Blog : nature

A Dreamlike Little Farmhouse Amid Lush Green Fields

A Dreamlike Little Farmhouse Amid Lush Green Fields

/ Suphan Buri, Thailand /

/ Story: Sarayut Sreetip-ard / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham / Styling: Jeedwonder /

Several years ago Naiduangta Pathumsut and Rungroj Kraibut began building their farmhouse with meager savings. That of course didn’t produce the kind of home we see today, but it was enough for the concrete structure and the roof. Before long their enthusiasm, determination and a lot of hard work resulted in a beautiful home amid lush green fields. There is the pride and glory in it, no doubt.

Farmhouse

They first started with a single-story home and named it “Ton Tarn”, which is Thai for the point of origin from which a stream or river flows. Naiduangta’s parents settled down and raised a family here a long time ago when the trees were still young and had only just begun to emerge from seeds.

They bequeathed a parcel of land to her and Rungroj to build this new house connecting to the original family home.

Farmhouse
Folding doors of old wood open wide, giving the house an old-fashioned atmosphere.

By way of introduction, Naiduangta was born here in Suphan Buri, but moved when in kindergarten. Eventually completing Thai Language Studies at the Faculty of Education in Chiang Mai, she worked in Bangkok for a period of time before returning to Suphan Buri to help her father with his work promoting child literacy in this western province of Thailand.

Rungroj, a native of nearby Uthai Thani, studied environmental geography and has worked for the Seub Nakhasathien and Sarnsaeng-arun Foundations to promote learning about living with nature. After the great flood of 2011, the couple decided to put in a two-story home – connecting to the original single-story house – as a means to escape future flooding.

A multi-use spot opens on a wide view, with steel “cage doors” for security.
A multi-use spot opens on a wide view, with steel “cage doors” for security.
Rungroj’s bicycle collection and workshop supports his hobby: cycling into Chiang Mai with friends, doing a solo trek to Uthai Thani, etc.
Rungroj’s bicycle collection and workshop supports his hobby: cycling into Chiang Mai with friends, doing a solo trek to Uthai Thani, etc.

Rungroj can still recall how it all started: “If we’d waited to get all the money, we wouldn’t have been ready. We wouldn’t have started or done anything.”

With the help of local craftsmen, the basic structure was built in two years, but by then the money had run out and the work had to depend on just the two hands of “Craftsman Rung” for the wood walls, doors, windows, and some furniture.

“I used timber from Neem trees or Indian lilac (a tree in the mahogany family) and Burmese rosewood trees grown and harvested on our property. Plus, we had some old wood, doors, and windows set aside. After another two years the exterior looked finished, but there was still a lot of work to do.”

Farmhouse
The kitchen wall has painted green shutters, “tank-shaped” chairs, and a simple shelf above the doorway.

Farmhouse

The 9-acre property includes the parents’ house, the main house, and a rice granary. There’s a natural well with a planted bamboo border. Umbrella bamboo is grown for its edible shoots, and giant thorny bamboo for fencing. The bamboo orchard is in one area, rice paddies in another, and big, harvestable trees remain from the time of Rungroj’s grandfather.

“November to March is the perfect season for growing leafy vegetables we use ourselves, but we switch crops sometimes. Vine veggies like string beans, loofah, and squash are perennials. They provide a natural way to prevent disease and insects that often spread when growing just a single crop,” said Rungroj.

Farmhouse

Farmhouse

“The image of our house in the middle of the fields looks great. We can’t do anything about how farming in the area has changed: use of chemicals, burning sugarcane fields,” he continued.

“We can only adapt to it and build on our own natural world. Our joy is in the pride of doing things with our own hands. There’s nothing perfect in nature: it’s all a learning experience, like life as a married couple, gradually adapting. Where we can’t adapt, we create understanding so we can live together.”

Farmhouse
Next to the house is a woodworking shop Rungroj also uses to store wood. Scaffolding used to build the house was converted to storage racks.

