Blog : modern stilt house

A Stunning Breeze Block House for Avid Dog Lovers

A Stunning Breeze Block House for Avid Dog Lovers

This impressive small contemporary house is the place where a married couple live with their seven dogs. House on stilt design paired with a breeze block wall allows plenty of air and natural light into the room. Pleasant and healthy, it’s a paradise for avid dog lovers and their fluffy companions.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun / Photography: Sitthisak Namkham / Architects: REUN Home Design / Owners: Roung Jobby Wuttinawin and Whan Paktranon

The side facing west gets double layer protection. While a rose apple tree keeps the house in shade during the day, a continuous vertical breeze block structure allows fresh air into the interior.
The side facing west gets double layer protection. While a rose apple tree keeps the house in shade during the day, a continuous vertical breeze block structure allows fresh air into the interior.

The sheer loveliness of man’s best friends was reason enough for a married couple, Roung Jobby Wuttinawin and Whan Paktranon, to build a home ideally suited for their needs. The problem was Whan had allergies. To avoid going about it in the wrong way, they left the planning in the good hands of architect Unnop Wongwaipananij of REUN Home Design.

The result is a modern, geometric-shaped stilt house with a shed roof that’s well ventilated, easy to keep clean and easy to update. The side of the house facing west is protected by a continuous vertical breeze block structure, plus a full-grown tree to keep the home in shade for much of the day. The under-floor space has a carport and laundry area with plenty of room for doggie nooks. In essence, it’s a small place with all the comforts of a full-functioning home where humans and dogs live in harmony.

Jobby’s favorite spot in the house has a big table that changes function from work to recreation to dining in a flash. Here, time well spent is time spent with best friends. In a quiet and calm environment, who needs a coffee shop?
Jobby’s favorite spot in the house has a big table that changes function from work to recreation to dining in a flash. Here, time well spent is time spent with best friends. In a quiet and calm environment, who needs a coffee shop?
By floating a couch in the middle of the sitting room, the designer creates the illusion of having more space. It’s a great way to optimize the room to cultivate a bond between man’s best friends and their owners, plus it’s easy to update and keep clean.
By floating a couch in the middle of the sitting room, the designer creates the illusion of having more space. It’s a great way to optimize the room to cultivate a bond between man’s best friends and their owners, plus it’s easy to update and keep clean.
The modern shed roof dwelling is raised high above the ground on piles reminiscent of traditional Thai houses. The under-floor space has a carport, laundry area, and room for dogs to lounge about, play and get some exercise.
The modern shed roof dwelling is raised high above the ground on piles reminiscent of traditional Thai houses. The under-floor space has a carport, laundry area, and room for dogs to lounge about, play and get some exercise.

A dog’s dream house

“This house is built for the dogs. We just share a living space like a big family,” said Jobby with a laugh.

Sharing his story with us, Jobby said: “Originally I lived with Mom to the rear of the property. Other siblings also resided in the neighborhood. After I got married, I received this plot of land, about one rai, from Mom. We wanted a home that could accommodate all seven dogs we had at the time. Later, when three of them died, we adopted three new dogs after they had been injured. Who knows, we may have more in future.”.

The couple sought advice from Unnop, their architect friend who also took an avid interest in dogs. And the rest was history. Their new house is a salubrious place, one that’s bright, happy and easy to keep clean.

A section of the laundry room is cordoned off to make room for a dog yard with temporary individual crates for some that don’t get along.
A section of the laundry room is cordoned off to make room for a dog yard with temporary individual crates for some that don’t get along.
A lightweight sofa can move easily to make the small living room feel bigger.
A lightweight sofa can move easily to make the small living room feel bigger.
The bedroom is furnished with just the bare necessities consisting of a bed, sideboard, and desk. Open plan design makes perfect sense in a situation where dogs are allowed to sleep in the bedroom.
The bedroom is furnished with just the bare necessities consisting of a bed, sideboard, and desk. Open plan design makes perfect sense in a situation where dogs are allowed to sleep in the bedroom.

A happy state of mind in geometric design

The geometric house design that the couple requests is simple yet attractively modern thanks to its shed roof style. Stilt house design offers ample under-floor spaces for a carport, laundry area and plenty of room just for dogs. The floor is a flat slap that’s formed of concrete making it easy for future updates. It lies surrounded by lush green lawns and stable pea gravel paths that are ideal for dog runs.

