Blog : Myanmar

The Secrets of Jade

The Secrets of Jade

Jade has been cherished over many centuries. There is something about it to hold dear. The green ornamental stone is considered a lucky charm by the Chinese people. It symbolizes purity, kindness and virtue of moral good.

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

Design Nation Market, a retail business area that’s part of the Siam Discovery Center.
Jade beads mat on show now at “Design Nation”, second floor, Siam Paragon.

A part of people’s lives from time immemorial, jade has evolved into an artistic tradition. In China it has a specific connection with folk medicine and long-established cultural expressions.

Aficionados of jade shouldn’t miss a handicraft exhibition that’s taking place now at Siam Paragon. The focal point of the show is a beautifully handcrafted jade mat made of about 27,000 green stone beads. The exhibition known as “Design Nation” is happening until November 17.

The jade mat on display is designed by Panitsara Hongthanadecho and made by a team of highly skilled craftswomen from Myawaddi, Myanmar. The green stone is believed to have the power of giving delight and arousing admiration. It’s in demand for its spiritual and healing properties relating to traditional Chinese art and culture.

The 67-year-old designer is a Thai of Chinese descent, who grows sentimentally attached to everything jade. It’s easy to perceive the meaning of the green stone when she included a jade mat similar to the one on display among funeral objects for her mother recently.

She said that the green ornamental stone was believed to have positive energy. In ancient times, emperors and members of the Chinese nobility aspired to sleep in a bed filled with green stone beads threaded together to perfectly fit the bedstead, on which the mattress was placed.

Panitsara could still recall promising her Mom a jade beads mat ten years back. She searched and found a big block of jade, bought it in an auction, and had it cut to size. She received about 27,000 stone cubes, each measuring 10 millimeters.

She had them machined continuously for two days to achieve perfectly polished round stone beads. After that, they were threaded together. And the final outcome is beautiful beyond words, thanks to a team of highly skilled craftswomen she hired from Myawaddi, Myanmar, which is located across the river from Mae Sod District in Tak. As promised, she included the jade mat among other funeral objects for her Mom after she passed.

That’s just one of many interesting items on show now at Design Nation, on the second floor of Siam Paragon. The event is rich in exhibits from several countries including the Philippines, Italy, and those created right here in Thailand.

A display booth by Artisanal Philippines. Here, Philippine-style cocoa drinks are made fresh the old fashioned way every day.
Design Nation exhibition at Siam Paragon
A soap crafted to resemble a marble by Vilacini, available at Design Nation Market

Whilst there, drop by the design market and attend workshops and seminars hosted by the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Lido Connect, Siam Center, Siam Discovery Center, and Siam Paragon.

The show goes on until November 17. For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/designnationbangkok/

 

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3 Apps to Check Air Pollution Levels

3 Apps to Check Air Pollution Levels

Despite the omnipresence of the Internet in society today, there seems to be a disconnect between the impact of pollution and access to the information needed to protect public health. Strange as it may sound. According to a 2017 estimate by the environmental tech company Plume Labs, only 0.246% of the earth has access to that vital information.

/// ASEAN ///

 As air pollution levels rise from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok to Yangon, and Phnom Penh to Jakarta, it’s wise to stay abreast of the latest developments. There are many websites and apps that measure the concentrations of both PM2.5 and PM10 and other pollutants. Here are three useful apps to check air quality wherever you are.

An example page of the Real-time AQI app.
An example of Real-time AQI’s advisory page showing air pollution values, concentrations of airborne particulates, and protective mask recommendations by Greenpeace.

– Air Quality: Real-time AQI App –

The Real-time AQI app for Android and iOS shows air quality information from more than 10,000 monitoring stations in over 60 countries, including mainland China, Korea, Japan and countries across Southeast Asia. It provides, among other things, data about the concentrations of smaller airborne pollutants (PM2.5) and larger particulates (PM10). The former refers to extremely small particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter or about 3% the diameter of human hair.

