tiles in subdued orange that fill the upper half of the external envelope. On the whole, it’s design that expresses the homeowner’s playful personality, curiosity and desire to do something new and different.

Tile House Vietnam

But the outer appearance seemingly lacking in vitality belies the fact that the interior is bright, airy and comfortable. Walk in the door, and surprise! There’s a lively courtyard at the center of the house plan illuminated by a rooftop skylight. The rooms are disposed around the plant-filled area enclosed by the walls, while rock garden ideas add visual interest to the interior landscape.

Far from being hot and stuffy, it serves as communal space that’s the heart of family life. It provides play room and a conducive learning environment for kids. For aging grandma and grandpa, it brings a special kind of pleasure — the joy of grand-parenting.

Tile House Vietnam
The house façade is covered in terracotta tiles in subdued orange, the same materials used for roofing.
Serving for camouflage, louver winders with angled slats blend perfectly into the façades of glimmering tiles. They are part of passive design strategies for lighting, cooling and ventilation in the home.

To maximize space utilization and for the privacy of this house and its next door neighbors, the architect decided in favor of a home plan that occupies the full extent of the land. The result is a curious amalgam of regular and irregular geometric shapes that make up a series of seemingly windowless facades.

From the outside, it portrays an image of a complex house plan, kind of a single-story home with a mezzanine. But inside, the interior space is neatly planned every step of the way from the courtyard floor to the circular skylight on the rooftop.

The overall effect is impressive, thanks to open-concept design that creatively divides rooms without using building walls. At the rear of the house, sliding patio doors open to a small private garden that’s calm and peaceful, a perfect sight to create deep relaxation.

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam
The center courtyard illuminated by a rooftop skylight connects all the rooms in the house.

There is more. To maintain the lush Tropical feel of the courtyard in a hot climate, most people simply water their plants using tap water that comes out of the faucets. That’s not the case here. To save water, the architect chose a different course of action.

They brought the outdoors into the home and put it work watering the plants when it rains. In doing so, they made the corrugated tile roof incline inward toward the center of the house plan, whereby harvested rainwater is directed to the courtyard and out via an underground conduit.

This eliminates the need for installing the gutters and downspouts on the outside of the building, a clever hack to protect neighboring houses from a splash back during rain.

Master Plan / Courtesy of The Bloom
First Floor Plan / Courtesy of The Bloom
Entresol Plan / Courtesy of The Bloom
Section / Courtesy of The Bloom

For the most part, the living spaces are on the ground floor, except for a small mezzanine that’s the children’s bedroom.

For a relaxed indoor ambience, the ceiling is painted a cool-toned white. The tall side wall that reaches all the way to the roof truss has a large semi-circle window that admits natural daylight and fresh outdoor air into the room. Overall, the house is roomy and well-ventilated, thanks to double height living spaces.

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam
The interior is light and airy, thanks to openings in the building façade where roof trusses meet the bearing wall.

Viewed from outside, a trio of louver windows with angled slats fixed at intervals blend perfectly into the façade covered in orange tiles. They are the same materials as those used to build the house’s corrugated terracotta roofing. The louver windows are part of passive design strategies that utilize the natural environment to provide lighting, cooling and ventilation to the building.

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam

The children’s bedroom on the mezzanine is spacious and airy, thanks to a large window and double height ceiling.
Tile House Vietnam
An operable glass wall system separates the bedroom from a small private garden, creating a spectacular space for relaxation.

The external envelope covered in orange tiles is the biggest factor that gives this house curb appeal. Among other things, terracotta tiles are the materials of choice the architect picked for the protection of privacy in the home. In his words, they “communicate” directly with the climate characteristic of the locality.

Plus, they add the charm of rustic life to the home, at least from the perspective of Grandma and Grandpa who live here. All things considered, it’s a bioclimatic home that uses the natural environment in which it stands to create a perfect place for peace and relaxation.

Tile House Vietnam

Going in the reverse direction, the roof inclines inward toward the center of the house plan, whereby harvested rainwater is directed to the courtyard and out via an underground conduit.

Tile House Vietnam

Architect: The Bloom (

Construction: The Roof Builders

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The Hiên House: A Wood and Concrete Home Full of Balcony and Terrace Ideas

The Hiên House: A Wood and Concrete Home Full of Balcony and Terrace Ideas

/ Da Nang, Vietnam /

/ Story: Kanamon Najaroen / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Quang Dam /

This Tropical style house is in Da Nang, a coastal city in central Vietnam famous for its gleaming sand beaches, Buddhist shrines and the Marble Mountains. The beautiful Han River runs through it. The home built of wood and concrete goes by the name of “The Hiên House” for its lively green façades, Hiên being Vietnamese for the semi-outdoor rooms along the outside of the building.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home

The house’s external envelope is simple yet contemporary in style enhanced by verdant balconies and terraces symbolic of homes in the Tropics. Plus, there’s a unique Vietnamese flair to it. As the architects intended, it’s a layout that speaks volumes for a lifestyle that seeks reconnections with nature.