Whan said that she discovered the benefits of breeze block construction while reading BaanLaeSuan magazines. Square concrete blocks with air vents are a perfect match for geometric house design. “In fact, I want to do more home decorating, but ‘Photo’ (her golden retriever) is only 9 months old and very active. So the open floor plan is the best solution at least for the time being. Living room furniture understandably comes down to the bare essentials. There’s a couch that floats in the middle of the room surrounded by dogs, while a computer desk for Jobby is placed against a wall. The dogs sleep in the same room at night.”

A design based on human needs and dog behavior

The blueprint is not only about humans sharing a living space with their canine companions. It’s also about creating functions suitable for their physical and mental health. Every little thing counts. The top half of the main gate is made of perforated metal sheets that allow dogs to see outside. The deck bench seat and stairs have steel railing that protects against slip and fall accidents. The floors are non-carpeted to reduce dust and allergens in the home. As a precaution, rough floor tiles are used instead. Curtains are made of washable material that’s easy to keep clean. Meantime, window sills are set lower with safety grazing to allow dogs to look outside.

In developing his design concept, the architect said: “Because the house faces due south, the front façade sees the most hours of sunlight during the day. So we put the building in the east side of the land with the bedroom at the rear to avoid heat buildup inside and for better privacy..

“To cool down the interior living spaces, the bathroom is placed along the side to provide a buffer against the harsh afternoon sun. This in turn keeps the bathroom dry and protects against humidity damage. For practical reasons, an air brick wall is chosen to allow southwesterly winds to enter and circulate inside. Nearby, an additional layer of protection is provided by a full-grown rose apple tree.”

There are many health benefits of owning dogs. They are reason enough to wake up feeling fresh, get out of bed, and step outside.
There are many health benefits of owning dogs. They are reason enough to wake up feeling fresh, get out of bed, and step outside.
Even dogs need a vacation. Jobby, Whan and their four-legged friends are on a bird watching trip to Bang Pu, Samut Prakarn, which is only a short drive from where they live.
Even dogs need a vacation. Jobby, Whan and their four-legged friends are on a bird watching trip to Bang Pu, Samut Prakarn, which is only a short drive from where they live.

Asked what it’s like to live here, the couple said: “Overjoyed! We’ve made the most effective use of indoor and outdoor spaces, especially the main living room. The late afternoon is usually spent with the dogs in the under-floor room where fresh air is plentiful. Sometimes we take them out for a walk, go swimming or make a bird watching trip to Bang Pu, which is only 10 kilometers away. The seven dogs make living here a pleasure. Each one of them has its special doggie nook. We know they are happy to be here, too.”

From Old Home to Stunning House on Stilts

From Old Home to Stunning House on Stilts

This lovingly restored home on the canal is a hybrid of wood and concrete. Made of recycled materials from an old building on the property, it evokes memories of the house on stilts symbolic of the Thai way of life. Reclaimed timber paired with concrete framework and smart design elements creates a harmonious blend of traditional and modern. 

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Samutcha Viraporn // Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul

 

The old house before a complete teardown to make room for a new home.
The old house before a complete teardown to make room for a new home.

A New House with Old World Charm

Suthep Iam-on is the owner of an old house on the canal in Bang Pakong area. It has fallen into disrepair. At first, he had planned to just leave it at that and move on to build a new house closer to the road instead. He sought advice from architect Kasin Sornsri of Volume Metrix Studio about building a naked concrete home. But after inspecting the proposed site, Kasin thought it wise to do a complete teardown of the old home to make room for a new one using materials recycled from the old house.

The interior makes use of large, open spaces. Food is prepared in the farthest area enclosed by brick walls. The door to the master bedroom is opposite a dining table set that the homeowner bought from BaanLaeSuan Fair. In the foreground, a sitting room with sofa and coffee counter affords beautiful views.
The interior makes use of large, open spaces. Food is prepared in the farthest area enclosed by brick walls. The door to the master bedroom is opposite a dining table set that the homeowner bought from BaanLaeSuan Fair. In the foreground, a sitting room with sofa and coffee counter affords beautiful views.
The coffee counter with a view. The stairs leading to the second floor is to the right side of the room protected from sunlight by a solid wall.
Polished concrete surfaces adorn the front entrance. The doorway casing is made of reclaimed timber, while brickwork stands out as the main feature of the hybrid wood and concrete home.
Homeowner Suthep Iam-on walks toward the rear of the house. The corridor looks spacious as it is in the interior living space.
Homeowner Suthep Iam-on walks toward the rear of the house. The corridor looks spacious as it is in the interior living space.