Updated hourly, the same information is linked to the developer website http://aqicn.org along with data on harmful gases and other readings such as temperatures, pressures, and humidity. The site also publishes visualized maps and protective mask recommendations from the global independent campaign organization Greenpeace. Get to know three types of masks to protect you from PM2.5 that ordinary surgical masks cannot. Whether it’s on the mobile app or the website, good infographics are worth a thousand words and a good place to start researching.


Plume Air Report provides air pollution levels in Yangon and Phnom Penh, which are not listed in the AQI app.
Flow, a portable instrument for checking air quality values and weather maps by Plume Air Report.

– Plume Air Report App –

Plume Air Report on the iPhone is a reporting and forecasting app that tracks real-time air pollution levels for every city in the world. The environmental tech company (website https://plumelabs.com) is the maker of “Flow,” a mobile personal air tracker that measures harmful pollutants indoors and outdoors. Real-time data including air quality indices, temperatures, UV levels, winds, and humidity are updated hourly along with pollution forecasts for the next 24 hours and statistics for the past 7 days. Flow makes it possible to track harmful air pollutants even in cities without AQI monitoring stations. The device is open for pre-order. Check the website for availability.


An example page of the AirVisual app showing unhealthy air pollution levels in cities across the globe. The information is updated hourly.

– Air Quality: AirVisual App –

AirVisual is a real-time and forecast air quality app that provides AQI indices for over 70 countries worldwide. Available on both Android and iOS, the free app gathers information from more than 9,000 locations via global networks of government monitoring stations and AirVisual’s own sensors. By giving historical, real-time, and forecast air pollution data, AirVisual is a pocket guide to avoiding harmful airborne particles. The AirVisual Earth Map is a good place to start tracking pollution levels and weather conditions with hourly updates.

In Southeast Asia, notably Bangkok, Chiangmai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Jakarta, thick haze of air pollution isn’t going away any time soon. As the fight for clean air continues, it pays to be in the know and avoid places with high concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10. The mobile apps mentioned above are three of many technologies designed to get the message across in the interest of public health and safety.

 

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Vin Varavarn Architects / Adapting Ordinary Materials to Achieve Architectural Excellence

Vin Varavarn Architects / Adapting Ordinary Materials to Achieve Architectural Excellence

This September the second Room x Living ASEAN Design Talk will be held under the title “ASEAN Architecture Design,” featuring a Thai architect and recipient of world-class awards from many institutions, M.L. Varudh Varavarn, founder of the firm Vin Varavarn Architects (VVA).

/// Myanmar ///
Story: Nawapat D. /// Photography:  Spaceshift Studio, Courtesy of Vin Varavarn Architects 

M.L. Varudh will take the stage to share his knowledge and inspirational design concepts under the heading “ASEAN Architecture Design.” Also featured will be Jeremiah Pitakwong, managing editor of the Baan Lae Suan magazine group, come to give his insights and impressions from many years of architectural photojournalism around the ASEAN region, with the topic “10 ASEAN Houses.”

VVA is a small firm, but its design works are widely recognized both in Thailand and abroad. M.L. Varudh’s philosophy is the company’s driving force, and stresses functional utility for building occupants and careful selection of construction materials with a view to their potential. Another point is that a designer should avoid making his ego central to the work simply to create a personal signature that people will remember. All this allows VVA’s design work to be versatile and adaptable to various challenges and environmental contexts while at the same time creating works of outstanding function and beauty.

Vin Varavarn Architects
Bann Huay San Yaw- Post Disaster School, Chiang Rai, Thailand (Photographs: Spaceshift Studio)

One project helping both to build a name for the architect himself and add to Thailand’s prominence in the architectural world is Bann Huay San Yaw Witthaya School, one of 9 “por dee por dee (appropriate)” classroom structures built through the Design for Disasters (D4D) relief program for schools damaged in the 6.3 Chiang Rai earthquake of May 5, 2014.