Farmhouse

Farmhouse


Owner: Naiduangta Pathumsut and Rungroj Kraibut


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บ้านไร่กลางทุ่งที่สร้างด้วยเงินเก็บสามแสนและน้ำพักน้ำแรงฉบับคนบ้านนอก


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Under the canopy of tall trees, the ground floor is open to receive cool breezes blowing in from the southwest.
FROM OLD HOME TO STUNNING HOUSE ON STILTS
A Calm and Peaceful Wood House at the Water’s Edge

A Calm and Peaceful Wood House at the Water’s Edge

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Sarayut Sreetip-ard / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

Pongsakorn Tumpruksa, of Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architect Co., Ltd, was passionate about life beside the water. He built his waterside wooden house on 340 square wahs (1,360 sq. m.) of land in Bang Khun Thian where two small waterways converge with Bang Mot Canal.

Thai houses
The roadside entrance is in the back, so the house fronts on the canal, Thai-style.

Like the traditional Thai house in former times, this waterside wood home has a tall open area called “tai thun” (the underfloor space at ground level), an economical construction that suits Thailand’s climate and promotes socialization processes in the family.

Thai houses

Thai houses

Thai houses

Thai houses

The tall tai thun includes a carport and an area blocked off as a workshop. An open staircase leads up to the porch, and in the center is a large contiguous open space combining living and dining areas, with the kitchen on one side and bedrooms on the other.

Pongsakorn explained the three design principles that he kept in mind, which are:

Thai houses

Thai houses

A centuries-old principle of traditional architecture of Thailand’s central region

It is about the house’s suitability for the environment, balancing sun, wind, and rain to keep things cool and comfortable. Here, the old knowledge is blended with modern construction materials. The high tai thun avoids flooding and termite damage.

Good air circulation is ensured with a high roof with long eaves; windows and a gap below the roof help release hot air. There is a deck where either clothes or fish can be dried, a heat-resistant mesh on the wooden roof, and there is an open porch below the eaves where you can sit, catch the breeze, and relax from the heat.

Also, the gardens around the house give shade and maintain moisture, cooling the area.

Thai houses

Thai houses

The architecture promotes Thai family culture

Previously, the family lived in a townhouse, chatted at the dinner table, and were always in close, warm contact.

To continue that feeling, living and dining areas and kitchen were designed as a single continuous space.

Thai houses

Thai houses

Cost-effective construction

The house was built with a limited budget: overbuilding would have been problematic.

Thai traditional knowledge shows how to do this: leave room for gradual expansion, building onto the house as needed, as was done in Thailand’s earlier days.

Thai houses

Thai houses

Pongsakorn tells us, “Building a home for my loved ones was like building happiness. What I’m most proud of is doing it as the architect son of my father, who worked for the government as an architectural technician. Dad left us last year, but he got to live with us in this house.”

“Happiness for me is growing plants and living in a shady, cool home,” says Pongsakorn’s mother with a smile.

“I’m truly glad that Father had the chance to live here with us again.”


Owner/Architect: Pongsakorn Tumpruksa of Arsom Silp Community and Environmental Architect (arsomsilparchitect.co.th)


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“Huean Tham,” Local Thai House in a Japanese Tradition“Huean Tham,” Local Thai House in a Japanese Tradition

Huean Tham House: Local Thai House in a Japanese Tradition

Huean Tham House: Local Thai House in a Japanese Tradition

/ Chiang Mai, Thailand /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa / Englosh version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

The Huean Tham house (House of Dharma) has a depth that makes it much more than just a place to live. It’s actually a group of buildings and rooms, each with its own particular use. The Thai word “tham” (dharma) is integral to the words “thammachat” (nature) and “thammada” (natural), and suggests tranquility in life living in this local Thai house.

Local Thai House

Huean Tham is a residence, a design workshop for naturally dyed fabrics, and a storehouse for Usaato brand fabrics, all in 6 buildings.

First is “ruean yai” (the large house), residence of owners Somyot Suparpornhemin and Usaburo Sato.

Just to the north is ruean lek (small house), where the children and visiting friends stay.

More or less in the center of the complex is sala tham (dharma hall), a place to socialize, with a shady multipurpose yard for activities such as dharma seminars and trainings in woven fabric design, for a local village weaving group, and in natural soap production.

There is also a shrine with a wooden Buddha in this local Thai house. Both wings of the second floor hold guest rooms for close friends.

Local Thai House

On the southwest side is ruean luang pho (holy man house), a retreat for family members which serves as a monk’s hut when a revered spiritual teacher is invited to the home.

