Blog : modern thai house

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

This home 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.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun // Photography: Anupong Chaisukkasem 

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 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 Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

The owner’s close connection to the factory business and his 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: 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 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 Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

House orientation takes into consideration 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. Ceilings in 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 TraditionContemporary 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 gets a lot of sunlight, but trees give it a fresh green tint, especially the brush cherry tree planted the middle of the house.

Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition Contemporary Thai House Enhanced with Local Tradition

The owner, Ms. Aim, said, “we like being contemporary, but also being Thai. The openness of kitchen and pool are great. The soft sound of running water is sweet. My husband likes to listen to songs, 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.

You may also like

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era
Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace
In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

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

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun, Sarayut Sreetip-ard // Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul // Style: Jeedwonder // Architect: NORMAL PRACTICE // Landscape Architect: Lana Studio  

The owner wanted to provide his parents with a home where they could enjoy the ways of life of a new era. His first thought was to create a modern-style house with all customary functionality. Combining the good points of old and new, the result is a single-story resort-style house with a contemporary look and a relaxed atmosphere reinforced by a swimming pool.

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

With a usable area of 700 square meters, the house takes the shape of the letter “U,” filling a wide space the architect tightened up for the sake of intimacy: family members feel in closer touch with each other. The openness makes for good air circulation, yet acts as a divider between common areas of living and dining room and a more private side. The roof reminds us of a traditional gabled Thai house, but the gable is clearly steeper and higher.

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

“Thai gabled roofs come in many forms,” said the architect, “but if the gable faced any way but front it wouldn’t be pretty, since it would make roof look unbalanced. From the side the sharply-sloping “lean-to roof” offers a rectangle. The house faces south to catch the wind, but also gets sun there, so the gable has to provide shade, and the eaves extend further out. Especially at the end the roof rises even higher, providing more welcoming open space in front of the house, an eye-catching feature with a contemporary look that also provides needed functionality.”

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

The high gables not only help protect against southern exposure to sun, but also build a characteristic aesthetic of this home continuous with interior building design elements. The “U” shape leaves a space in the middle used as an open courtyard that holds the swimming pool and a gorgeous tree. Every point in the house looks out on it through the surrounding glass walls, connecting everyone with the courtyard and with each other.

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

From the exterior the architectural design flows inside into the interior in a play of shapes and lines. The interior ceiling opens up into the gable-shaped steel frame where the hardness of the steel is reduced with the use of wood, again reminding us that this is a Thai home. The furniture blends right in, shapes with a modern simplicity and a lot of wood in the mix adding to the sense of relaxation.

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

Modern Thai House Adapts to the New Era

You may also like

In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace
In Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

Surrounded by Warmth and Happiness
Surrounded by Warmth and Happiness

10 Modern Tropical Homes for Inspiration

10 Modern Tropical Homes for Inspiration

Living ASEAN presents 10 modern tropical homes for an inspiration as we celebrate another year ending and a new one beginning. They focus on a beautiful blend of indoor and outdoor spaces that translates into stylish patios, cool verandas and courtyard tropical gardens. Plus, plenty of ideas to make your yard lush!

 

PEACEFUL, SHADY NORTHEASTERN THAI HOUSE


MODERN HOUSE AMID A COUNTRY ATMOSPHERE


 

VIETNAM TRADITIONAL BRICK HOUSE


 

QUIET INTERACTION OF NATURE AND ARCHITECTURE


 

LOCAL THAI HOUSE IN A JAPANESE TRADITION


 

LOCAL, WITH A MODERN FLAVOR


 

A WHITE HOUSE MATCHING MODERN ARCHITECTURE TO ITS ENVIRONMENT


 

CANALSIDE “GARDEN HOUSE” FOR HAPPINESS


MODERN HOUSE WITH A THAI FLAVOR


SINGLE-STOREY HOUSE ON A FOUNDATION OF SIMPLICITY

 


You may also like…

10 INSPIRING MODERN TROPICAL HOUSES

 

A STEEL FRAME WATERFRONT HOUSE THAT BLENDS MODERNITY WITH CONTEXT
Local, with a Modern Flavor

Local, with a Modern Flavor

This steel-frame Thai house, a vacation home with a tai thun (open space below), is pared down to modern-style essentials and incorporates elements of a Buddhist temple. Natural ventilation is good enough that it doesn’t need to rely on air conditioning.

