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A White House Matching Modern Architecture to its Environment

A White House Matching Modern Architecture to its Environment

Secluded behind what appear to be walls of white paper, the “PA House” is IDIN Architects’ innovative integration of contemporary tropical architecture with a unique solution to its site-specific environment.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Korakot Lordkam /// Photography: Ketsiree Wongwan /// Design: IDIN Architects

Architect Jeravej Hongsakul, architect, explained that the first design challenge of this 400-square-meter house was its owner’s interest in privacy for his growing family:

“In our first site survey we noted the wide variety of sizes and styles of the surrounding homes, a 4-storey house here, a Louis-style there. How to fit a new house into this context and make it livable?”

Modern House

The architects observed, took pictures, noted directions, viewpoints, levels, and distances between houses, and analyzed the collected data to feed into their design plan, and came up with a concept that used these surroundings not as a limitation, but, surprisingly, as a help.

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“Each one of these other houses actually functions as an assistant architect, telling us where and at what levels to place the walls and planes that build connections on all sides, leading us to create open spaces within. I sometimes feel like the conductor of an orchestra, arranging voices and the mix to bring this home to life as a beautiful piece.”

The concept of a “viewpoint” may seem abstract, but the relationships formed by viewpoints to and from surrounding buildings has turned out to be a primary factor in the straightforward design of this home. Each wall was placed to help deal with problems that might arise from its geographic situation, and also adapt open space inside the walls to enhance utility and the livability of the house, as its “conductor” architect performed his work.

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Coming in on the south entrance road, we encounter two planes meeting in a tall, wide “L” appearing to float out from the second floor of the house. This construction benefits the house much as a raised hand can block sun from burning our face. The ground floor is cool and shady, but still has a great view of the wide, open garden directly outside, while the upper wall both blocks the view from other houses and insulates against heat. Along this section of the lower floor a wall also is set two meters out from the house to create space for growing plants, and glass walls reach up another 6 meters for a look out through the shade, where we watch the sunlight trace down the inner wall, creating new dimensions and an open, airy feeling.

Modern House Modern House

Comfort of use is the basis for the distribution of functionality within the house. On the ground floor a living room and dining area open out on a wide garden view, and one portion is set aside for a guest bedroom. On the second floor we find a master bedroom and one more room for a family member expected to come in the future. All this is coordinated with external design to support the family’s lifestyle in the most perfect way. As the architect adds,

“The primary design is all about controlling sunlight and creating balance between outside and the outer and  inner courtyards. The home is open and airy in every direction. The horizontal “wall” above looks almost like a hat on the house, and functions both to block harsh light from the sun and create a wide open view at eye level.

Modern House

“The concept is what we call ‘Passive Design’: design where the natural systems facilitate living. It also came out in a style both we and the owner are happy with. It’s a happy mix of many things.”

House Under The Pines

House Under The Pines

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

/// VIETNAM ///
Story: Sara’ /// Photography: Triệu Chiến /// Design: Idee Architects

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 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, 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.

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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.

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The house structure is 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.

Link: Idee architects – 

Modern House with a Thai Flavor

Modern House with a Thai Flavor

A large intergenerational family calls this house home. With family members from 8 to 84 years old, what stories it tells! Here belongings passed down across nearly a century give a sense of “Thainess” to every corner of its modern design.

 /// Thailand ///
Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photo:  Sitthisak Namkham, NantiyaBusabong

Modern House
Patama (second from the right) and her family

 Long-time community worker Patama Roonrakwit, Case Studio architect who designed and owns the house, created it from her knowledge of the ways and tastes of all its residents in their old home. In a unique adaptation and fundamental design difference here, she preserved an old wooden house Pong’s grandfather had built, hiring Chinese craftsmen to raise it up to the second floor of the central building so family members could continue to experience its warmth. Besides this, the home contains the offices of Case Studio Architecture, Ed The Builder Contracting, her brother’s tour company, sister’s music school, and guest rooms where friends can stay.

All this had to fit in a space of 1 rai (.4 acre), a narrow, long north-to-south lot.  The building divides into seven sections, some of which are open, verandah-like corridors that give an angular definition to the space, trapping the wind and making for good air circulation throughout.