Finally, to the south are akhan kep pha (fabric storehouse) and ruean ngan (workshop) for design work, with different rooms for specialists in different crafts.

Local Thai House

Local Thai House

Huean Tham’s outstanding attributes were conceived by Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architects with the aim of combining good features of the traditional Thai house with functional Japanese concepts.

Entering ruean yai we see the floor is raised a bit: this is to protect against ground moisture. Thai and Japanese homes share a characteristic utilization of the area beneath the main house for guest reception and dining, a multipurpose space called “tai thun” in Thai.

Local Thai House

Construction materials were selected for their good points and their suitability: the house is constructed primarily of wood, the house frame primarily of concrete and steel.

The architecture of Huean Tham isn’t flashy or showy. The true beauty of this home is in its fusion of architecture with life toward oneness with nature and the ways of tranquility, raising the level of excellence for both the architectural team and for Eung and Ussa’s lifestyle.

This excellence will continuously reinforce the beauty of this local Thai house as time goes on.

Local Thai House

Local Thai House

Local Thai House


Owner: Somyot Suparpornhemin and Usaburo Sato

Architect: Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architect

Project Consultant: Teerapon Niyom

Contractor: Pratiew Yasai


Visit the original Thai version of the article…

เฮือนธรรม บ้านใต้ถุนสูง พื้นถิ่นไทย ในขนบแบบญี่ปุ่น


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From An Old Home to A Stunning House on Stilts

Peaceful, Shady Northeastern Thai House

Peaceful, Shady Northeastern Thai House

Peaceful, Shady Northeastern Thai House

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul / Styling: Wanas Thira /

Out of the edge of a sun hemp field rises what looks to be a traditional huean isaan (Northeastern Thai house). But this home, set in a shady, woodsy atmosphere, fragrant with the aromas of a Thai house and the fun-filled rhythms of Thai family ways, is fully adapted to contemporary ways of life.


After Sakda and Orapin Sreesangkom had lived 20 years in a condo, they designed this eco-friendly house to find an adaptation of Thai family life that could suit the modern age, and to build environmental awareness in themselves and their children.



The ground floor design echoes the traditional “tai thun” lower space found beneath Thai stilt houses. A porch reaches outwards to fill the usual roles: entertaining guests, and socializing.

Up close you’ll see it’s more like 3 houses connected by one deck, each one with wide eaves blocking sun and rain, but with a twist: the underside insulation is “rammed earth,” La Terre’s innovative cooling solution that rapidly absorbs and diffuses heat and is made from organic, renewable materials.

Sakda and designers Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architects shared the same vision.

The huean isaan takes over in spirit, though, with its outward image evoking a cultural memory reflected in the playfulness of the three boys, Chris, Gav, and Guy, bringing cheer to every corner of the house.

They like to play in the attic, slide down polished planks beside the stairway, and everyone’s favorite: the sky deck, accessible from anywhere in the house.


The heart of the home is the living room: it’s spacious, with a bar counter, dining area, and sofas for relaxing, sized 7 x 11 meters, and with no support pillars blocking the view within.

It was designed to mirror the look and function of the “tai thun,” a space that brings everyone together to do whatever they like to do best, as individuals or a group.

The building foundation supports a raised deck all around the house. This keeps slithering things and garden creepy-crawlies from coming into the house, at the same time creating good ventilation below.

The extra area for sitting, stretching the legs, or walking out into the garden is one more bonus.

Sakda’s deep attachment to the traditional huean isaan is what brought this all about.

That, and the family’s courage in leaving the convenience of condo life behind them to design, build, and live in a completely different way, growing their own garden, and creating a new home that could be passed down to the next generations.

Sun hemp is grown for soil maintenance.

Owner: Sakda and Orapin Sreesangkom

Architect: Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architect (arsomsilparchitect.co.th)


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A Breathtaking Trio of Modern Loft-Style Homes in Bangkok

A Breathtaking Trio of Modern Loft-Style Homes in Bangkok

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Sut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Tanakitt Khum-on /

In former times as families outgrew their homes, by tradition Thais would put in more houses on the same property. They shared basic facilities and landscaping fitting together to form a cohesive whole. But this tradition has been disappearing. Nowadays, grown children move away into single-family homes of their own. In this case, though, Manit and Yanrak Manithikhun decided to build a trio of modern loft-style houses as future homes for their children on their piece of land.

