Blog : Modern Tropical House

Tropical Stilt House with a Modern Aura

Tropical Stilt House with a Modern Aura

Like a trend that never goes out of style, this Tropical house on stilts perfectly blends tradition with the aura of modernity. Check this out.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Ekkarach Laksanasamlich /// Photography: Piyawut Srisakul /// Style: Pakawadee Pahulo /// Design: Kyai Nuichan




A handsome new home is starkly juxtaposed with a quaint old house on the same piece of real estate. The agreeable contrast is the brainchild of two longtime friends: Apinan Makchuay, the owner and engineer, and Kayi Nuichan, the architect.

Apinan has always wanted to put in new house here. He felt it was the most comfortable place to live. The two buddies have worked together to satisfy the housing needs of their clients. This time they put their heads together to satisfy their specific lifestyle needs.

Kayi came up with house-on-stilts design to emulate the existing old-fashioned home his friend already had. He wanted Apinan to feel easily adjusted to new conditions that came with new design. The result was a combination of tradition and modern design trends. The new house has a double-layer roof designed for the Tropical climate, while the interior is separated into different modules conveniently linked by a patio. It’s made light and airy in keeping with the main attribute of stilt houses common throughout the Tropics.

Like old times, the owner spends the daytime on the poolside patio and only goes into the rooms at nightfall. As the puts it, that is the traditional way of reaping the full benefits of the Tropical climate.



The new house comes complete with three bedrooms, living room, workspace, dining area and kitchen. To shade it against the sun, the two friends managed to keep many existing trees on the property. Over time nature regained its place adding a soothing tropical ambience the old-meets-new scenario.

The house with a distinctive atmosphere took a long time in the making. It’s clear the two buddies have wanted it to be an enchanting place to live — one that’s perfect beyond words.





Concrete House with an Enchanting Surprise

Concrete House with an Enchanting Surprise

Despite being seated on a small plot of land, a concrete home with elements of elegance feels spacious and airy, thanks to a Tropical courtyard landscape. Check this out.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa /// Photgraphy: Sungwan Phratep /// Style: Boonyawee Boonnak /// Design: Intanon Chantip of INchan atelier




Back in the day when he was building this house for the most amazing person in the world — his mom, architect Intanon Chantip insisted on putting a nice, little center courtyard. “My idea is that no one wants to live alone,” he explained. “A courtyard allows people to live life well among nature. It turns a house into a vibrant dwelling place while attracting birds and bees, cats and other animals.”

After his mother passed, the house was inherited by his brother, who had never been fond of a courtyard idea. Initially he wanted to put in a roof to shelter it from storm water runoffs. But after having lived in it for a while, he had a change of heart. Like a blessing in disguise, the center yard over time transformed into a little Tropical paradise enabling him to live a refocused life embraced by nature.




The interior boasts double high ceilings with a beautifully crafted spiral staircase on one side of the room. There are elements of unmistakable elegance manifested in the design that makes the hallway cozy and inviting. The lush center courtyard can be seen in full view both from here and from the second floor balcony.

It’s amazing how a once unpopular idea transformed into the heart and soul of a family. A center courtyard with thriving Tropical plants could very well be the first thing on your to-do list next time you plan to update your home.



Hanging and potted houseplants turn the little courtyard into another day in paradise.
Hanging and potted houseplants turn the little courtyard into another day in paradise.


Modern Tropical House with a Smart Roof

Modern Tropical House with a Smart Roof

Tropical houses with long overhangs are designed to protect your happiness from the elements. This modern home with a big roof is capable of doing exactly that. Check this out.

/// Malaysia ///
Story: Ekkarach Laksanasamlich /// Photography: Piyawut Srisakul /// Design: Tan Loke Mun of ArchiCentre Sdn. Bhd.




The house with an expansive roof sits peacefully behind sandstone wall design in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Not only does it shield the interior from the heat and inclement weather. The extended eaves also jut out in all directions to cover much of the yard space. The eye-catching design was made at the request of the homeowners, who loved being outdoors.

The well thought-out design is lightweight. The entire roof is made of metal trusses consisting of straight members connected at joints. In some parts, the eaves overhang the walls of the building stretching out as far as 18 meters. Not wanting to disrupt visual continuity, the architect uses small-diameter steel poles to support the weight. Where necessary, larger-diameter poles are used only to enhance safety and durability. The end result is fantastic. All rooms afford beautiful garden views come rain or come shine.




