Blog : modern house

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 (www.wiyoganurdiansyah.com)

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


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Rupu House: White Geometric Design Bespeaks a Close Family Bond and Privacy at Home

Rupu House: White Geometric Design Bespeaks a Close Family Bond and Privacy at Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Nantiya Busabong /

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a heartwarming moral story of unbreakable bonds.


Architect: JUNSEKINO Architect and Design

Interior designer: JUNSEKINO Interior Design

Contractor: M.W.K. Construction


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A Modern Home That is Quintessentially Thai

A Modern Home That is Quintessentially Thai

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Anupong, Hatairat Deenuanpanao / Styling: Worawat /

The cube shape and flat roof lend a modern air to this white house on the outskirts of Bangkok. Designed for a hot, humid climate, it is gently calming and comfortable to live without air conditioning. The home’s contemporary style belies the traditional Thai way of life that’s central to its existence and character. Plus, it shows great attention to detail that makes the house feel warm and welcoming.

Modern HomeModern Home

Amazing as it may seem, the cube shaped modern home sits on a narrow lot that’s only 5 meters wide. There’s a small waterway and public walk along the left side of the land. In such situation, the homeowner has to forfeit 3 meters of land along the waterfront to make room for public access as required by law.

The result is a piece of land with a narrow frontage to the street as it is now. And that’s where the design team came in to create a place that’s light and airy yet relying little on air conditioning. The homeowner lives with her elderly mother; hence the new house comes in handy to answer their specific lifestyle needs.

For the most part, wood is the building material of choice. Despite its ultramodern architecture, the house plan is the quintessence of the Thai way.

Modern Home

The side of the house that looks out over the public walk gets plenty of fresh air and natural daylight. But it’s also facing west, which means the afternoon sun is much harsher and brighter.

To solve this problem, the design team puts in a perforated metal façade that doubles as an outer shell that helps keep the house cool during daylight hours. The outer shell crafted of steel is painted white to harmonize in color and texture with the nearby boundary fence. It’s a simple yet effective way to overcome a challenge on site.

Modern Home

By design, this modern home is well ventilated thanks to open concept floor plans both in front and at the rear of the building. There’s nothing to block the winds from the north or the south. Wood stairs with no risers not only allow fresh air to enter and circulate in the interior.

They also illuminate the stairwell and nearby areas with natural daylight. The structure is a hybrid of steel beams and joists supported by concrete piles and arranged in an orderly way like traditional Thai architecture in former times.

Plus, solid hardwood flooring looks very nice and makes the interior cooler in the summer.

Modern Home

To create warm, beautiful environments, the house floor is made of hardwood on all three levels. As a natural building material, wood evokes positive responses. Plus, it has a substantial impact on the wellbeing of humans in ways that tiles and concrete floors cannot.

Meantime, pieces of furniture from the old house are given a new lease on life. They are adapted for use in a different purpose and given a fresh coat of paint that proves a perfect complement to white home decorating ideas.

Modern Home

Showing great attention to detail, the design team ensures the house plan is right for the elderly mother who lives here. To make it easy for her to walk up a flight of stairs, each riser is reduced to just 15 cm (from the average 17 to 18 cm).

As a precaution against slip and fall accidents, each stair tread is made deeper than average, thanks to angled risers that provide extra space.

Modern Home Modern HomeModern HomeModern Home

The house fence is made of air bricks painted white. They have holes in them to create an air flow between the property and the public walkway on the other side.

The masonry wall has no see-through gaps in it, which offers privacy and protection from unwanted prying eyes. It’s an oasis of calm on the outskirts of the city, thanks to additional green spaces along the fence line adorned with shrubs that thrive in the understory of tall trees.

The farthest end leads to a vegetable garden where Mom spends most of her free time preparing the soil, planting a crop, and nurturing the plants. Backyard vegetable gardening is an ingenious way to live a salubrious life. It not only puts fresh food on the table, but also speaks volumes for their determination to preserve the Thai way of life in this modern home.