Explaining his concept, Kasin said: “Essentially it’s about building a new home that’s very much part of the spirit of the times. It’s a design that connects with the way of life of the ordinary people. At the same time, it doesn’t have to be the kind of Thai style house that we have grown accustomed to for years. Not many people appreciate that. Nor is it anything like a group of buildings of the Ayutthaya Period.”

Built by locals over 40 years ago, the old stilt house was in poor condition. Many home features did not meet living standards now, plus a few add-ons were put in place including concrete walls that enclosed the ground floor, which affected structural integrity. Nonetheless, the way of life here has remained unchanged and carefully integrated into the new design. In the process, every little detail was decoded into intelligent language. The result was an entirely new home built on a concrete structure. It has all the key attributes of the traditional Thai home, such as an open space on the ground floor, a platform along the outside for fresh air, and corridor connecting the rooms. They are wrapped in old timber recycled from the old house.

 

The sitting parlor showcases numerous trophies won as prizes for victory in bird contests. Not far away, a full grown tamarind tree keeps the living room in shade.
The sitting parlor showcases numerous trophies won as prizes for victory in bird contests. Not far away, a full grown tamarind tree keeps the living room in shade.
On the southwest side, the hallway that contains a staircase receives a fair amount of sunlight. It’s protected from too much sun by a tamarind tree and wood pillars recycled from the old house. Shadows thrown on the wall are on show again naturally.
On the southwest side, the hallway that contains a staircase receives a fair amount of sunlight. It’s protected from too much sun by a tamarind tree and wood pillars recycled from the old house. Shadows thrown on the wall are on show again naturally.
The wing that contains a bedroom is covered in reclaimed timber. It’s raised on piles to protect from humidity and doubles as engine that drives natural air circulation. Variegated colors of old wood bespeak the vernacular choice of material.
The wing that contains a bedroom is covered in reclaimed timber. It’s raised on piles to protect from humidity and doubles as engine that drives natural air circulation. Variegated colors of old wood bespeak the vernacular choice of material.

Ground Floor Living Room, Simple Materials, and Lighting Ideas

The first eye-catching feature is concrete framework with polished surfaces paired with stunning wood accents. Reclaimed timber from the old house finds new purposes as flooring materials, interlaced structures resembling lattices, and pillars supporting lightweight parts of the building. Walk into the interior, and you come before an open floor plan that’s the hallmark of modern home design. Further back lies a courtyard with corridor connecting the rooms. There are bedrooms on one side and an open space on the other, which looks out over a garden and nearby Bang Samak Canal. As the homeowner puts it, the area arouses a sentimental longing for the past, especially memories of his father’s time.

One thing the architect is able to do is concentrate on significant features of the Thai house and incorporate them in the language of new house design. They include the use of transom windows, skylights, pillars, and lattices, which he carefully places at intervals. In so doing, large pillars recycled from the old house are erected along the western front to help protect the area exposed to the sun. By late afternoon, the soft glowing light from the sky alternating with dark areas creates a relaxing atmosphere like the Thai house in olden days. By nightfall, lanterns light up at intervals as a means of visual expression and make the home cozy and welcoming. The house built on stilts offers plenty of headroom on the ground floor to let fresh air enter and circulate from the southwest. Not far away, a full grown tamarind tree keeps the area in shade for much of the day.

 

From the canal looking in, the courtyard floor is covered in pebble stone pavers amid the vernacular garden that’s easy on the eyes. The homeowner’s son lives in the two-level wing on the right.
From the canal looking in, the courtyard floor is covered in pebble stone pavers amid the vernacular garden that’s easy on the eyes. The homeowner’s son lives in the two-level wing on the right.
The ground floor with plenty of headroom is characteristic of the Thai style house on stilts. The area under the canopy of trees is kept cool by gentle breezes.
The ground floor with plenty of headroom is characteristic of the Thai style house on stilts. The area under the canopy of trees is kept cool by gentle breezes.
Old wood piles not fitting for building purpose find new life as garden sculpture ideas by the waterfront.
Old wood piles not fitting for building purpose find new life as garden sculpture ideas by the waterfront.
A garden path connects the house to a landing stage on the canal.
A garden path connects the house to a landing stage on the canal.
Under the canopy of tall trees, the ground floor is open to receive cool breezes blowing in from the southwest.
Under the canopy of tall trees, the ground floor is open to receive cool breezes blowing in from the southwest.
A warm and welcoming atmosphere embraced by nature.
A warm and welcoming atmosphere embraced by nature.
The character and atmosphere of the place viewed from the waterfront garden.
The character and atmosphere of the place viewed from the waterfront garden.