Built around a center courtyard, the home has four stories including a basement. The garden ambience is reminiscent of the atrium in an ancient Roman house, except that everything is under the shade. The courtyard is easily accessible via sliding glass doors on the first floor. For a soothing interior atmosphere, the architect focuses on natural materials such as brick, rock, wood and some metal in simple, clean finishes.

Modern tropical design makes for comfortable living no doubt. But it’s the big roof that takes it to the next level. Here thermal comfort comes from combining intelligent use of space with a good knowledge of native plants and the knowhow to incorporate them in the design.







Contemporary Thai Wooden House Masterpiece

Contemporary Thai Wooden House Masterpiece

Created by a master architect, this wooden house bespeaks the timeless elegance of Contemporary Thai residential architecture. Unmistakably brilliant. Check this out.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Supachart Boontang /// Photography: Chaiyapruk Podang /// Owner/Designer: Chatree Ladalalitsakul of Tonsilp Studio




“I intended to build a house out of wood because our country has strengths in wooden architecture,” said Chatree Ladalalitsakul, a nationally renowned architect. “Use of wood is the roots of our wisdom and culture. It has made us self-sufficient in residential construction.”

Located in a Bangkok suburb, the three-story Contemporary Thai house is crafted mainly of wood and concrete in beautiful flatwork finishes. Its uncluttered interior speaks to the minimalist style combining aesthetics and functionality in ways that allow materials to show off their unique character.

Because the owner wanted his home to be perfect in every way, he gave the carpenters all the time it took to do it once and do it right. The resulting unsurpassed craftsmanship took three years in the making. The house emerged as a magnum opus in Contemporary Thai residential architecture like he intended. Striking the right balance, the interior showcases just enough pieces of magnificent woodwork, some of which rare in this day and age.





Activities are used to divide the house into two zones. There’s a 10-meter-wide open space that clearly separates the living zone from the office area. The in-between space provides visitors a place to chill out in the cool breeze looking out over the pool. The first-floor living area has plenty of room for dining, a Thai-style kitchen, and a piano room. The bedroom and private workspace are on the second floor. A multiuse space on the third floor is reserved for recreational activities and the owner’s favorite hobby, painting.

A culture of wood construction that for centuries has benefited from the wisdom of “our predecessors” is on the decline, he said, adding, “If it’s gone, our next generations will lose it for good.” There are merits in the house as it stands. This is one that bespeaks the owner’s passion to keep inspiring young architects to do their parts in perpetuating Thai wood house design and architecture for years to come.








Awesome Tropical Lake House

Awesome Tropical Lake House

It’s hard not to love this modern tropical house at the water’s edge. Wait until you see the inside and the infinity pool. It’s awesome.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Panchat Changchan /// Photography: Sungwan Phratep, Sitthisak Namkam /// Vorapoj Tachaumnueysuk of Monotello Company Limited.



Country living being a lifestyle choice, who needs extravagant furniture and all the luxurious amenities? Striking a happy medium, this family’s tropical house is designed to soak up the lakeside ambience with just enough modern conveniences.

The layout is inspired by the traditional Thai house, in which the living room, dining room and even kitchen seamlessly merge into one open concept interior. This family home in particular is a one-bedroom with a big common area capable of updating and adapting to suit different lifestyle needs that can occur over time.

The comfortable and cozy look of wood dominates the interior living spaces. The entire walls, windows, and doors are made of teakwood in light to medium shades of brown. For durability, the floor is crafted of Tembusu timber that is known for long-lasting hardwood quality. Floating pieces of ash wood furniture in complementing hues bedeck the spacious interior rekindling memories of a laid-back temperament of old-world homes along canals.

The interior is well lit thanks to an array of overhead transom windows that allow plenty of natural light.
The interior is well lit thanks to an array of overhead transom windows that allow plenty of natural light.




Need a break? The house’s most relaxing spot is the area around an infinity pool, which originates indoors and stretches into the distance giving the impression that it merges into the lake. The homeowner family usually hangs out together and entertain visitors here.

Set on a big piece of land, the modest vacation home has given the family a freedom to explore new recreational activities, something they miss whilst in the city. Out here on a tract of lush countryside, time well spent is time spent together riding bicycles and tending vegetable nurseries. The homeowner family now stays here three days a week and loves every minute of it.