Modern House
Wooden slats guard against sun and wind and create visual harmony.    
Modern House
The lower floor is a multipurpose area, adapting the Thai traditional “tai thun” space below a house to fit modern lifestyles.
Modern House
A nearly hundred-year-old wooden house is set as the very center of the main home, and contains a shrine holding Buddha images.
ReGEN House: Modern Home, Thai Concept, Great for Family Members of All Ages

ReGEN House: Modern Home, Thai Concept, Great for Family Members of All Ages

“ReGEN House,” Pankwan Hudthagosol’s home, was designed as a modern residence for a multigenerational family. Built on the same property as his father’s house, its concept echoes his father’s belief that the gift of warmth and closeness can show us how to think and live, and both welcomes and provides a foundation in life for young Mena, the newest family member. It began with a great design from EKAR Architects.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: foryeah! /// Photography:  Chalermwat Wongchompoo /// 
Owner: Pankwan Hudthagosol  /// Architect: EKAR /// Interior Architect: Define Studio  /// Landscape Architect: Grounds play Studio  /// Structural Engineer: Sommuek Apiraksa

Modern Home ReGEN House Ekar Architects
The four-storey building on about ¼ acre of land has an interior space of 1600 meters. Its L-shaped layout opens on a green courtyard facing the forest-like garden at “Grandpa’s” house, connecting views for the people of three generations.

Modern Home ReGEN House Ekar Architects Modern Home ReGEN House Ekar ArchitectsModern Home ReGEN House Ekar Architects

The first floor holds a carport, maid’s bedroom, and rooms for swimming pool equipment and other services. The heart of the house is the second storey, where a wide balcony/deck taking up a full half of the floor space is used for family recreational activities. This floor is designed to give the sense of being at ground level, as it reaches out to a “green roof” planted with ground cover seemingly floating atop a gazebo rising from the garden below, and with a swimming pool right there giving the feeling of an old-time streamside home.

Modern Home ReGEN House Ekar Architects Modern Home ReGEN House Ekar Architects

10 Inspiring Modern Tropical Houses

10 Inspiring Modern Tropical Houses

Living ASEAN has selected our favorite houses in the ASEAN for 2017. Of course, all of them present practical solutions for living in the hot and humid climate of Southeast Asia, including a bamboo house in Thailand, a concrete block house in Thailand and a modern tropical house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Check them out!


A bamboo house with contemporary appeal sits immersed in its natural surroundings. The home that’s also a medical clinic belongs to Nopharat Pitchanthuk MD, and his wife Kanyapak Silawatanawongse. Without question, his interest in the natural therapeutic concept is expressed in the warm, inviting atmosphere of the home office. The orthopedic doctor provides specialized care for the musculoskeletal system in the comfort of a peaceful country setting.

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Concrete Block House

Intanon Chantip, INchan atelier architect and owner of this HUAMARK 09 building, designed it to test theories he’d arrived at through intense study and experience. He wanted the architecture to tell its own story through the charm of materials that change over time. Intanon and his wife Tharisra Chantip bought this a 30-year-old, 80 square wa (.8 acres) property in the Hua Mark district, demolishing the old house to erect a new four-storey mixed-use building with usable space of 490 square meters and combine office, residence, and art studio.

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The architecture of this modern tropical house in Ho Chi Minh City is perfectly suited to the hot, humid climate, with an imaginative counterpoint of plants, greenery, and airy openings keeping it shady and pleasant inside and out.

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Waterside Home

This waterside tropical house brings back memories of Thai life as it was along Khlong Samsen in bygone times. From outside it looks straightforward and contemporary, but inside is a fascinating mix of antiques from the owners’ collections.

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Wooden Thai House in the Lanna Tradition

This Lanna Thai house of wood is built based on ancient local traditions. It has a simple, relaxed, and open look. Natural breezes blow all day long through its exquisite form, full of the charm of conservation-friendly Lanna craftsmanship.