The Allure of a Handcrafted Home

The house has many aviaries for keeping birds in. They are there by design. At different places, new decor items stand embraced by old artifacts as a means of visual expression that merges countryside vernacular with modern living. Together, they represent a source of pride and pleasure within the local community. More than anything else, it’s a handmade home in its own right. The architect’s message is evident. That is to say, a home doesn’t have to be of impeccable character. Bricks don’t have to be identical to make beautiful walls. “Likewise, if we look at life carefully, we’ll find that everyone is interesting in his own special way. All ways of life are just as beautiful,” said the architect.

The cube-shaped wing houses a sitting parlor that showcases trophies from victory in bird contests.
The cube-shaped wing houses a sitting parlor that showcases trophies from victory in bird contests.
Despite its contemporary cube design, the house is built of simple materials with features that are the hallmark of the traditional house on stilts.
Despite its contemporary cube design, the house is built of simple materials with features that are the hallmark of the traditional house on stilts.
The hybrid wood and concrete home boasts a spacious ground floor that’s fully functional and perfectly suitable for modern living.
The hybrid wood and concrete home boasts a spacious ground floor that’s fully functional and perfectly suitable for modern living.
An archway forms a passage from the landing stage on the canal. This picture was taken during a dry season.
An archway forms a passage from the landing stage on the canal. This picture was taken during a dry season.
Seen from a distance, the house stands surrounded by mature trees that provide shade and make it comfortable to live.
Seen from a distance, the house stands surrounded by mature trees that provide shade and make it comfortable to live.
The power of storytelling. A veranda in front of the house showcases a collection of tools ad utesils used by the people of Bang Pakong area.
The power of storytelling. A veranda in front of the house showcases a collection of tools ad utesils used by the people of Bang Pakong area.

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Twin Houses, Modern Thai Style

Twin Houses, Modern Thai Style

These “modern stilt houses” built twin-style for siblings share a natural common space, a surrounding garden, and are in no danger from flooding.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun /// Photography: Rithirong Chanthongsuk ///  Design: Office AT Co, Ltd.by Surachai Akekapobyotin and Juthathip Techachumreon

These identical homes belonging to brothers in the Changprasert family are built on a trapezoidal lot with the wide side in front. “The original 30-year-old houses were seriously deteriorating, so the question was whether to renovate, or completely rebuild. In the end, demolition and rebuilding won out. This gave us all the functionality and the appearance and décor that we were looking for,” said Win (Totsawin Changprasert), the young IT professional showing us his house.

“From my reading I already liked the modern minimal style, and so looked online for architects who do this. Office AT seemed to be a perfect choice, so we invited them to design our new houses.”

With identical façades, the houses each have 350 square meters of usable space. Considering property size limitations, the architects set the houses next to each other in back, on the narrow side of the trapezoid. The wide front is dominated by a lush green garden, and a walkway connects Win’s and his younger brother’s house before extending out to the fence.

Since there had been serious flooding here, the architects created a modern adaptation of the traditional Thai house, raised above a lower space (known as a tai thun). This helps with air circulation while also providing a utility area and a room for the housekeeper.

Photo : Office AT

Even though it’s very private, the 3rd floor of Win’s house has no dividing wall, just a continuous flow of space.

 “These two houses are similar, but differences reflect the owners’ personalities. Win’s “double-volume” ceiling makes his living room feel really spacious. His brother has a wide private balcony on the third floor giving a “void” spatial effect for viewing the surrounding greenery through wide-panel glass windows,” says the Office AT architect.

Although their staircases are on opposite sides, the houses have the same functional setup. The second floor holds living room, dining room, and kitchen. “A unique feature of Win’s living room is the wall framing the flat screen TV: it blocks the view from outside, with high glass walls to the right and left letting in light and offering great views. There’s also a skylight for natural illumination of the indoor staircase. Rooms on the third floor are directly connected, no separating walls, which makes for a natural flow of space and a relaxing feeling.”

Photo : Office AT

The staircase up to the third floor in Win’s younger brother’s house is enclosed in clear glass panels, dispersing natural light all throughout the house, relaxing to the eyes.

“Before, when there was such a clear separation of house and garden, it felt dark and dull inside. For a taste of nature we had to walk out from the house into the garden. Now, with glass walls opening wide on the greenery in front, we can hang out here, watch TV, work, whatever, it’s just more relaxed,” Win adds with a smile.

Photo : Office AT
Photo : Office AT

The younger brother’s staircase, enclosed in clear glass.

 

Link : http://www.officeat.com/


 

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