Modern House in a Forest Setting

Modern House in a Forest Setting

The architect uses clever techniques to make this modern house look like it’s crafted entirely of wood. Check it out.

/// Thailand ///
Story: Wuttikorn Suthiapa /// Photography: Thanakitti Khamon, Nattawat Songsang /// Design: Kanika Ratanapridakul of Spacetime Architects Co., Ltd.



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.

“This house may have some imperfections, but it has the same good quality as those that I have done prior,” said the architect, adding, “It feels natural and relaxing.”



Kanika came up with a new way to create a thriving green space. She used to grow single-species stands, but this time for her family home, she thought differently. The house now stands surrounded by a mix of tree species, ranging from Indian cork to mahogany to bamboo. Stands of mixed species offer many benefits. In no time they grow and mature to become a healthy ecosystem, turning the landscape into a little forest. At ground level, the land is covered by shrubs in bright tones, including Minnie roots, or popping pods, and pinto peanuts.

Evergreen foliage along the perimeter fence shades the bedroom from the heat of the afternoon sun.
Evergreen foliage along the perimeter fence shades the bedroom from the heat of the afternoon sun.



The architect chooses house-on-stilts design for its warm, intimate feeling and better air circulation. Its open concept living area makes for flexible space utilization. For the look and feel of wooden homes, real timber is used especially in areas that people always pay attention. They include the floor, ceilings, the stairs, handrails, and wood paneling walls opposite the bedrooms. As she puts it, that’s enough to create an easygoing wooden ambience, despite the fact that main building materials are concrete and metals.

“Wood adds softness and warmth to the house, because it is one of a few materials that used to live just like us humans,” she said.

Many brilliant ideas went into making this modern house livable. Yet it’s not flawless. Ironically it’s the imperfections that makes it perfect for the forest setting.

Timber makes up the wood paneling wall in the bathroom opposite the bedroom.
Timber makes up the wood paneling wall in the bathroom opposite the bedroom.
Bench railing design incorporates the guard rails and deck seating in one solid piece.
Bench railing design incorporates the guard rails and deck seating in one solid piece.
An increase in the interior space is achieved by keeping the shower room outside (left) and making the TV feature wall protrude outward (right).
An increase in the interior space is achieved by keeping the shower room outside (left) and making the TV feature wall protrude outward (right).


Hybrid Wood and Concrete Home amid Lush Green Rice Paddies

Hybrid Wood and Concrete Home amid Lush Green Rice Paddies

RATCHABURI / A wood shingle roof emerged as we took a turn onto a rustic country road about an hour’s drive from Bangkok. The hybrid wood and concrete home sits gracefully amid patches of lush green rice paddies.

Viewed from above, the center court features a sundeck that looks as if it were floating in midair. Lush foliage adds a touch of nature and serves as privacy curtains separating the courtyard from living spaces along the corridors. 
Nantapong Yindeekhun and his family sojourned in this part of Ratchaburi after massive flooding hit Bangkok and the immediate vicinity in 2011. It was the love of the bucolic setting that eventually led to them deciding to build a house here. To accommodate the needs of every family member, the new home took up a large space. The rooms are totally separate yet easily accessible to one another via a system of sheltered corridors.



The combined work and sitting spaces boast clean, uncluttered design with an emphasis on space optimization.
The interior walls boast naked concrete finishes in neutral shades. 
The mezzanine cabin bedroom comes adequately sized and boasts the rustic feel of an attic-style living space.
One of the bedrooms features a seat by the balcony. The bed is rested on the mezzanine. 


The center courtyard that’s hemmed in by the passage lies within easy reach, while long roof overhangs protect the walkway and exterior walls from the elements.
A rock garden is situated in the heart of the courtyard canopied by overhanging trees. Looking from above, patches of lush foliage act as a curtain for privacy. There’s a home office on the ground floor that offers a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
A peaceful rock garden is accessible via the house’s entryway on the ground floor. Planted trees in a good distance from one another make room for shady areas with good ventilation.


The corridor and balcony rely on cantilever beams, which are cost effective and make good architectural sense. “I think cantilever beams are like bonuses that the main structure has to offer. They eliminate the needs for extra foundations and save time. Supported by the main structure, the balconies and corridors are 1.50-meters wide. The exterior walls sport the rustic look of old rice barn,” said the designer.