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This box-shaped house uses architecture, architectural elements, and coordinated interior design to tell stories of the present and the past. The house is located in the Petalang Jaya district of Selangor, Malaysia. This is a district of single homes, but with little space to put up a large house. Still, architect Dr. Tan Loke Mun rose to the challenge of house owner Kenneth Koh and tore down the former structure here to build a new 3-storey home in its place.

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Living with Cats in a Beautiful House

Ever wonder why this is a dream house for kind pet owners and their feline companions?.

“I live with my wife and our seven cats in this house,” said Chan Mun Inn of Design Collective Architects (DCA). “There used to be only four, but I adopted more cats. So I ended up with seven of them. They were the reason that we left our old apartment and built a new home in the suburb.”

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Brick house For a Tropical Climate

This rectangular brick home in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is designed for “hot and humid,” open to natural light and cool from air currents constantly streaming in and out through the bricks. Mr. Tung Do and Mrs. Lien Dinh, the owners here, are newlyweds who wanted a small house with a straightforward design for pleasant living. They had seen Tropical Space’s “Termitary House,” which won, among others, a 2016 Brick Award, and admired its form and design so much that – even with their limited budget – they engaged the Company to design and build their own home.

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Box-Shaped House with a Tropical Style Garden

Box-shaped design highlights a perfect blend of form and function, plus an exotic Tropical style garden. The result: A lovable livable home with a panoramic view from the bedroom.

“This house was not built to be photogenic,” said Patchara Wongboonsin, architect at POAR, when asked about his outstanding design. The 350-square-meter, modern cube-shaped house took two years in the making.

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Modern House in a Forest Setting

The architect uses clever techniques to make this modern house look like it’s crafted entirely of wood. When her family wanted to build a new house in Thailand’s Northeast, Kanika Ratanapridakul was assigned the task of project architect. It was the first time she had to work directly with local builders and suppliers. Things didn’t go as smooth as planned, but the mission was accomplished – eventually. The key to success lay in being a bit more flexible to ensure things got done right and on schedule.

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Modern Style in a Newly Renovated House

Modern Style in a Newly Renovated House

The houses in this subdivision all looked the same when his parents brought him here as a child; now he’s renovated this one into a hip, modern structure with 200 square meters of usable space on a property of 400 square meters.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Foryeah! /// Photography:  Nantiya Busabong /// Owner: Roj Kanjanabanyakhom /// Design: Atom Design Co., Ltd.

Lower floor retains the old “tai thun” space below, a brick wall with angled patterns perforated for ventilation on the floor above.
A staircase up to the hobby room, apparently playfully designed for legs of different lengths.
The old house wall was removed in favor of tall “picture windows”
Leaving open space between the old house and the addition makes for good ventilation and cooling.

“After studying abroad I lived in a condo for years, but modern urban life is too full of needless accessories, so I finally came back to this house for its serenity and privacy. I like peace and quiet, listening to music, watching movies, that’s enough,” said Roj Kanjanabanyakhom.

An architect himself, he was the designer and construction supervisor. Since the house was in an old subdivision there were a lot of problems: leaks and seepage, rusty pipes, etc, even asbestos tile, now recognized as carcinogenic. The structure had to be almost completely torn down to its basic frame: pillars, beams, and a couple of walls.

To suit Roj’s lifestyle, striking improvements were made in both the new building in front and the old house: gray cobblestone contrasting with bright orange brick walls, angle-patterned bricks with ventilation spaces. Formerly an open tai thun area, half the ground floor, became his own bicycle maintenance shop, with the other half a carport. On the second floor is a hobby workshop, and above that a roof deck where support pillars are capped with metal plates in anticipation of future additions.

The 2.4-meter outside wall of the old house was demolished and replaced with tall glass windows all around for a spacious feeling. Bedrooms on the second floor were removed to create a “doublespace” area, and a projector set up behind one wall for full-size movie viewing. For the new addition in back, on the first floor are kitchen, dining room, and living room. Above, the second floor is the private area, with main bedroom, guest bedroom, and dressing room.

A skylight was put in to let sunlight in all day, relieving the stuffy, damp, dark atmosphere, and polycarbonate tile was laid on floor and walls.