Modern HomeModern Home


Owner: Nopphamas Houbjaruen
Designer: Chalermpon Sombutyanuchit (Office Architect9Kampanad)


The Synergy between Architecture and Landscape Design

The Synergy between Architecture and Landscape Design

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn, Nantiya /

Attaporn Kobkongsanti, his wife Romanee and their young son Phumi have moved into their new house with a delightful landscape. The project took six years in the making. Now it’s a picture perfect place of warmth and comfort with lofty white walls rising above its inspired design and meticulous construction.

Here’s a modern contemporary house that epitomizes the integration of architecture and landscape design. It’s all about connection. The site has been tastefully landscaped to link indoor and outdoor spaces.

“As an architect myself, I imagined a courtyard here. Having worked with Boonlert, I felt our styles were really in sync. And after having given it some thought, we settled on our fourth design, which is what you’re seeing now,” said Attaporn Kobkongsanti, the owner of this beautiful house and the landscape architectural design studio TROP: Terrains + Open Space. Boonlert Hemvijitraphan of Boondesign Co., Ltd., is his design partner in this project.

trop landscape design

Boonlert Hemvijitraphan added, “The relationship between the house and nature is always at the core of our design work. And the owner’s imagination is what makes this one unique.

“We began with a set of high walls with the separate spaces between them assigned to different uses. We call it “the series of walls” concept.”

landscape design

Technically, the series of walls idea is expressed through architectural language. In this particular case, it’s the image and presence of a building with four very tall walls set in parallel that establish the frame of this three-story house.

The walls are set between 2.5 and 5 meters apart, protruding from the main body of the house, with varied height and length according to functionality of the spaces between.

The first floor holds living room, dining area, and kitchen. The husband and wife have a workroom on the second floor, and bedrooms are on the third.

The personalities of interior landscaping differ from room to room. In the east entry area, there’s a mixture of kitchen vegetables and ornamental plants that they call the “Moon Garden” since a moonrise is especially gorgeous from there. Special attention is paid to its beauty, as it is the first greenery we see when getting out of the car and the last before leaving.

Next, there’s a triangular courtyard inserted in the living room! It’s an architectural artifice to bring light into a darker area. It opens the living room right out on the swimming pool, at the same time creating an intriguing space facing both inward and outward.

landscape design

Overall, the floor plans and functions assigned to them give a perfect example of design that, as the architect puts it, “makes people feel comfortable in the in-between spaces.” The usable areas are rectangular, enclosed lengthwise between the walls.

The front and rear of the house are all floor-to-ceiling clear glass with a specific purpose — create the light and airy feeling. It’s a clever hack to let the natural world outside shine through into the home. In the meantime, where appropriate the solid walls are thick, effectively blocking the sun’s heat from the north and south.

Correct building orientation plays a big role in indoor comfort. For this reason, the glass sides are positioned to bring in enough natural light as the sun moves from east to west, keeping the house bright and cheerful all day.

landscape design TROP Landscape Architects,landscape design

Sunlight casts shadows on the walls creating an inviting inner courtyard that’s part and parcel of the interior living space. It’s a clever hack to bring the outside garden into the home, thanks to the homeowner’s experience in combining landscape design with modern house plans.

“This wasn’t easy,” said Attaporn. “We wanted it all, here, there, everywhere, but when you did it you always worried it might be too much! So we went back and forth, and in the end we chose the most orderly form.”

landscape design Attaporn Kobkongsantilandscape design

In the kitchen there is yet another large courtyard. This one helps draw light and clean air into the various rooms from the topmost down to the ground floor and connects with a forest garden to the west. Between the house and the fence lies a copse of trees that filters the afternoon sun, a space used just to relax, or perhaps for a party.

Nearby, an L-shaped swimming pool with neat wooden decks fits perfectly with the tall trees the homeowner has planted all around. The landscape design also connects to the living room through a large clear glass door.

landscape designAttaporn Kobkongsanti Attaporn Kobkongsanti

From inside, the glass walls open to delightful views of leaves on trees rustling in the wind. The landscape architect compares it to an abstract painting by nature, one that takes away any need for hanging pictures on the walls. He likens it to a white canvas waiting for nature as the single artist to paint it with light.