The trio of modern steel framed homes are connected by the perfect pathway with a private garden in the middle.

“We knew our sons would want their private space, and we had a sizeable piece of land. We thought it would be a good idea to build three new houses right here for them in the same place,” said Manit.

“The three new buildings include one common house where the whole family can get together. It’s for entertaining guests, too. And I wanted an herb garden. Thinking forward to retirement!”

Steel frames and brick walls: the hip, unfinished “loft” look.

The three new homes were added to the existing principle house of parents that was built after the big floods hit Bangkok in 2011. The expansion plan included a private garden and common space where the family could spend time together.

It was made up of two steel framed loft-style houses for the sons and one building as a common room. By and large, it was designed to serve and filled in many parts that were missing in life, a garden and common room where the family can spend time together.

“The kids wanted the style to be simple and unfinished. The houses all have the same design, but they’ll change and take on the personalities of the families living in them,” Manit explained.

“I added the garden and shady spots. I wanted a resort-like feeling, and we have that now: garden, swimming pool, all in our own home.”

The cantilever deck that’s a part of the common building reaches out above the pool creating an impression of a home floating on water.

Besides a great family home with delightful common space, the architects also designed the house to be eco-friendly. The roofs were set at a 15-degree angle, facing south to prevent full sun exposure. All the houses – even the carports – have solar panels, reducing energy costs of the whole residence by 50%.

Solar cell panels installed on the roof at a 15-degree slant offer 50% savings on energy bills.

“We chose the steel house frame not only for speed in building, but also because there’s less noise pollution during construction than using other materials,” said house architect Piriya Techaratpong.

“Plus it gives a wider choice of forms than traditional concrete or column and beam structures, and is many times cheaper than building a concrete weight-bearing wall.

“The common house has spaced steel columns, with lightweight lines that give the impression the building is floating over the pool below. This is the elegant design we were trying for.”

The result of all this? A design that’s an expression of the unconditional love and aspirations these parents feel for their children.


Owner: Manit and Yanrak Manithikhun

Architect: Mee-D Architect Co., Ltd. (www.facebook.com/MeeDArchitect) by Piriya Techaratpong and Pawit Chuankumnerdkarn


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1.618 Khaoyai Residence: Modern Houses in Sync with the Rhythm of Nature

1.618 Khaoyai Residence: Modern Houses in Sync with the Rhythm of Nature

/ Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand /

/ Story: Wanoi / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn, Nantiya / Styling: Prapaiwadee /

A lot is happening in the retail real estate market, and many interesting projects are in the making in the immediate vicinity of Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. The scenic area of countryside known for its lush mountain landscape has emerged as a favorite holiday destination and site for property development. It’s preferred before all others of the same kind, the reason being it’s only a little over an hour’s drive from Bangkok.

Khao Yai modern houses
A stepping stone garden path with a view of the mountain landscape.

One of them is a housing development with a name that will capture your imagination. Known as 1.618 Khaoyai Residence, the project takes its name from the golden ratio commonly used in modern designs.

It promises modern houses that sync with the rhythms of the mountains and valleys of Khao Yai, and its front-and-center concern is about supporting human health and the natural environment in which it’s located.

Khao Yai modern houses
A panorama of the misty morning as the sun rises over the horizon in Khaoyai

Embracing an eco-conscious approach to residential development, 1.618 Khaoyai Residence seeks to integrate natural and built environments into one whole typically to the advantage of both. This line of thought is evident in the way it treats mountain scenery like paintings on canvas, into which modern pieces of architecture blend, creating a harmony between human and nature.

Khao Yai modern houses

modern houses

The Veranda model, one of seven house types on offer by 1.618 Khaoyai Residence.

The project offers seven house types, among them the “Veranda” which has received warm approval for its roofline that emulates the delightful contours of the wooded, lush landscape. To make the roof appear lightweight and blend with the surroundings, the project engineer chose wood shingles over terracotta or ceramic tiles not only for the top covering, but also for the building’s external envelope, particularly the front facades. The result is a house plan with pleasing uniformity in design.