The concept is manifested in the way the ordinary balconies and terraces transform into the proverbial “breathing space” for nature to recover from disruptions. That said, it makes perfect sense to live more sustainably in this day and age.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home

Wood and Concrete House

Situated away from a densely populated urban area, the wood and concrete house occupies the full extent of a long and narrow lot sandwiched between two roads. It’s home to three generations of a family highly skilled in traditional carpentry living in one household.

There are four stories of living spaces, excluding a rooftop deck. By design, the floor plans cater to the needs of different generations and hence vary in size and appearance from one level to the next. To celebrate the family’s distinguished career in carpentry, the architects made woodworking front-and-center concerns in house design and interior decoration.

During construction, the homeowners were also on hand to provide technical expertise at various stages in the process, especially where traditional Vietnamese woodworking skill was needed.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
The light and airy front entrance is visible from the driveway covered in stone pavers.

To help protect the environment, the design team at WINHOUSE Architecture, a design atelier headquartered in Da Nang, chose to use reclaimed wood instead of newly cut timber from the lumberyard. The recycled building materials used in this project included parts of the staircase, such as treads and risers taken from old homes that had been torn down previously.

Other parts were adapted from old decking, post sleeves, balusters and handrails as well as wooden fascia. They were made suitable for a new use or purpose. And, importantly, they were easy to transport and repair without using specialized tools.

Timber is durable even as it ages. It’s safe to handle and capable of withstanding heat and humidity in the air over a long period of time. Old and weathered wood has a natural appearance that’s beautiful and needs no preservative chemicals to prolong its lifecycle, which translates into big savings and convenience. Using reclaimed wood in combination with local knowledge and modern techniques add a new dimension to construction technology.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home

Balconies and Terraces for Free Air Circulation

What sets the four-story house apart from the rest is its surprising room ideas and lively green balconies that fill up the entire front façade. They are integral to a design that brings natural light and fresh outdoor air into the home. At the same time, they help dissipate heat from the building keeping the interior cool during the daytime.

Elements of design common for Southeast Asian architecture, the roofed open-air platforms along the outside of the building, be it the balcony or the terrace, perform many useful functions. Among other things, they expand the living areas, protect against the elements, and provide space for sitting rooms and passages for walking along.

First Floor Plan / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture
Second Floor Plan / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture
Third Floor Plan / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture
In cross section, a side elevation drawing shows space planning decorated with plants working in tandem with wall openings to admit natural light and fresh outdoor air into the home. / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture
Isometric visuals show reclaimed building materials being adapted to suit new purposes on all four levels of the new home. The message is clear: save the Earth and cut costs. / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture

As is often the case with most houses, the elements of design such as balconies and terraces are built on the outside of the house. But in this particular case, the architects think it wise to incorporate them in the interior as well, sort of like going in the reverse direction. First they put in an inner courtyard at the center of the ground floor plan.

Then, by disposing the rooms around the courtyard, the areas with a faint light, such as the sitting room and workspaces, suddenly become well-lit and well-ventilated. It’s a clever hack to bring the outdoors into the home. The result is a comfortable living space filled with natural light and fresh air that contributes to feelings of relaxation.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
The kitchen in the farthest room is well-lit and well-ventilated.
THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
Going in the reverse direction, the terrace that in most cases lies along the outside of the house is put inside overlooking a lively green inner courtyard.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home

Taking as a whole, the traffic patterns and space design make the long and narrow house plan feel roomy inside. Walk in the front door and you come to a hallway that’s light and airy, thanks to a rooftop skylight illuminating the stairs connected to a foot bridge over the nearby inner courtyard. There is no need to turn on electric lights during the daytime, which translates into big savings.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
Illuminated by a rooftop skylight, the staircase and foot bridge spanning the void over the inner courtyard make traffic flow easy and convenient.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
A well-lit foot bridge crafted of reclaimed timber connects the major living spaces in the home.

Climb a flight of stairs to the second floor, and surprise! It’s divided into two separate parts, the front room and the back room linked by a foot bridge that spans the void above the inner courtyard. The same space planning applies to the third floor, except for one thing. The next staircase leading to the fourth floor is positioned further toward the back of the building. The front part holds a bedroom with a balcony decorated with lush greenery.