Owner: Attaporn Kobkongsanti

Architect: Boondesign Co., Ltd.

Landscape Architect: TROP : Terrains + Open Space


303 House: A Narrow Townhome Inspired by Aircraft Interior

303 House: A Narrow Townhome Inspired by Aircraft Interior

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Quang Tran /

An architectural practice called “Sawadeesign Studio” has applied innovative aircraft cabin ideas to give this narrow townhome a complete makeover. The small family home sits sandwiched between two low-rise buildings in the heart of Tan Binh, an urban district of Ho Chi Minh City. They named the project “303 House.”

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

Narrow townhomes are a typical housing type omnipresent throughout central Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. By law, places of residence with a narrow frontage to the street (smaller than 3 meters across, to be exact) are not permitted to have more than one level.

In this particular case, the only way to build is arrange all the usable spaces and functions on the same horizontal plane. And the result is a renovation done right in every sense of the word.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

From the outside looking in, the entire width of the house is only 2.9 meters. With the exterior walls installed, the inside space comes to just 2.7 meters wide.

Interestingly enough, well-thought-out design turns an awkward narrow plot into a single-story home that’s simple with all useable spaces giving off good vibes. The bright and airy home occupies less than 90 square meters of land.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

The design duo, Doan Si Nguyen and Vo Thanh Phat, decided against the most commonly used construction technique. They proposed an alternative method aimed at reducing the amount of concrete used, an option that risked being rejected by investors from the get-go.

For indoor thermal comfort, the ceilings are made of Rockwool tole about 150 mm thick. The coated sheet metal is widely used in the storage industry and large warehouses for its excellent thermal insulation. Here, it’s used to make the interior living spaces comfortable day and night.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

The contemporary home interior features mixed materials. Among them, grey plaster on the wall proves a perfect complement to gray epoxy paint on the floor. Together, they provide desirable elements for a calm, peaceful home. Everywhere, furniture made of plywood is a great way to add natural touches to the interior.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

As the architects put it, the secret to creating a healthy indoor environment lies in putting multiple layers of functional spaces in neat order to shield the home from the busy street outside. This is especially true in HCMC, where many homes are prone to suffer from the negative effects of outside noise and unrestricted growth of housing areas and commercial development.

Fascinatingly, aircraft cabin ideas came in handy for the townhome built on an extremely long and narrow plot of land. It’s reminiscent to walking along an aisle between rows of seats on an aircraft.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

There’s a paved outdoor area in front of the house entrance that provides a place to socialize. Step inside, and you come into a corridor connecting to a living area, kitchen, and laundry room. Wall-mounted storage cabinets line one side of the aisle, with beautifully organized functional spaces on the other.

There are two bedrooms with a bathroom attached tucked away in a quiet place half way down, plus a third bedroom at the rear of the house accessible by a small corridor. Where appropriate, clear roofing materials provide light for houseplants, while openings in the rooftop drive air circulation keeping the interior cool and comfortable without air conditioning.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh CityModern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

The house plan is not only tailored to the specific needs of a family of three, but it’s also a well-thought-out place of abode amid the hustle and bustle of the city.

As is often the case with most urban areas, for homeowners there’s a tendency to rent out the space in front of their houses to small retailers and businesses. But the family living at 303 House doesn’t need that kind of income. They prefer to keep the door closed and enjoy privacy in the comfort of their home. Albeit small, it’s an oasis of calm — a home sweet home no doubt.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City


Architect: Sawadeesign Studio (www.sawadeesign.net)

Lead Architects: Doan Si Nguyen and Vo Thanh Phat


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

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

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

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

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects

 

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

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

 

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
The living room with a big sofa for family socializing. To save building expense the steel frame is light as possible, which also gives the house a light, open look.
Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
Folding doors filter light and give security and privacy. Adding to the green, plants grow along the wall by the neighboring house.
Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
Close by the open living area is a dining table where Vin does a little work most mornings. Furthest in is a long, narrow pantry-style kitchen also used for informal eating.
Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
On the 2nd floor is a children’s activity room, the surrounding glass adding openness and drawing natural light from both the interior court and the side facing the house next door.
Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects
On the 2nd floor is a children’s activity room, the surrounding glass adding openness and drawing natural light from both the interior court and the side facing the house next door.