On the whole, it’s house-on-stilts design that combines form with function to create a cozy living space for the Veranda model. To this effect, all the rooms are easily accessible from the 23-square-meter semi-outdoor room. It’s a good spot for family gathering, chilling out and soaking up the beautiful hillside ambience. Being not too far from Bangkok, the location is equally good either as a mountain escape or a family residence. Either way this Khao Yai modern houses project looks to be a win-win.


Architect: Archive Studio (www.archivestudio.org)


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A Lively Safari-Inspired Mountain Escape at Khao Yai

A Lively Safari-Inspired Mountain Escape at Khao Yai

/ Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand /

/ Story: Tawan / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/  Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

This pristine mountain retreat at Khao Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima evokes a flashback of Safari scenes in the 1985 film “Out of Africa.” It consists of a group of buildings that merges into the lush green contours of geography and topography of the area. A stream runs through it. The relaxing sounds of a babbling brook are soothing to the mind as it moves under the canopy of tall trees into a larger tributary somewhere far away.

safari house Khao Yai
The first building, nicknamed the Clubhouse, serves a dual purpose as a welcome area and common room open to everyone. Its funky yellow façade is adorned with reclaimed timber recycled from an old ship hull, evoking pleasant memories of an installation art show.

“I like being by the sea. Mountains are not my kind of place. But this location changes everything. It’s different from other places. There’s a small stream flowing through it. The gentle rush of water flowing enlivens the entire natural surroundings,” said homeowner Piset Chungyaempin, who is executive chairman at Piko (Thailand) Public Company Limited.

Here, ecosystem health takes precedence. To transform his property into a perfect holiday home, Piset avoided cutting down trees the best he possibly could. He has a plan. With a smile, he said: “The house is a holiday retreat for now, but in the future we can live here long term.”

safari house Khao Yai
The kitchen inside the Clubhouse has a rustic country flair. The walls in shades of orange characteristic of Fresco architecture add the charm of a Tuscan village to the atmosphere. The kitchen island is crafted of pinewood in light hues to bring out the superb natural wood grain that whispers a soft rustic appeal.
“The kitchen is probably the most expensive part of this house,” Piset said with laughs. “It is designed to look as if it had been around for some 50 years. The cooking range, for example, is a new technology remade to imitate the Retro style of the recent past. It stands in perfect harmony with the general ambience.”
“The kitchen is probably the most expensive part of the house,” said Piset. “It’s designed to look as if it had been around for some 50 years. The cooking range, for example, is a new technology remade to imitate the Retro styles in times past. It stands in perfect harmony with a relaxing vintage ambience.”

In sync with the rhythms of nature, the house plan twists and turns around the existing trees. The homeowner made a choice from a range of possibilities. Instead of one big house in the woods, he chose a design consisting of three smaller buildings. The result is a charming trio that’s comfortable, warm and welcoming, plus a sense of space and privacy.

safari house Khao Yai
“This room is affectionately called the Aquarium although people live in it,” said Piset. Spectacular views of hillside landscapes can be seen from here. It’s a glass-enclosed living room with a typical Safari feel to it. Furniture pieces strike the right balance between old wood, leather, and vernacular style upholstery.
safari house Khao Yai
The dining area boasts a Mexican-style teak table from the Crossroad, a Chiangmai furniture store. Upholstered wooden chairs with genuine leather backrests came from the Netherlands.

The first building has two levels, which Piset nicknamed “The Clubhouse.” It serves a dual function, as a welcome area for entertaining guests and a common room for use by anyone at any time. There is a mid-sized kitchen with a hint of cool country vibes on the first floor.

The second building holds a rustic home living space by the water. At present, it’s a living room setting. When needed, it can easily sleep up to four people. Piset’s favorite nook is the front porch overlooking a carp fishpond and a small stream nearby. He plays the guitar and does his hobby projects here sometimes.