Cross over the foot bridge, and you come to the back room containing a workspace and sitting room. The fourth floor contains a quiet, more secluded reading room with a bright and breezy small garden for relaxation. It’s a comfortable living space and the light is more diffuse under the canopy of trees.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
Plants growing luxuriantly make the house façade green and lively.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
Local builders skilled in traditional carpentry reinforce wood beams and pillars for increased load capacities.

In conclusion, the wood and concrete home called “The Hiên House” lives up to its name. All the elements of good judgement in design go to work turning it into an oasis of calm. Everything works out as it should, from a well-lit, well-aired inner courtyard to the plants, trees and small gardens thriving luxuriantly on the balconies and terraces. Perhaps, one word describes it all, salubrious!

Architects: WINHOUSE Architecture

Structural Engineers: Bim City

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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 Beautifully Renovated 60-year-old Mid-City House

A Beautifully Renovated 60-year-old Mid-City House

/ Bangkok,  Thailand

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

/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /

A beautifully renovated 60-year-old mid-city house, with a startling black beauty: this contemporary mix of old and new flows together as a single unit.

Interior decorator Pauline and nationally known architect Somrit Soonthornrungsi have spent their lives in this mid-city house. Once, it had a flooding problem downstairs, which plus termites and general deterioration, meant it was continually under repair.

At first, they thought to build a completely new house, but out of nostalgia and time constraints decided to do a major renovation instead.

mid-city house

“Our daughter grew up here and was upset that we were going to demolish it, so I thought, ‘Why not combine old and new?’ The result was a balanced, harmonious creation with a courtyard for breezes to pass through,” said Somrit.   

mid-city house

As we look in from the front door, the original house is on the right, across an open courtyard with planted walkways, and the second-floor verandah connects to the new house on the left.

The old house is of wood and masonry, with mortar stripped to show the traditional brick. Downstairs is Somrit’s small workshop and a bike storage space, with the floor raised higher to avoid flooding from street level.

The new section of the house is connected, but quite different because of its steel-frame construction. On the ground floor, there is the company office.

The second floor is Pauline and Somrit’s main living area, connecting to the old house through the courtyard.

There is a living room on the right before the large indoor kitchen, which retains its original Makha wood flooring but was repainted black to match the black synthetic wood of the exterior, for an informal, natural feeling to complement the green view of plants and trees outside the glass walls.

Their daughter’s room, set up like a New York loft apartment, is on the third floor.

At two points, a mezzanine stairway connects the central porch to the rear verandah, from which you can clearly see the 2 floors of the old house.

They all lived in this mid-city house during the construction of a new, steel-framed gabled roof over the old one, which was finally torn out when construction was finished, leaving the kitchen ceiling to follow the new roof angles. 

mid-city house

“The roof is a special black version of Shera’s “U-Slate” line. I’ve loved black since childhood,” said Pauline.

“When I was a kid, I wanted to paint my bedroom black, but my parents wouldn’t let me!” The chic interior design work has black everywhere. The large kitchen is in tribute to both her mother-side relatives and her father, who loves to cook.

“Besides the big kitchen pantry counter being a great place to socialize, it’s also good for informal dining.

Pauline selected furniture and décor in a “mix and match” style controlled by color, some items primarily functional and others reflecting personal style, combining old and new, cheap and expensive.

“It’s comfortable because this really reflects our way of life: the house isn’t built for show,” said Pauline’s father, “and we don’t want to be climbing up and down a lot of stairs in the day.

“Since coming here, we’ve confined business matters to downstairs, and it’s a comfortable walk up to the second floor. The longer we’re here, the more we like it. Looking back, the old house seems stuffy, with not a lot of open windows. Our lives changed after the switch.

“At first, we thought the courtyard would be too small, but in the end, it worked out great!”

Once light and wind directions were figured in, design principles were applied to open the structure up, and this mid-city house clearly became more than brick, cement, wood, and steel, a happy combination of old and new narratives.

Somrit added, “It’s impressive. Once the rooms were finished, furniture in, lights and water on, our home came to life anew. It’s a great comfort.”

mid-city house


Owner: Pauline Soonthornrungsi and Somrit Soonthornrungsi

Designer: Design Com-bini by Pauline Soonthornrungsi and Somrit Soonthornrungsi

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9 Best Ideas for Gorgeous Internal Courtyards

9 Best Ideas for Gorgeous Internal Courtyards

Internal courtyards allow nature to participate in creating comfortable living spaces. They brighten things up, bring fresh air in, and give indoor room a warm, inviting appeal. The inner courtyard can be beautifully integrated into the house plan. Here are some of the best ideas for gorgeous interior courtyards. Check this out.

/// ASEAN ///

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