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects

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

Box-shaped House Vin Varavarn Architects


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


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MODERN TROPICAL HOME IN INDONESIA

White House: A Bright, Seemingly Hovering House by Saola Architects

White House: A Bright, Seemingly Hovering House by Saola Architects

/ Vientiane, Laos /

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

/ Photographs: Akira Sato, François Hervy /

This light and airy house with lots of white looks like an optical illusion. Nestled in the heart of Vientiane, it appears to be floating above a lush green oasis with crystal-clear pool water. The beautiful dwelling called “White House” is the work of Saola Architects, a homegrown design studio in Laos.

Saola Architects

The pastel white house with 160 sq. m. usable internal space sits encompassed by its natural surroundings. As Saola Architects intended, it has the general shape of the letter V. The ground floor is mostly enclosed by glass walls that afford the seamless integration of indoor and outdoor living spaces.

 

The architects said they got the design inspiration from a vernacular architectural style in Laos. The house plan, which reflects local traditions, has been adapted to make it suitable for modern living. This includes making the interior living rooms bright and airy, and connect to outdoor spaces with no apparent gaps or spaces in between.

Saola Architects

The swimming pool is placed in a straight line along one side of the V-shaped design that in a way is dictated by the appearance of the land.

As time passes, sunlight reflected from the pool puts on a spectacular shadow and light show on nearby walls. Because the ground floor enclosure is made mostly out of glass, only the upper part of the house is visible from afar and seemingly hovering above the landscape.

Saola Architects Saola Architects

The inground pool provides passive cooling that drives natural air circulation, thereby improving the indoor thermal comfort. As pool water evaporates, air currents carry moisture or water vapor into and out of the room.

As a result of that, the interior is kept cool without the need for air conditioning. The heat gain control makes the house comfortable to live despite a hot and humid climate.

Saola Architects Saola Architects

Aesthetically, the house is a mix of bare concrete on the inside and lots of white paint on the outside. For an improvement of the indoor climate, wood is the main décor material for its ability to provide a soothing ambience, especially in private areas on the second floor.

By and large, the seemingly floating house is poetry in motion when kissed by the sun. It’s spacious, airy and bright thanks to open floor design, plus windows that allow plenty of natural light and good ventilation all year round.

Saola Architects


Architect: Saola Architects
Furniture and Décor: Birds Follow Spring


A Modern Lake Home in a Peaceful Country Setting

A Modern Lake Home in a Peaceful Country Setting

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Here is a cozy, modern lake home set amid beautiful countryside. It takes advantage of the natural features of a tropical climate to ensure cool and comfort all year round. Built for having fun and enjoying life, the house comes complete with a slide into the living room, a cat house, courtyard waterfalls, and a much-loved Japanese-style room.

Modern Lake Home
The U-shaped house sits above a large water body that formerly was a farm pond for water, fish and livelihoods. A beautiful center courtyard separates the two wings. Bedrooms are on the second floor of the two-story modern house plan.
Serene courtyard waterfalls can do so much to enrich life and provide a private outdoor space.

From an old farm pond to a beautiful lake home

This delightful modern lake home belongs to Sakdrin Sadlae, owner of a traveling Muslim prayer webpage. It sits on land that he receives from his mother. The parcel of land formerly was a part of the family farm in Bangkok’s Pattanakarn area.

Back in the day, his grandfather built ponds here for water, fish and agriculture. Sakdrin can still recall growing up in the wetlands. Free time in the past was spent playing kid games, in which he confronted a crocodile played by his father.