Vin Varavarn Architects
Bann Huay San Yaw- Post Disaster School, Chiang Rai, Thailand (Photographs: Spaceshift Studio)

This gabled school building’s primary design requirement was to keep it safe from future earthquake damage. Additionally, the architects focused on using easily obtainable and local materials and facilitating full use of space both inside and outside the building, which holds three classrooms arranged lengthwise at the same level. To save structural costs and also to fit the slope on which it’s built, the building has a multipurpose tai thun open area below.

Vin Varavarn Architects
Bann Huay San Yaw- Post Disaster School, Chiang Rai, Thailand (Photographs: Spaceshift Studio)
Vin Varavarn Architects
Bann Huay San Yaw- Post Disaster School, Chiang Rai, Thailand (Photographs: Spaceshift Studio)

Walls and roof of the primary structure are constructed of single pieces of steel, which helps protect against sun and rain. Its outstanding adaptation of ordinary materials resulted in this design winning Italy’s International Biennial Barbara Cappochin Architecture 2017 Grand Prize and a High Commendation at Berlin’s 2016 World Architecture Festival Awards, while in the United Kingdom it was shortlisted for the 2016 Architectural Review School Awards.

Vin Varavarn Architects
Bann Huay San Yaw- Post Disaster School, Chiang Rai, Thailand (Photographs: Spaceshift Studio)
Vin Varavarn Architects
Bann Huay San Yaw- Post Disaster School, Chiang Rai, Thailand (Photographs: Spaceshift Studio)

VVA’s outstanding architectural design work is not by any means limited to Bann Huay San Yaw Witthaya School. Interested in getting a deep look at architectural design? Come listen to M.L. Varudh discuss his design concepts at “Room x Living ASEAN Design Talk vol.2 (Myanmar): ASEAN Architecture Design,” at Myanmar Build & Decor in Myanmar Event Park (MEP), Yangon, Myanmar on September 29, 2017, from 09.45 until 10.30 AM, with no admission charge. You’ll soon be able to get more details at livingasean.com and www.baanlaesuan.com/designtalk.

Link : https://web.facebook.com/VinVaravarnArchitectsLimited/

 


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Souvenirs of a Myanmar Visit
Souvenirs of a Myanmar Visit

Souvenirs of a Myanmar Visit

Nothing impresses visitors to Myanmar more than tea, nuts, and Balachaung. And there is more to the Land of Pagodas than “Thanaka,” the popular anti-UV facial powder. Living ASEAN introduces the three favorites that foreign tourists like to take home as souvenirs of a Myanmar visit.

/// MYANMAR ///
Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photography: Sitthisak Namkham, Samutcha Viraporn

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Street_food_goodness_in_Yangon_(5089715337).jpg

– Tea –

Tea drinking has long been a popular culture in Myanmar. Small tea shops with plastic furniture in vivid shades are ubiquitous across the city. Like old school cafes, they are favorite hang-outs for people to socialize or just chill out sipping tea. The modest shops in peaceful settings offer the country’s all time favorite, black tea with sweetened condensed milk. Legend has it that tea growing was initiated by King Alaung Sithu (1113-1167 AD), in the northern part of what is now Shan State. Later when the country came under British rule, Myanmar grew tea on commercial scales for exports to Britain in much the same way as India did throughout the Colonial period.

Nowadays the aromatic beverage made the traditional Myanmar way has become increasingly popular among foreign visitors. Many tourists take it home as a souvenir of their visits. For instant tea lovers, Myanmar tea comes in 3-in-1 pouches ready to be reconstituted into a cup of tea. For a premium tea experience, try tea leaves that come in sealed bags. There are many varieties to choose, from English Breakfast to Earl Grey to Jasmine to Green Tea. Two popular brands are Royal and Nagar Pyan.