“There were some difficult structural and material design limitations in the old house. Parts of the old roof weren’t able to support much weight, so besides replacing the asbestos with double Roman tile we used metal purlin trusses instead of wood. To avoid joint problems where the new roof meets the old gabled one, we used steel-reinforced flat slab concrete, which will be able to hold the weight of future additions.

“Sometimes it’s easier and cheaper just to tear everything out. I renovated because I wanted to preserve the memories here,” said Roj with a smile. And so here’s a home filled with remembrance, ready to bring present and future memories into the mix.

The roof deck, designed to hold weight for future additions and a path connecting the two buildings.


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Box-Shaped House with the Texture of Memory

Box-Shaped House with the Texture of Memory

This box-shaped house uses architecture, architectural elements, and coordinated interior design to tell stories of the present and the past.

/// Malaysia ///
Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham /// Design: Tan Loke Mun





The house is located in the Petalang Jaya district of Selangor, Malaysia. This is a district of single homes, but with little space to put up a large house. Still, architect Dr. Tan Loke Mun rose to the challenge of house owner Kenneth Koh and tore down the former structure here to build a new 3-storey home in its place.

“Ground space was limited, so we built upward,” he told us. Building vertically involved careful division of space. The lower floor holds common areas: parlor/living room, dining area, kitchen, and conference/chat room. A fashionably designed staircase with folded steel supports and its own security door leads to the private spaces above. The 3rd floor is an attic, holding hidden utility systems next to a small living room.

The prominent terra-cotta tile wall in front is remarkable. “In tearing down the old house we discovered that the roof tiles were handcrafted, imported from Calcutta, India, so we set them aside to use this way for privacy and heat insulation. Their texture connects nicely with the other materials used here. This original house tile is long-lasting, looks great, has a timeless quality, and is a good choice in combination with the other main structural components of brick, concrete, and steel.” The outer surface of the boxlike house structure shows a wall of terracotta roof tiles that open and close to catch the light. The metal support structures reach out from the main building to form a pleasing pattern of connections between inside and outside.





The designers brought an “outdoors” mood to each part of the house: there’s a “double volume” high, open space on the first floor; glass windows open to the garden atmosphere, and potted shade-loving plants bring it inside. Gentle sunlight shining into the garden combined with a light breeze from a ceiling fan gives the feeling of sitting in a garden.

An effective play of space combines with the interior décor to bring out a timeless feeling that reflects its Malaccan legacy. The Chinese-style furniture, both traditional and contemporary, was made by Malaccan artisans. Paintings tell of a land that lives on in the memory of the owner. The look and ambience here remind us of a Malaccan row house, but in a modern context.

We don’t often find a big-city house that feels so bright, natural, and full of narrative. Effective combination of old materials and new in textures that suit its owner’s heritage give this house a sense of being outside of time, and its memories will be passed on to the next generations who live here.

The decorative outer house wall uses a suspended steel framework to hold the terracotta roof tiles and red brick.
The decorative outer house wall uses a suspended steel framework to hold the terracotta roof tiles and red brick.
For architectural reasons, the stairway is in the middle of the house. The folded steel balusters look light, and the red banister is at once tremendously chic and reminiscent of the row houses of yesteryear.
For architectural reasons, the stairway is in the middle of the house. The folded steel balusters look light, and the red banister is at once tremendously chic and reminiscent of the row houses of yesteryear.




Modern Glass House with Spectacular Views

Modern Glass House with Spectacular Views

When it comes to bringing panoramic views to every room, nothing beats this house with glass walls all the way around. Take a look.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Suppachart Boontang /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul /// Owner/Designer: Issaraporn Prasongkij




Aptly named “Baan Asai,” literally a place to live, a modern glass house in Nakhon Ratchasima was crafted with skill and imagination to achieve one goal – soak up the spectacular views. The owner, Issaraporn Prasongkij, designed this residential cluster development herself.

An amalgam of the traditional and the modern, the two-story, cube-shaped home was built fast thanks to advancements in metal tech industries. Metal became the primary building materials for two reasons – cut down construction time, and in turn reduce any effects on the environment.