Over the years, the wetlands ecology has given him inspiration. His dream house is one that’s surrounded by water. To do that, an area fronting the lake was filled with layers of earth to create a strong building foundation.

Modern Lake Home

To keep within budget, he invited building dismantlers and construction projects in the neighborhood to dump unwanted earth and concrete debris on his property.

It was a win-win solution both for him and for construction businesses in search of dumping sites. He then sought advice from architect Khomsaan Kamsawas, while his wife Apaporn Mitnoy chipped in with many great ideas that led to the family making informed decisions. The result is a house plan that fits the bill, is suitable for a tropical climate, and comfortable to live in.

A red slide offers a fun way to enter to the living room, while the open floor plan gives the impression of more space and great reasons to float the furniture.
A red slide offers a fun way to enter to the living room, while the open floor plan gives the impression of more space and great reasons to float the furniture.
Modern Lake Home
A fiberglass slide resembling the spiral of fried potato snacks is suitable for use in small spaces. Because the slide is dry, it’s a good idea to wash and wax the surface to minimize friction and allow smooth movement.
Multipurpose furniture is capable of adapting to many different functions, from dining room to sitting room with a view. The wooden panel wall to the left and hidden storage spaces are inspired by Apple store interior design.
Multipurpose furniture is capable of adapting to many different functions, from dining room to sitting room with a view. The wooden panel wall to the left and hidden storage spaces are inspired by Apple store interior design.
A bathroom is neatly concealed behind wood paneled walls in natural shades. Decorative wood paneling is inexpensive yet attractive.
A bathroom is neatly concealed behind wood paneled walls in natural shades. Decorative wood paneling is inexpensive yet attractive.

Coffee corner and color scheme inspired by Apple store design

While construction was underway, the couple went out to look at many coffeehouses in search of decorating ideas.

They wanted the kind of interior that would create a conducive home office environment. Later, they visited an Apple store and came away impressed by its simple, clean design that made visual merchandising really stand out.

Together, white, gray and black proved a perfect complement to wood panel walls in natural shades. The cool color scheme was adapted to give their modern lake home a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The cat house comes complete with bridges, claw sharpeners and perches in a tree.
The cat house comes complete with bridges, claw sharpeners nd perches in a tree.

Aesthetically, a center courtyard with waterfalls makes perfect sense with the U-shaped house plan. It affords beautiful views and makes the interior living space feel more comfortable.

Healthy, green spaces improve air quality and control sunlight filtering through trees. Plus, they create peaceful moods and encourage people to spend more time outdoors.

Sakdrin asked for the tropical plant Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) for his garden because he liked eating rice porridge flavored with fragrant leaves. At one time, he even kept giant freshwater prawns by the waterfalls for food, but later stopped eating them due to emotional attachment.

A flap door lets kitties come and go freely between the cat house and the litter box located in an open-air laundry area.
A flap door lets kitties come and go freely between the cat house and the litter box located in an open-air laundry area.

Water slide, cat house, and Japanese room

The furniture, fittings and other decorative accessories say a lot about this active family.

Sakdrin is full of energy and enthusiasm, the likes of which are obvious in his daughter. Even at this young age, the little girl enjoys sliding down into the living room by herself, apparently happy and content.

Meantime, his wife Aphaphon is equally pleased to spend time with and take care of her cuddly feline.

Modern Lake Home
The Japanese room looks out on the center courtyard and a ready-made swimming pool.

Sakdrin said that when he and his wife first met, the only places they went on a date were cat cafés in the city. Now that they had a house of their own, it made perfect sense to create a room just for cats.

For the love of Japanese architecture, they built a Japanese-style room in the opposite wing. Inside it, the floor is covered in traditional tatami straw mats, while bamboo lines parts of the exterior.

Long story short, it’s an opportunity to experience the allure of the Japanese countryside. Only this time, it’s tucked away in a peaceful rural setting off Pattanakarn Road in Bangkok.