 

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Hintha

– Nuts –

Laphet is Burmese for fermented or pickled tea leaves. Popular among the citizens of Myanmar, it’s a cold dish made of various mixtures of nuts and tea leaves. It started out as a condiment to a cup of tea, but eventually grew to become a salad recipe on its own. Various nuts are cooked in oil, mixed with fermented tea leaves, and seasoned with chilies and garlic. The export version of Laphet comes in boxes for tourists to take home as souvenirs. Whilst there, don’t forget to try peanut energy bars, and the Myanmar Peanut Crisp Candy. The latter is similar to Toobtub peanut snacks of Thailand. The name refers to the sound of ingredients being pummeled in the making of the tasty snack.


 

– Balachaung –

An accompaniment to hot steamy rice, the Myanmar Balachaung is made with fried shallots, garlic, ginger, shrimp and red chilies. Its tantalizing aroma comes from the fact that all the ingredients are fried crisp. It is set aside to cool down completely before being stored in airtight containers. Properly stored Balachaung keeps well for a fairly long period. It is easily transported and goes together well with Thai-style omelet that is cooked in a frying pan until firm. Versions of the crispy mouthwatering condiment are also made by many households around Mae Sot town on the Thailand-Myanmar border.

The above have been three favorites that we have discovered on this Myanmar trip. We trust that our friends across the ASEAN find the information useful, and that your next itinerary will include Laphet, tea products, and the delicious Myanmar Balachaung.

 

10 Countries Experiencing the Harshest Effects of World Climate Change

10 Countries Experiencing the Harshest Effects of World Climate Change

 

Four ASEAN countries are listed in the 2017 Global Climate Risk Index Report as among the 10 countries most strongly affected by world climate change between 1996 and 2015.

// ASEAN //

Who Suffers Most From Extreme Weather Events? Weather-Related Loss Events in 2015 and 1996 to 2015 In Order To Report Effects of Climate Change in Various Countries Around The World,” a 2017 Global Climate Risk Index report released by Germanwatch, shows that climate change caused more than 528,000 people to lose their lives between 1996 and 2015, with financial losses amounting to  US$3.08 trillion. UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) estimates suggest that by 2030, total losses will be two to three times greater, and by 2050, four to five times these amounts.

Loss of life, economic loss, and number of catastrophic events summarized in this data table show that the harshest effects have fallen on “developing countries” not rich in resources. In the the top ten are four ASEAN nations. Myanmar is in second place on the worldwide list; most of us probably remember the beating it took from Cyclone Nargis in 2008. An island nation, fifth-place Philippines is listed with the highest number of natural disasters. Vietnam takes the number 8 spot, with number 10 Thailand right behind, its economic losses – $7,574,620,000 US – greater than any of the others. 13th place Cambodia nearly makes the cut to join its ASEAN friends.

Table courtesy of Global Climate Risk Index 2017 by Germanwatch

The Climate Risk Index gives clear indications of the huge effects climate change will have on development, as well as on personal property, quality of life, and national GDP in these countries. A secure future depends on each country having a solid plan for cooperating with nature and with each other. Sitting back and doing nothing as before isn’t an option.

 

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Hla Day: From Artisan Community to Craft Shop in Myanmar

Hla Day: From Artisan Community to Craft Shop in Myanmar

The Hla Day Shop in Yangon is no ordinary crafts store. It sells works of skilled and authentic craftsmanship produced and marketed by a community of over 400 people working in an integrated, sustainable way with a product development team.

///Myanmar///

Story: Samutcha Viraporn

At the beginning of July Hla Day celebrated its first anniversary at the Pansodan Street location in Yangon; but in fact this group has been working since 2012 to support small community businesses in Myanmar in developing local products and bringing them to the international market, with an emphasis on quality and social sustainability. Hla Day was successful almost from the very start, its goods so well received that it was able to expand. With Ulla Kroeber as its leader, the team now works with communities in Yangon and many rural areas, giving recommendations to craftsmen on product types, materials, and production processes. Among other benefits, these efforts provide work and income for women who have contracted HIV.