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



Because the outside walls are transparent, much of the house’s interior can be distinctly seen. The beauty of it lies in the detail of furniture, fittings, and other decorative accessories. The owner and her husband handpicked these items for their cozy appeal, from carpets to cushions to porcelain sets. They even designed some of the items themselves.

To take in great panoramic views, glass panels mounted on aluminum frames are chosen over ordinary solid materials. The first floor living room boasts high ceilings that rise as tall as 10 meters from the floor to the apex. Close at hand, an alfresco leisure corner and dining space with an island kitchen counter stand within easy reach from the carport.

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

The couple also has plans to build a community of urban residents in the area. They are looking at a form of co-housing similar to the ways of the Thais in times gone by. It’s interesting to see how that will take place in years to come.





Edgy Modern House with Triangular Design

Edgy Modern House with Triangular Design

A box-shaped modern house takes relaxation to a whole new level. Incorporating triangles in the detail, the home with edgy design comes to light with all the charm and character. Check it out.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Sara /// Photography: Nantiya Bussabong, Prachya Jankong, Wison Tungthunya /// Style: Wanassanan Teerawitoon /// Owner/Design: Sorakit Kitcharoenroj




“I wanted a house with both common and private corners on each floor,” said Sorakit Kitcharoenroj, the owner and architect. And with good reason, he called it “Baan Moom,” which is Thai for a house with corners.

Sorakit had the fulfillment of his family’s needs for highest priority. That said, he translated it into this three-story, three-bedroom house complete with living room, dining room, kitchen, workspace and home theater.

A focus on function didn’t necessarily mean that he had to abandon all the charm and poise. Rather, in a unique fashion he incorporated the concept of “Moom” in the detail. The word refers a space between two intersecting lines. That pretty much explains the ever-presence of triangular shaped design everywhere inside and out.



One of the house’s outstanding features is the triangular-shaped skylight crafted of insulated glass panels. The rooftop opening stays open to let a shaft of natural light pour into the interior via the stairwell. The stunning design took several months in the making, during which the contractor adjusted the staircases many times until everything was perfectly aligned.

Sorakit designs the bedrooms in ways that best suit each person’s lifestyle needs. For his parent, he chooses to highlight the elegance of the oriental-modern style. His own bedroom is a bit different. It’s the most playful corner in the house. He sleeps on the mezzanine above the workspace that is tucked away on the lower floor. The bedchamber is accessible via stepladders. Right next to it, a hammock floor is there to take relaxation to a whole new level.

The house is without a doubt an awesome intersection of function and design, and “Baan Moom” is the perfect name for it.







Modern Houses Sync with Rhythms in Landscape

Modern Houses Sync with Rhythms in Landscape

Need a break? Fashionable homes that sync with the rhythms of mountains and valleys like this one are now up for grabs at Khao Yai. Check them out.

/// Thailand ///
Story: wanoi /// Rewrite: Patichat K. /// Photography: Soopakorn, Nantiya /// Style: Prapaiwadee /// Design: Archive Architect



Many stylish development projects have emerged in the vicinity of Khao Yai, a little over an hour’s drive from Bangkok. But this one with very fashionable design has a name that will capture your imagination. It’s called 1.618 Khaoyai Residence. The project takes its name from the golden ratio commonly used in modern designs.

It’s built based on a green concept, one that seeks to integrate natural and built environments into one whole typically to the advantage of both. The principle is evident in the way it treats mountain scenery like paintings on canvas, into which modern pieces of architecture blend. It’s the perfect mix between the two that translates into what looks like beautiful works of nature.




The Veranda is one of seven house types that are available. Its roofline emulates the gentle sloping down and mounding up of mountain contours. To make the roof appear lightweight, project engineers prefer wood shingles to ceramics not only for the top covering, but also for other building envelopes, particularly the front facades. The result is a pleasing uniformity of design.

House-on-stilts design combines form with function to create comfy and convenient living spaces for the Veranda model. To this effect, all the rooms are easily accessible from the 23-square-meter veranda. The spacious gallery is a good spot for the family to chill out together and soak up a beautiful hillside ambience. Not too far from Bangkok, the location is equally good either as a mountain escape, or a salubrious family home. Either way it looks to be a win-win.