Modern Lake Home
Interior design and decorative accessories boast charming simplicity that’s unique to Japan. Nearby, bamboo lines parts of the exterior walls. The serene hangout place is sometimes used as a bedroom.
The Japanese room reveals an affinity for traditional residential architecture. It’s little wonder that he often visits Japan for inspiration.
The Japanese room reveals an affinity for traditional residential architecture. It’s little wonder that he often visits Japan for inspiration.

The importance of correct building orientation

The U-shaped house plan projects into a large water body formerly used in aquaculture for fish farming. The lake that lies to the west provides a buffer against warm air currents as sunlight travels straight down to Earth.

Westerly wind over the water surface produces a tremendous cooling effect, resulting in thermal comfort in the center courtyard and interior living spaces. The kitchen is separate from the living room to avoid lingering kitchen smells.

Modern Lake Home
The homeowner rows his dinghy past drooping branches of a Lampoo or cork tree (Sonneratia caseolaris L. Engl.) The lake is home to many carp that he has raised since they were young. He sometimes catches snakehead fish for food.

By design, this modern lake home makes a great first impression. Floor-to-ceiling windows on the front façade afford beautiful panoramic views of the lake and surrounding landscape.

Meantime, the center courtyard with artificial waterfalls brings down the ambient temperature and controls sunlight filtering through trees.

Further away, drooping branches of Lampoo or cork trees (Sonneratia caseolaris L. Engl.) line the lakeshore. All things considered, it’s a house built for comfort, where every day is a picture-perfect summer day.

Modern Lake Home
Nothing beats relaxing in a hammock on a carefree day at the lake. Priceless!

Owner: Sakdrin Sadlae and Aphaphon Midnoi

Designer: Khomsaan Kamsawas and Apaporn Mitnoy


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The hybrid wood and concrete home boasts a spacious ground floor that’s fully functional and perfectly suitable for modern living.
FROM OLD HOME TO STUNNING HOUSE ON STILTS
A Home with Hip Roof Design Where Every Day Is a Holiday

A Home with Hip Roof Design Where Every Day Is a Holiday

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /

Here is a modern one-story house with a charming interior courtyard, plus ample and airy multipurpose spaces. The gentle slope of hip roof design shields it from too much sun and rain, the prevailing climate in Thailand.

hip roof design
Beyond the rolling gate stands a modern single-level home with a lush center courtyard. Hip roof design with long overhangs protects it from the elements.
hip roof design
A sectional L-shaped sofa dominates the living room filled with natural light streaming through front and back glass-window walls. Slanted ceilings prove a perfect complement to the gentle slope of hip roof design.
hip roof design
The well-lit living rooms are easy on the eyes, thanks to front and back glass-window walls that give the impression of more space.

Small house, surprisingly spacious

The old house that had stood on this plot of land for 40 years was pulled down to make room for a new home. The new floor plan takes up almost the entire 64 square wahs (256 sq.m.) in extent.

Albeit small, it’s fully equipped to suit the lifestyle needs of Pacharanan Marittida and her lovely canine companion. Sharing his design inspiration, architect Nuttapol Techopitch said:

“In the beginning, the old wooden house belonged to Grandma and Grandpa. The time has come for a decision to be made, so we thought it wise to go for a bright and airy home plan.

“The owner had many relatives living nearby and needed extra room to get together with family. Plus, she wanted a studio to give piano lessons. As a music teacher, she played the piano at home a lot.”

After site inspections, Nuttapol proposed an interesting alternative – building a new home. It would save her money.

The reason was obvious. The old two-story house sat on low land that was prone to groundwater flooding. There were no easy solutions. If the ground floor was raised even slightly to protect against water damage, there wouldn’t be enough headroom.

The architect responded with light and airy designs for single-level, two-level, and split-level homes to choose from. The homeowner picked the one-story design raised above the flood level that measured 190 square meters.

The owner’s love of woodworking is evident in décor materials made mostly of wood. Among them, a custom-made dining table set proves a perfect complement to the modern style home.