The Hla Day Shop, on the upper floor of building no. 8, Pansodan Street
Ula Kroeber, Hla Day Team Leader (right)

          Products include pillow covers, scarves, ornaments, cards, and dolls, and usable items from recycled materials. Besides being finely crafted work, a core goal is that products be contemporary and useful, and success in all this has resulted in project support from the AirAsia Foundation. “Hla day” in Burmese translates as “beautiful,” and the beauty here runs deep in the creation of true utility and value for crafts communities, buyers, and society as a whole while never forgetting to help the people at the back of the line.

Link: http://www.hladaymyanmar.org

 

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Yangon / Largest Collection of Colonial Architecture in Southeast Asia

Yangon / Largest Collection of Colonial Architecture in Southeast Asia

Under British rule from 1824 to 1948, Yangon became a significant center of commerce located between India and Singapore. The streets of Yangon offer a glimpse of the opulence of the old city and its heritage. A walking tour is one way to find out.

///  Myanmar ///

Story: Samutcha Viraporn /// Photos: Samutcha Viraporn

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After the second Anglo-Burmese war, Yangon was occupied by British troops.  Burma came under British rule, during which time it was declared a province of British India. The British made significant changes to the city of Yangon. In 1853, Dr. W. Montgomery and then lieutenant governor A. Fraser laid out a grid of tree-lined streets for the city of Yangon. New city planning placed the Sule Pagoda at the city center.

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After three Anglo-Burmese wars, the British in 1885 occupied all the area of present-day Myanmar. Despite the conflict, many new buildings were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and remained to be seen today. Some of them became government offices, embassies, the stock exchange, even shops and cafés. Others were abandoned and fell in disrepair. In 2012 the Yangon Heritage Trust was established to promote the environmental conservation of Yangon’s rich urban heritage through cohesive planning.

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The exhibition about colonial buildings in Yangon Heritage Trust office

One of the programs undertaken by the Trust is the Heritage Walking Tour through downtown areas. People who love architecture can visit the Yangon Heritage Trust office on Pansodan Street. There is an exhibition going along with   useful information about six routes for sightseeing. They are outlined in brochures. If time is not on your side, Living ASEAN recommends a shorter route as an option. The starting point is on Pansodan Street.  Start your journey on foot from here. Turn left into Merchant Road, then another left on to Sule Pagoda Road.  Soon you will come to Strand Road (See this route on the map). Give it two hours or a little more than that, and you witness a lot of Yangon’s glorious past and beautiful heritage. Need a break? Drop into the beautiful Rangoon Tea House for refreshments, or the coffee shop at the Strand Hotel. After a couple of hours on the road, coffee smells like heaven!

map_yangon

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You can find some design items at Hla Day shop
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Take a seat at Rangoon Tea House

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Link: www.yangonheritagetrust.org/home

 

A Well-Decorated Artsy House in Myanmar

A Well-Decorated Artsy House in Myanmar

/ Yangon, Myanmar /

/ Story: Samutcha Viraporn / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /

Ensconced in the hustle of downtown Yangon, an artsy house in Myanmar provides a showcase for a confluence of ideas from different styles, places, and times.

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A white mansion features the mix of a Contemporary style wing and Colonial style architecture as a story of ongoing change in modern-day Yangon.

This unique artsy house puts an innovative spin on traditions of years gone by. The mansion is near a busy market on Nawaday road, with a warm welcome by Min Han, the owner.

The three-story home has many interesting features that apparently blend well to form a uniform mixture. For example a Modern style wing, which stands in perfect harmony with the Colonial style mansion. The new addition is the original structure being left largely intact.

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Dark brown wood dominates decorative details inside the first-floor hallway. Unique features such as large bay windows are preserved with the Contemporary style wing.

