Blog : Modern Tropical Home

Nong Ho Holiday Home Tranquility in the Midst of Nature’s Beauty

Nong Ho Holiday Home Tranquility in the Midst of Nature’s Beauty

We think you might like a gorgeous tropical home out in the country. Here’s one that’s completely in harmony with nature. An escape from the fast-paced city life, the tranquil abode is intended as a family holiday home during the winter months. It stands environed by the pleasant mountain base grounds at Nong Ho only a short drive from downtown Chiang Mai. Strictly speaking, green is the prime color of the surroundings, and the panorama of the mountain landscape is one of breathtaking beauty. Priceless!

holiday home Chiang Maiholiday home Chiang Mai

Commenting on the design concept, Skarn Chaiyawat, architect and founder of his architectural firm and namesake, said: “The 300-square-wah, rectangular site on which the house is built is exceptionally good. In the evening, lights blaze in the sky as the sun disappears over Doi Suthep that’s easily seen from a distance. It’s really a beautiful sight to see.”

It’s a piece of land with great potential so the main idea driving the design isn’t confined to the house alone. Rather it’s a layout that has the beauty of the natural environment at its core. On the ground floor, open plan ideas come in handy covering a large area from the sitting room to dining room and pantry, plus a Thai style kitchen at the further end of the interior.

“After careful consideration, I chose the I-shaped house plan. The longer side of the rectangle overlooking the backyard lies facing west, thereby opening every room to the scenic beauty of a mountain landscape,” the architect explained.

holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Maiholiday home Chiang Mai

The architect and the homeowners agreed that, to avoid looking harsh or too modern in appearance, it makes perfect sense to blend modern building materials with heritage products in the locality. The result is a modern vernacular home that boasts the richness of natural textures. It’s built of reclaimed teakwood from old houses in the area and roofed over with clay tiles made the old-fashioned way by local artisans. House floors and parts of the walls are covered in glazed clay tiles made by Mae Rim Ceramics in Chiang Mai. All told, it’s a beautifully semi-handcrafted home that’s original and unique in its own special way. Plus, it helps reduce impacts on the environment.

holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai

The more open the house plan, the more exposure it gets to sunlight and moisture. Here, the problem is corrected by constructing elegant extended eaves around the house. Where appropriate, several arrays of retro-inspired bamboo louvres protect the house from the elements, meanwhile providing a delicate aperture to the delightful view. Together they reduce the heat, allow in gentle breezes along the east and west
facades, and offer the benefit of adding decorative privacy screens to the home.

holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai

Here’s what we found. A good home isn’t made for comfortable living alone. It must also be capable of promoting good physical and mental health. Although it has a street frontage, the family’s right to privacy is jealously guarded. There’s a backyard swimming pool for exercise. Looking out the window, a spectacular mountain view can be seen from a distance. There’s plenty of room left to grow a vegetable garden, too. In essence, it’s a way of creating an ecology of nature-human interactions.

holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai holiday home Chiang Mai

The architect wrapped it up nicely: “Even while indoors we can hear birds sing and gentle breezes rustle in the trees, plus the sweet smell of plants and rain in the yard. No need to turn on air conditioning all the time. It’s a beautiful natural setting that brings peace of mind. For us, that’s the definition of a holiday home.”

Architects: Skarn Chaiyawat Architects (www.skarnchaiyawat.com)
Design Team: Skarn Chaiyawat, Krit Chatikavanij, Phuwadol Khummali, Punika Chaiyawat
Story: Sarayut Sreetip-ard
Photographs: DOF Sky/Ground, architectural film and photography service

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Like a journey back in time, here’s a modern tropical house with the charm of yesteryear. It’s a complete renovation project inspired by the cluster homes characteristic of traditional Thai ways of life. Built with the future in mind, the old family home is lovingly restored to answer the lifestyle needs of the three generations who live here. Plus, it blends a beautiful lush green garden and innovative building materials.

Extended families have long been a pillar of Thai culture. Back in the day, when a couple joined in matrimony, traditionally it was the groom who moved into the home of the bride. As the family grew, it was time to build a new home nearby, usually on the same property. In the same way, this add-on unit is well suited to the purpose. The result is an extended family home based on cluster house design that’s the heart of family life.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Prior to being renovated, the two-story home had stood on this 200-sq-wah lot for about 20 years. Rated structurally sound, it was capable of accomplishing further improvements. Hence, a complete remodeling project was undertaken so that three generations could live together and yet enjoy the privacy and comfort of home. Extended family living offers several advantages, among them a close support structure and care for the wellbeing of all family members.  

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

The redesigned home plan boasts a peaceful courtyard with swimming pool enclosed by the walls of a large L-shaped building. There’s a passageway that allows access between the two residential units on either side, while parts of the upper floors are reserved for future use. The connected wings are interactive communities. In fact, they physically exist as two separate houses ready to change hands at some future time, which explains an empty space lying in between.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

The ground floor of what was once the family home now houses a reception area with a gym, dining room and small kitchen. The second floor is a private residential home with Mom and Dad’s bedroom and a sitting area conveniently linked with the other building. The newly added extension  comprises three all-inclusive residential units. Clearly separated from one another, they are accessible by a roofed platform along the outside of the house.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Although the homeowners like traditional Thai houses, it makes perfect sense to opt for new construction materials that are long-lasting and suitable for modern applications. They include building walls with aluminum stud framing and faux wood siding panels, which are more appropriate than real wood for air conditioning. To protect the home from the dangers of extreme heat, exterior brick walls are decorated with engineered wood cladding products. And for a more natural look, clear protective finishes are preferred over paints, while aluminum trim provides additional decoration along the edges.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Doors and windows are made of aluminum that looks and feels like wood. Together they bring a beautiful design element to the project. Plus, aluminum is more durable and functional than real wood. Overall, a hybrid of steel frames, timber and concrete construction enhances the home’s contemporary appeal, while the finishing and decoration is typical of Thai residential architecture.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House DesignA Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

While the children enjoy privacy in the comfort of their home, they have time to hang out together, shoot the breeze, exercise and share family meals with Mom and Dad. Here, open concept floor plans offer many benefits. They keep the house well ventilated, help beat daily stress, and eliminate the need for air conditioning. To get rid of food smells fast, the kitchen is at the furthest end, where Mom prepares both international dishes and authentic Thai recipes, especially the southern kind that only Mom knows best. All things considered, it’s about mealtime socialization that’s the center of family life. It’s something they do together to stay connected.

A Modern Tropical Home Inspired by Cluster House Design

Design: Pipol Likanapaisal and Apichart Rojthoranin (Space Story Studio)
Story: Sarayut
Photographs: Sitthisak
Style: Worawat

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