The front façade features a stairway on the left side leading to guest reception spaces on the second floor. A series of extended eaves spread in all directions to shelter the home from rains and sun’s harsh glare.
A private library offers plenty of reference materials and tools needed to pursue a career as a designer. Glass walls allow abundant natural light. The room is protected by wood shingle roofing.  
The spacious kitchen makes use of clean design to showcase the natural texture of bare concrete finishes. Tile flooring in shades of black add interest to the well-ventilated space designed to make pungent odor quickly disappear. 


For this reason, timber materials are not chemically treated. Its durability relies on the quality of the wood itself. Takhianthong (Hopea Odorata) is mainly used. This timber is used in making boat piers and can tolerate year of rains and sunshine. Likewise, concrete surfaces are left intact to bring out their true textures.


“For the time being I am shuttling between home in the city and this country house. One day, should I grow tired of living in the city, this is the place to be. It is beautiful living out here. In the cold season, natural light is just about right, warm and comforting. You just have to see it yourself,” said the homeowner.

A wood bridge leads to the serene backyard in the vicinity of the home office and the library right above it. Plans are afoot to turn this outdoor space into a garden.

After all, it is the modern meets rustic charm which makes this half concrete half wood house a warm and humble feel like no other.

Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa
Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul
Designer: Nantapong Yindeekhun


House on The Rock / Samui Beach House

House on The Rock / Samui Beach House

It is not common to build a house in a rocky terrain. But this house on the rock stands tall against all odds.

/// Thailand /// 

Story: Ottomaan /// Photo: Sungwan Phratem /// Architect: Kusol Im Erbsin 

The well-rounded balcony juts out from the master bedroom and comes to rest on a big boulder in a complementing shape.

The house is settled on a tight land of less than an acre. The landscape is hemmed by huge rocks. From afar, it’s hard to tell the shape of the house, as it sits on a lower level than a nearby road.

The second floor offers an alfresco dining room/ sundeck with panoramic ocean views.

Boulders across the landscape force the buildings to come in separate units, each is anchored with a rock to secure its place. The design is modern and simple. Overall exterior is clean and neat, highlighted with a shed roof. Different asymmetry shapes are used, while rectangular shapes are avoided to achieve the most nature-blending buildings.

The main entryway appears light and airy. Where necessary, the walls are made of strips of timber evenly placed at intervals instead of solid walls.

Buildings are set on a slightly different levels. The shed roof on the main villa creates a wide open facade. The diagonal lines are also applied to other exterior walls. The overall wooden materials make the house looks warm and inviting.

The sitting room features a modern sectional sofa with complementing wood furniture.
The dining space features a long dining table crafted of slab timber resting on tree stumps. A zebra graphic pattern at the far end adds a touch of nature to the room.

The two-storey main villa features a T-shaped floor plan. On the second floor, an ample sitting area is offered along with a panoramic ocean view. Exterior walls are partly covered in timber strips, placed at intervals for ventilation. Bricks wall covered in plaster and glass windows are applied where appropriate. A wide sundeck is served as an alfresco dining room.

The ground floor is also connected to outdoor. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels are installed. A lounge area is equipped with a huge bed. Next to the space is a semi-formal dining room and a contemporary-looking pantry.

A garden pathway connects the two buildings. To the left, patches of greenery and timber strips are put in to soften the harsh appearance of nearby cliff faces.
Viewed from the outbuilding, the main villa boasts striking trapezoidal roof design.

The first outbuilding is opposite to the main villa, accessible via a garden pathway. The single-story home offers a small bedroom. The ensuite unit boasts an outdoor bathroom.

The master bedroom lies in a smaller outbuilding, separated from the main villa.


The second outbuilding sits slightly lower than the rest. The floor plan is similar to a sundeck on a cruise. The master bedroom sits on a big boulder, the top edge can be seen projecting out from the floorboard.

Where possible, uneven grounds were smooth out to make a lawn. Through time, the weather has washed rock surfaces that they gradually become organic with the house and its landscape.

Safari-inspired décor silhouetted against its modern loft interior. Naked concrete finishes compliment subdued tones of the wood. Free-form furniture at the center works as a colorful contrast. In short, its rocky terrain simply completes this house on the rock.

The Contiguous room makes a fluent, functional interior space.
The ensuite bathroom in the outbuilding needs no opaque roofing. Lacy shades of nearby trees keep it at comfortable temperatures throughout the day.