Other than that, the floors are improved and refinished, while room dividers are remade to create a light and airy atmosphere on the inside. In front of the house stands a two-story family business building, where traditional Myanmese snacking meals are sold, including “Yuzana Pickled Tea.

Nearby, a fence that separates an ample parking lot from the main compound also protects the family from the noise and hubbub of the big city.

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The stairway with high ceiling is bedecked with paintings and sculptures evoking memories of a private art gallery.

“In fact, I am not much of an artist. But I like collecting works of art, especially those of U Maung Maung Hla Myint, who is nationally known for his bright color paintings. With vivid color paintings, to make the space more lively,” said Min Han.

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The sitting room on the second floor is naturally illuminated by a skylight above the stairway.

At the center of the house, the architects put in a single steel staircase with glass railing. Inside spaces are illuminated by natural light, and the highlight is the simple addition of a skylight on the third floor, which impacts the interior space.

Overall, the appearance is light and airy despite decorative details being made of wood in dark colors.

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A small dining area is adorned with beautiful works of art from the owner’s private collections.
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The bedroom’s white interior contrasts with dark brown colors of wood beams, posts, and ceiling joists.
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Interior spaces are well-lit thanks to extra windows on the top edge of the wall and enlarged doors.

In the meantime, electricity is arranged in the same fashion as an art gallery.

There are spotlights on the installations, which make the interior spaces look very neat. As a private gallery, the hallway has become a rendezvous for friends and relatives as well.

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A spacious studio in the back confirms that a music lover lives here.
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The shower room is plain and simple. Attention to detail is reflected in the use of different materials for dry and wet floors.

The homeowner not only paid attention to detail but also actively participated in making design decisions every step of the way.

For example the location of each artwork, which had to be decided from day one to create perfect harmony. All told, it is a beautiful artsy house. It is an art gallery. And it testifies to the homeowner’s taste for something different.

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The upright structural support is crafted of wood posts. To make it easy on the eye, all sharp edges are removed. /// The staircase is built of gloss finish materials such as stainless steel and glass. For lightweight looks, the single staircase design needs no risers.

Architect: Spine Architects Co, Ltd


 

A Simple Yet Elegant Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon

A Simple Yet Elegant Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon

/ Yangon, Myanmar /

/ Story: Supachart Boontang / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /

From the outside, this cube-shaped home with a swimming pool as the centerpiece looks like a combination of three overlapping boxes. Distinctive simple line design sets it apart from the rest in the neighborhood. The hall just inside the front entrance is well connected to all living spaces around it. Based on the form-follows-function principle, it’s thoughtfully devised to create a seamless transition from room to room, plus easy access to all intended functions and amenities.

Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon

The three-story white home with a cool undertone stands at the center of the property. Homeowner Thin Thin Lwin was on hand to show around. Asked about her thoughts on inspiration, she said:

“Just the two of us, my husband and I, live here. The home was built on what used to be a vacant lot. To begin with, we didn’t want a place that was going to be too big for our needs. We wanted just enough functional areas with easy access to other parts of the house, kind of like keeping with long established traditions from the past.

“By happy chance, I have a friend who is an architect, and the rest is history. Stephen Zawmoe Shwe and I have been good friends since we were kids. So we asked him to design it.”

Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon
The boundary fence made of concrete features large openings at intervals to improve the flow of air in and out of the property.
Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon
An array of window awnings protruding from the exterior wall protect the interior from heavy rain and increase its energy efficiency.

Have a look around the first floor. The overall effect is impressive. The house with a subtle shade of white looks like three dimensional shapes coming together neat and clean. The interior at the front of the house is light and airy thanks to double height ceilings.

It’s two stories tall to be exact. There is a sense of interior elegance. The spacious, well-ventilated hall is well connected to other rooms around it. One of them, a living room, is clearly separated from the dining area and kitchen.

Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon
An outdoor louvered awning on the front façade protects the interior spaces from scorching sunlight and improves the home’s general appearance. The exterior is kept simple, modern, and fuss free.
Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon
Just inside the front entrance, a stepping-stone pathway stretches across the pool. Double height ceilings and transparent partition walls make the atmosphere bright and lively.
simple white house
There is visual and spatial continuity from the cozy dining area all the way to the pool and beyond.

The second floor has two spacious bedrooms, each with a private balcony to take in the view and cool breezes. The swimming pool below is clearly visible from here.

Other than that, interior design emphasizes crisp, clean lines and white tones that go together well with shades of gray. Furniture comes in warm earth tones that enhance the charm of natural wood flooring.

simple white house
Transparent glass walls create a warm, welcoming atmosphere in the bedroom. There are windows that open to improve air circulation and bring in cool breezes.

simple white house
[Left] Louvered awnings under the roofline provide added privacy and protect the second-floor bedrooms from intense heat during the daytime. / [Right] Venetian blinds behind glass walls provide privacy in the bathroom and control natural light.
The third floor is a penthouse with a panorama of the city landscape. A peaceful place for relaxation with family, it’s great for stargazing in the dark of night. There is a large Buddha room on one side, where the homeowners come to pray and perform religious rites.

Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon
A corner of the penthouse has been remodeled into a reception area with marble countertops and matching bar stools.

All things considered, it’s simple clean line design that makes this Cube-Shaped Home in Yangon stand out in the rustic old town neighborhood. Well-thought-out planning ensures there are plenty of functional areas and modern amenities for comfortable living. Plus, it’s energy efficient thanks to passive cooling strategies, such as large windows that open to bring in cool breezes and natural light.

Where appropriate, louvered awnings are installed to minimize the amount of sun on the exterior wall. They reduce the workload on air conditioning and make the home perform as intended amid the hot and humid climate.


Architect: Spine Architects Co., Ltd


Visit the original Thai article…

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The Splendors of Myanmar’s Botanical Gardens

The Splendors of Myanmar’s Botanical Gardens

Speaking of ecotourism, Myanmar offers vast, well-protected parklands that no nature lovers can afford to overlook. The National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens promise to be a pleasant surprise that all present will long remember. 

/// Myanmar /// 

Story: Panchat Changchan /// Photo: Rithirong Chanthongsuk 

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Myanmar, also known as the “Land of pagodas,” is rich in cultural heritage sites and vast parklands well worth a visit. Among them, the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens are cherished by the eco travelers. The vast parklands are located at 1,000 meters above sea level at the town of Pyin Oo Lwin, some 70 km by road from Mandalay.

At 177 hectares (1,106 Rai), the Botanical Gardens have been in existence since 1915. They were founded by British forests officer Alex Rodger, and Lady Cuff, a botanist. The parklands started small as a vacation town and the summer capital of British Burma during the colonial period. They expanded in recent years and reached the current size in 2000.

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Kandawgyi is home to a bewildering array of flora and fauna indigenous to Myanmar’s alpine region. The native plant life includes many species of bamboo, crotons, hundreds of species of orchids, trees, and herbs. A walk in the park is pleasant, and chances are you will come across blooming Wild Himalayan Cherries along the way. It is a wonderful nature reserve for those interested in the interactions among organisms and the environment, which includes swamps, forests, lakes, beautiful botanical gardens, and homes to wetland birds.

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For those inspired by a passion for flowering plants and scenery, Kandawgyi offers blooming fields at various places throughout in the park. Hop a ride on board the horse-drawn carriage for a sightseeing tour. It’s one of several unique features of the Botanical Gardens. There are several vista points to take in mountain views and gaze in awe at towering pine trees along the road.

 

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Many natural splendors have transformed the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens into an impressive countryside in Myanmar. For the eco-adventurers, these vast parklands promise to be an experience they will long remember.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Kandawgyi_Botanical_Gardens

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