The building that houses Piset’s private residence has turns and angles intended to avoid cutting down trees on the property. The floor plan allows for nature to permeate the living spaces to the max.
The building that houses Piset’s private residence has turns and angles intended to avoid cutting down trees on the property. The floor plan allows for nature to permeate the living spaces to the max.

safari house Khao Yai

safari house Khao Yai
The ground floor of the private residence can be rearranged to accommodate visiting house guests. The room in Safari style is adorned with area rugs, throw pillows, and upholstered chairs crafted of vernacular fabrics. The ceilings, floors, door panels, and cabinets feature beautiful wood grain in natural shades.
The master bedroom is spacious with a bed made of old wood in it. “Like a fortunate stroke of serendipity, it’s by chance that I came across old railroad ties listed for sale. They were very heavy and needed seven to eight people to transport them up here,” said Piset.
The master bedroom is spacious with a bed made of old wood in it. “Like a fortunate stroke of serendipity, it’s by chance that I came across old railroad ties listed for sale. They were very heavy and needed seven to eight people to transport them up here,” said Piset.
The front porch that overlooks the carp fishpond is Piset’s favorite hangout. It is where he plays the guitar, or just relaxes in the comfort of a wicker chair that he brought over from the old house.
The front porch overlooking a carp fishpond is Piset’s favorite nook, where he likes to play the guitar, or just relaxes in the comfort of a wicker chair that he brought over from his old house.

Piset named the third building “Tarzan’s house.” His son lives here. It’s a one-bedroom house on stilts designed to look like a treehouse.

There is a small pantry for making simple meals and a balcony that doubles as a lookout post. Its most interesting feature is the hydraulic powered staircase that’s neatly stowed away when not in use. It’s like he’s actually living somewhere up there in the treetop.

safari house Khao Yai

safari house Khao Yai

[Left] A bathroom countertop crafted of reclaimed wood brings out the beauty of raw natural textured finishes. [Right] An old bookshelf speaks volumes for the homeowner’s personal interests. It’s filled with publications on guitars, boats, and Safari style decor. All things considered, it is a small world embracing Safari themes and colors that Piset has come to love. It is a living space rich in spirits of adventure and memories of enchanting experiences.
[Left] A bathroom countertop crafted of reclaimed wood brings out the beauty of raw natural textured finishes. / [Right] An old bookshelf speaks volumes for the homeowner’s personal interests. It’s filled with publications on guitars, boats, and Safari style decor. All things considered, it is a small world embracing Safari themes and colors that Piset has come to love. It is a living space rich in spirits of adventure and memories of enchanting experiences.

Taken as a whole, it’s a group of three buildings that differ greatly from one to the other. Nonetheless, they share a few common characteristics — a mix of Moorish, Safari, and rustic country styles. Decorating items for the most part reveal a taste for the beauty of raw textured finishes, while furniture comes in the Antique style.

safari house Khao Yai
The bedroom inside “Tarzan’s house” showcases Spanish-style antique cabinetry bought from a Chiang Mai furniture store. To give it a vernacular touch, the walls and ceilings are made of woven bamboo paneling mixed with OSB boards.
safari house Khao Yai
[Left] A spacious bathroom feels very relaxed. Piset said: “It’s designed to eliminate fear of a confined space.” / [Right] A countertop is made to look as if it were floating. Wooden parts in muted colors imitate antique wood finishes, while a mix of brassware and marble adds a touch of class to the interior space.

Owner: Piset Chungyaempin


Visit the original Thai article…

กลมกลืนกับธรรมชาติใน สไตล์คันทรีซาฟารี


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Living with Nature / Baanlaesuan Fair 2016 Show House

Living with Nature / Baanlaesuan Fair 2016 Show House

Show houses have always been the most interesting highlights at BaanLaeSuan Fair. This year, the main attraction features sustainable design focusing on symbiotic relationships between life and nature. It is inspired by one of the philosophies of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

/// Thailand ///

Photos: Soopakorn Srisakul

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From afar, it looks like a hillside covered in verdant vegetation. But a closer look reveals a uniquely designed home carved into an awesome landscape mimicking rice terraces. The well-defined integration appears to be the living embodiment of His Majesty’s “Three Forests, Four Benefits” concept.

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Herbal plants double its use as hanging decorations.
Herbal plants double its use as hanging decorations.

 

Plants grown on the terrace steps and other useful gimmicks encourage people to exercise more to sustain and improve health and physical fitness. Gardening at different elevations requires walking up and down these steps, which burn calories in the process. Getting around on bicycles instead of cars is another useful shtick.

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In the living area, floor cushions work as well as a nice sofa.
In the living area, floor cushions work as well as a nice sofa.