/// THAILAND ///
Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul /// Design: PO-D Architects

Regarding “Baan Loy Lom,” as the home is known, a PO-D Company architect said, “This house in the Baan Rai Thaw Si Project presented the challenge of creating a restful getaway for meditation practice on holidays, eliminating all nonessentials. The house’s owner didn’t want to come here and have it be like everywhere else, but rather to have a temple mood, with a monks’ hall, a place to invite dear friends to come sit in a meditation circle and practice dharma.” There were two more challenges. First, the owner was partial to Thai houses, but wanted this one to have a steel frame. One reason for that was that the house had connections to the steel industry, and another was a village conservationist regulation forbidding use of land fill above a certain height.

Thai house Modern HouseThai house Modern House Thai house Modern HouseThai house Modern House

Design began with the steel frame and then added features that give the house truly Thai characteristics. A high tai thun open lower space was added, with display columns independent of the house frame. Usable space is separated into blocks connected by open areas. The roof’s partially gabled section connects with a single-sheet roof. Other signature additions include open panels, latticework, openings for light, and folding doors, all elements of traditional Thai houses, but arranged differently here.

Thai house Modern House Thai house Modern House

The “monks’ hall” takes central importance, so by design it is visible from every room. For privacy’s sake, though, it can’t be seen from the street. The walkway has a bent axis to give desired angles of view. Brick walls are of Lampang clay, with a lighter shade and more relaxing to the eyes than brick from elsewhere. Apertures inspired by the shape of a temple are cut into walls, but these are of varying sizes and arranged in ways that aren’t always orderly, so that the house doesn’t appear too austere. Similarly, latticework is arranged to give the house a warm look and also to let in breeze and light as appropriate.

Thai house Modern House Thai house Modern House Thai house Modern House Thai house Modern House Thai house Modern House Thai house Modern House

 

Inside, especially in the living room – which is like a shady, roofed platform – we feel the air circulating around us, never too warm. This shows the success of the design plan, based on Thai-style traditional construction from roof to wide openings for air and light, but enhanced with modern materials such as steel, channeled through the wisdom of an architect with the ability to find solutions matching the wants and needs of the people who live here.

House with a Thai/Modern Mix

House with a Thai/Modern Mix

Utilizing the good qualities of the traditional Thai house in modern home design results in comfortable living and a look that will never go out of style.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Foryeah /// Photography: Soopakorn Srisakul, Beer Singnoi /// Design: Sorawis Na Nakhon, Bab Studio

Sunscreen of durable aluminum with a wood-like design blocks glare from the west
Entryway from the carport, reminiscent of the “tai thun” space below a Thai house
Above the front entrance, a border of potted plants adds green to the roof deck

“Ban Bua House,” named after Bua and Ban, owner Ruja Rojanai’s daughter and son, was designed by Mr. Sorawis Na Nakhon of Bab Studio. His intention was to build the most pleasing aspects of a traditional Thai house into a beautiful new modern format.

“Almost all the houses in this neighborhood open onto a busy street, but this is at the end of the alley, in a quiet, private cul-de-sac,” says the architect. “We planned the house in an “H” form which has more outside walls, allowing for more doors and windows and resulting in better ventilation than in a block-shaped building.”

The “H” format separates the building into two sections. From the carport stepping into the house we pass the parlor/reception area, designed with a grand-looking “double-space” ceiling reaching up one and a half storeys. Due to the narrow, long shape of the property, for privacy service areas and maid’s quarters are in the rear, with a laundry section above reached by a separate stair. The owner’s living area is in the second wing of the H-form, with a lower-floor connecting walkway between the two sections reminiscent of the tai thun below Thai houses of old. Above the walkway is an exercise room.

Open space within the “H” is a mid-house garden, aiding air circulation
Above the entryway, openings to release hot air from below
High-ceilinged parlor/reception room, comfy and spacious

The family residence wing rises three and a half storeys high, with living room, work room, dining room, and kitchen downstairs. Floor two holds a master bedroom for the parents, and another bedroom for an aunt. The third  floor is for the daughter and son’s rooms. Each of them wanted a “mezzanine” level added to the bedrooms, hence a double-space ceiling with work space set above.

Entrance hall, continuing along the length of the house, with doors and windows aligned right and left.
Left coordinated stainless steel kitchen; Right extended double-space bedroom
Bua’s double-space bedroom
Bua’s mezzanine work area

Another thing adding to a sense of comfort and spaciousness filling this home is in its linear plan, which allows easy circulation of light and air throughout. Rooms are connected with a single walkway, and there are many doors and windows. The house faces west, presenting its narrow side to the hot afternoon son. There the architect provided thick, closed walls to block the heat, layering blocks inside to create a passage to let hot air out.

Mezzanine staircase with steel balusters in one youngster’s room
Ban’s bedroom, with a cool-looking net hung above
Ban’s mezzanine stairway
X