The new house feels surprisingly spacious, bright and well-ventilated, while indoor and outdoor rooms are well-connected.

There’s an open-roofed area in the middle of the hip roof design that’s used for planting trees. It’s a layout that places great emphasis on having ample space.

High ceilings that are consistent with hip roof design make it suitable for hot and humid weather. The central courtyard that lies in the open air complements a look that’s stylish and very relaxed. Plus, it provides good air circulation.

On the north side, the open-roofed area is bordered by a wooden lattice that enables interior spaces to benefit from natural light, fresh air and sunshine. The interlaced structure also keeps the floor devoted for service spaces concealed from the view.

Beyond the carport, a courtyard lies mostly enclosed by glass walls that let natural light stream into the house’s interior. At the center, a thriving lettuce tree (Pisonia grandis R. Br.) adds a decorative touch to the home.
Beyond the carport, a courtyard lies mostly enclosed by glass walls that let natural light stream into the house’s interior. At the center, a thriving lettuce tree (Pisonia grandis R. Br.) adds a decorative touch to the home.
The owner’s love of woodworking is evident in décor materials made mostly of wood. Among them, a custom-made dining table set proves a perfect complement to the modern style home.
The owner’s love of woodworking is evident in décor materials made mostly of wood. Among them, a custom-made dining table set proves a perfect complement to the modern style home.
hip roof design
The open concept floor plan connects a sitting room to the piano room and dining area. Gorgeous L-shaped design allows the interior courtyard to be seen in full view from every direction.

The heart of a happy home

Roof overhangs offer many benefits. For this modern one-story home, they give protection against too much sun and prying eyes. A living room that’s the heart of a happy home lies hidden from view and can only be seen upon entering the carport. The interior is decorated with an L-shaped, charcoal gray sectional sofa.

The slanted ceilings are made of wood for its adaptability to a variety of designs while the rooms are surrounded by glass walls, thereby reducing the need for artificial lighting.

The open floor plan concept, also in the shape of the letter L, provides a way to move through space unhindered from the sitting room to the dining area.

Looking out the window, the center courtyard dominated by a lettuce tree (Pisonia grandis R. Br.) can be seen from every direction. The tree that has been in the family for a long time was dug up and replanted here to keep the yard lush green.

hip roof design
With plenty of room to run and play, the new home is a paradise for “Khamin”, the resident golden retriever.

As the architect put it:

“To make the atmosphere relaxed and airy, we avoid putting in too much furniture. Where appropriate, wood accents add warmth to the interior space and create dimension.

“Wood is also great for the piano room. At first, the homeowner intended to put a grand piano there, but later changed her mind and went for a digital piano to optimize small room acoustics. To give it a natural look, a mix of artificial and real Tabaek wood (Lagerstroemia floribunda) is used on parts of the exterior and wood lattice that borders the courtyard.

“Plus, color harmony between indoor and outdoor spaces makes the house even more appealing. Meanwhile, floor tiles in marble design give the impression of ample space.”

Built-in storage shelves provide a creative solution to dress up a blank wall. Each flat length of wood has enough room for a musical instrument and every conceivable gadget.
Built-in storage shelves provide a creative solution to dress up a blank wall. Each flat length of wood has enough room for a musical instrument and every conceivable gadget.
A solid wooden door separates the kitchen from family room. It’s one clever hack to banish the smoke and cooking orders, plus it’s easy to keep clean.
A solid wooden door separates the kitchen from family room. It’s one clever hack to banish the smoke and cooking orders, plus it’s easy to keep clean.

Warm, ingenious design for pure enjoyment every day

The interior is quite impressive. It even has a space devoted to “Khamin”, the beautiful golden retriever who comes and goes freely between this and the other house on the property.

There’s also a special doggie nook in the carport with a sloped floor. It’s pet friendly and ideal for hyper dogs, thanks to seamless wash pebble finishes.

Pacharanan said:

“The dog runs and plays everywhere inside and outside. We have to towel dry the hair and vacuum the floor often. Hence, non-carpeted floors make perfect sense, while special leather upholstery on the sofa is scratch resistant.