 

Every step of the way, the terraces serve different purposes. At a higher altitude, they provide a lush oasis that showcases the home’s front façade. At lower elevations, they provide steps for easy access that don’t intrude on the landscape. The lower terraces also offer spaces for a chessboard-equipped patio, where people can sit back, relax, or enjoy their favorite game.

A hint of greenery blends into the bedroom.
A hint of greenery blends into the bedroom.

 

The house interior is reminiscent of rock-cut architecture carved into the hillside slope. Yet it is well lit and airy. The living room is decorated with wood furniture in natural hues. The area features an LCD screen showing the King perform his noble missions. Patches of greenery abound if you look for spots to give your eyes a good break.

The house is surrounded by trees and plants to blur the boundary between the outside and the inside.
The house is surrounded by trees and plants to blur the boundary between the outside and the inside.

 

The en-suite bedroom comes furnished with white net curtains in the background. The area boasts clean, simple design. The only decorations are framed photographs of recommended useful plants, such as the Indian rubber tree, the fiddle leaf fig tree, and other species known for their ability to absorb toxic chemicals and help purify air in the room.

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At the far end of the interior stand a small kitchen, a dining room, and a kitchen garden. This section is created to show the benefits of having homegrown vegetables and fruits. Not only are they non-toxic. But they also generate incomes for agriculturists and reduce pollutions in the process.

A small pathway leading to the kitchen is also a playground for children.
A small pathway leading to the kitchen is also a playground for children.

The show house is open to the public at BAANLAESUAN Fair until November 6, 2016. Drop in on us, and you will find an inspiration or two for your next home improvements project. Be there.

Electrical wires are well-kept in the ceiling, hidden from eyesight.
Electrical wires are well-kept in the ceiling, hidden from eyesight.

 

A chess board is installed here at the foot of the hill.
A chess board is installed here at the foot of the hill.

 

A microscope is on display inside for children so they can learn more about the nature and have fun at the same time.
A microscope is on display inside for children so they can learn more about the nature and have fun at the same time.
Raw Concrete House with an Idyllic View of Rice Fields in Chiang Mai

Raw Concrete House with an Idyllic View of Rice Fields in Chiang Mai

/ Chiang Mai, Thailand /

/ Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

Amid the relaxed ambience of the countryside stands a two-story raw concrete house with a view of rice fields and a beautiful blue sky. Here at Baan Mae Ann in Chiang Mai’s Mae Rim District, life is simple, morning dew lingers on flowers and paddy fields, and the scenic view seems to stretch farther than the eye can see. The house stands among teak trees. Unmistakably paradise!

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The ground floor evokes pleasant memories of a traditional Thai-style home. Here, a covered loggia that forms part of the house is made for entertaining guests, dining, and semi-outdoor workspace.

The house design is the idea and creation of Seksan Silpwatananukul. There is beauty in imperfections and natural flaws in cement walls that tell the story of the patterns and seams imprinted on them by handheld trowels and scrub brushes.

chiang mai
Serving as the centerpiece of landscape design, an Indian oak tree (scientific name: Barringtonia acutangula) adds a crisp cool feature to the outdoor living space.
chiang mai
Raw concrete stairs and stepping stones over the pond connects the home with nature. At the far end, a semi-outdoor gallery provides ample room for relaxation.
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Everything changes with greenery. It’s easy to get why the homeowner takes very good care of the Indian oak tree in the courtyard. The crisp cool canopy is salubrious.

Sharing his design experience, Seksan said: “At first, the land had been left unattended for some time before the owner decided to put in a home here. I managed to change the whole look of the property by incorporating raw concrete finishes in the overall design. Every little detail was thought about very carefully.

“I took my time to look around in no hurry. After a meeting with the homeowner, we decided that multiple-level design would best fit into the idyllic setting in this part of Chiang Mai’s landscapes. We didn’t really stick to any particular style. But I would say Tropical modern was the best definition for it.”

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The front porch kissed by the warm morning sun looks out over serene paddy fields and, beyond, pristine Tropical woodlands.

chiang mai

The courtyard enclosed by raw concrete terraces feels bright and breezy all day long, courtesy of generous openings in the exterior walls.
The courtyard enclosed by raw concrete terraces feels bright and breezy all day long, courtesy of generous openings in the exterior walls.
The relaxed atmosphere of a sitting room where timeless elegance meets modern flair. Overhead, the sloped ceiling in vibrant shades of reddish-browns is slanted to match the shape of the roof.
The relaxed atmosphere of a sitting room where timeless elegance meets modern flair. Overhead, the sloped ceiling in vibrant shades of reddish-browns is slanted to match the shape of the roof.

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chiang mai


Designer: Seksan Silpwatananukul


Visit the original Thai version.

บ้านในฝันกลางป่าและนาผืนพอดี จังหวัดเชียงใหม่


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Four Tropical Houses Combined into a Resort in Tranquil Living

Four Tropical Houses Combined into a Resort in Tranquil Living

  Uthai Thani, Thailand /

 / Story: Wuthikorn Sut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Damrong Leeviroj, Xaroj Phrawong /

Saving every tree on the property” is the motto from this resort owner. Studio Miti designed these tropical houses that blend in with the forest, as architecture that fuses modern and traditional Thai tropical living styles.

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The house-on-stilts design allows nature to permeate and ensures good air circulation. Plenty of under-floor spaces allow small vegetation to thrive.

At a glance, the houses conjure up images of little houses in the big woods. Four beautiful and tranquil tropical houses are nestled in a surrounding forestland of northwestern Uthai Thani.

This house-becomes-hotel is the brainchild of the owner, Chantita and Paisan Kusonwatthan. They started re-growing and restoring the area some thirty years ago. Later when development began in earnest in 1996, the area was meant to be their retirement home.

Through hard work and dedication, the property grew to become a lush woodland full of vitality. It gave rise to the idea of opening it to the public.

Now the post-retirement project becomes a resort, appropriately named “Bansuan Chantita.Bansuan is Thai for garden home.

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The architect of the project, Prakij Kanha of Studio Miti, explains:

“First and foremost, we set out to save every tree on the property. It is our duty and responsibility to find common ground between nature and architecture.”

In the design process, the architect took great pains to measure every space among the trees. The average area was then used as the basis for designing homes on the property.

Only after that did the design team begin work on the design concept. The project took the form of a “plus” symbol as its layout.

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The tropical living house design and remain Thai lifestyle by design terrace in front of the house.

“The plus symbol plans fit in well amongst the trees. The result was perfect harmony between architecture and the existing natural environment. The design scheme was about putting together five rooms, all of which are easily accessible from the central court,” explained Prakij.

“The four homes come complete with wood decks, seating spaces, bedrooms, and bathrooms. The house-on-stilts design keeps them elevated from the forest floor.

“Each home is set at a different level to promote good air circulation through the hotel property. It is the different level design that creates an enchanting aesthetic.”

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All living spaces are designed to be proportionate with one another in size, amount, and frequency of use. Different spaces are designed with different needs in mind.

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The design scheme calls for the four tropical houses to be conveniently linked by a system of wood passageways winding through the lush botanical garden setting. From the outside in, the resort looks and feels like it is an inextricable part of the forest in the backdrop.

By emulating the Thai-style design, the architect ensures that no space goes to waste. Small vegetation thrives on the forest floor below. Crisp, cool breezes are ever present, and nature permeates everywhere.

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Inspired by the Thai-style house design, the wood deck provides a lot of nature at the doorsteps and easy access to all parts of the hotel.

The house’s exterior walls and outdoor decks are made of recycled wood. The preference was based on two reasons.

First, it was a smart move because the price was right. Second, it creates a warm and enchanting atmosphere in the midst of nature.

Recycled wood still shows signs of use, while painted surfaces in a variety of colors serve as camouflage clothing that blends in with the surroundings.

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The owners, Paisan and Chantita, on the wood deck of their little homes in the big tropical  woods

Somehow it is the roofing made of steel sheets that often go unnoticed. Asked why he chose steel over other roofing materials, the architect said:

“If boats made of steel can float on water, likewise roofs crafted of steel can effectively keep the weather out.

“Steel construction is expedient especially where roofing is composed of multiple parts. Such is the case here.”

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What makes these tropical houses stand out is the understanding of nature and the knowledge to incorporate it into the design scheme. The garden paradise is an escape into nature.

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Owner: Chantita and Paisan Kusonwatthan.

Architect: Prakij Kanha of Studio Miti (www.studiomiti.com)


 

 

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