“This has made it possible for humans and dogs to share living spaces. Plus, there is plenty of room to lounge about when relatives visit. On the whole, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, which makes every day feel like a vacation.

“The only thing missing is the seaside view. By night, it feels more like Khao Yai (The National Park) to sit in the living room and peer into the courtyard aglow under twinkle electric lights. The scenery is inspiring for songwriting.”

Taking everything into account, it’s well worth it. The house with an inner courtyard and hip roof design is small, yet beautifully organized and made for pure enjoyment every day.

12 15 modern one-story house


Owner: Pacharanan Marittida

Designer: Looklen Architects Co.,Ltd. by Nuttapol Techopitch


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A Stunning Breeze Block House for Avid Dog Lovers
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A Modern Home Where Traditions Make Comfortable

A Modern Home Where Traditions Make Comfortable

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Anupong Chaisukkasem /

This contemporary Thai house is hemmed in by factories, but its clever design leaves one feeling unconfined, almost as if outdoors, with landscaping inserted right into the house interior and its sporty swimming pool. Mitigation of unpleasant outside sounds and scents is an even higher priority than the outward appearance of the house.

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

Advanced ideas and innovations from the West work best in Asian countries when adapted to localities and geographic conditions, so those innovations take on unique personalities of their own.

Vernacular architecture usually speaks directly to comfort and realities of local ways of life. In a traditional Thai house, for instance, one central concept is to have an open interior space, often with a high-ceilinged open thai thun area below the house that blocks the sun and catches the seasonal breeze.

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

Speaking to architect Surat Pongsupan of Greenbox Design, Ms. Aim, the owner of this house said:

“I want comfortable living Thai-style, with an open tai thun and such good ventilation that air conditioning is hardly needed.”

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

The owner’s close connection to the factory business and her desire for a short commute resulted in this closed-in location, where the architect’s ingenuity resulted in a truly striking design.

To counter the closed-in feeling, the house has entryways on two sides, one the drive into the front from the factory buildings, the second a walkway across the canal in back.

Just strolling through the house is pleasant. The architect explained:

“I designed a semi-open space where the landscaping actually reaches into the pool and the house itself. Bedrooms, closets, and service areas, generally not use in the middle of the day, are positioned to block the house’s common areas from the factory environment.

“This was a first priority, and the appearance of the house followed from that.”

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

House orientation takes into consideration the directions and force of sun and wind in the humid tropical climate.

Walls to the west and south are opaque; There are two levels of roofing with a gap between facilitating heat insulation and ventilation. The four-sided, gable-free roof is lighter, slighter, and more open than usual, and skylights are used to bring morning light into bedrooms, a nod to the early-rise lifestyle of the owner.

“The general house plan puts the living room in front, with a high ceiling. I placed the living room next to the garden and pool, with a full sliding glass wall opening up a horizontal view and drawing fresh air in,” the architect continued.

“Ceilings in the kitchen and dining room are high and open, giving the feeling of the traditional tai thun, as these rooms are used for every meal and common family activities. These rooms also open out onto the garden and swimming pool.”

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

Upstairs, a clear glass wall offers a view all around the house. The corridor connecting bedrooms shades the pool below, making for comfortable midday swimming.

There is an overall impression of harmony. Primary colors are gray-white and a soft, warm natural wood color. Indoors get a lot of sunlight, but trees give it a fresh green tint, especially the brush cherry tree planted in the middle of the house.

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

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The owner concluded, “We like being contemporary, but also being Thai. The openness of kitchen and pool is great. The soft sound of running water is sweet.

“My husband likes to listen to songs, and has speakers all over the house, making for a relaxing atmosphere. It’s good for the kids to become accustomed to living with nature, which is why we emphasize the value of these common areas so much .”

We call our home “Viva House,” with the hope that all living here will have long and happy lives.


Architect: Surat Pongsupan of Greenbox Design (www.facebook.com/greenboxdesignbkk)


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