Blog : Sook Architects

A Clean Crisp White House for the Couple Who Love to Cook

A Clean Crisp White House for the Couple Who Love to Cook

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul, Nantiya Bussabong, and Spaceshift Studio /

This modern cube house design inspires great admiration. It has a crisp elegance of cool-toned whites. From the outside, the building looks like three boxes stacked one on top of the other. Inside, it has everything this chef couple could want.

white box house
Photographs: Spaceshift Studio

On first stepping into this white box house, you don’t see the expected living room complete with a sofa and TV console. Rather, it has a dining table long enough to seat 8-10 people. The owner couple, Nanthaphon Lilainukul and Thirayuth Khongdee, have a Facebook page called The Dish Whisperer for cooking aficionados.

white box house
Photographs: Spaceshift Studio

white box house

They told us that when their daughter was born, at the time condo living didn’t lend itself to cooking, so they started looking around for a new home.

“I’ve lived in this neighborhood since I was three. My mother lives just three doors down, which is why we came back to this area. Outside the village, there’s that confused urban hustle and bustle, but here it’s quiet and peaceful,” said Nanthaphon.

white box house

Thirayuth said that the three-story design made good use of vertical space. It has all the necessary features neatly fitted into a small piece of land.

To prevent flooding, the plinth level that makes the first floor is built one meter above the ground. There is a cellar that’s used for storing preserved organic vegetables that Nanthaphon made herself.

The first floor contains a studio featuring that long table which – besides dining – is used for receiving guests and holding cooking workshops: Nanthaphon is a certified chef with a specialty in French pastries, while Thirayuth is a master of Thai food. Between the kitchen and the studio is a stairway to the second floor and a storage room for Nanthaphon’s ceramic dinnerware.

white box house

Sharing her piece of paradise, Nanthapon said: “Actually I graduated in engineering, but cooking has always been my thing.

“Each time I went to Japan, I got more hooked on its food culture. Eventually I decided to follow my passion and do what I loved — cooking and collecting beautiful dinnerware sets. I’ve found some really beautiful ceramic stuff in second-hand stores, but some I bought from abroad,”

white box house

The second floor holds a multipurpose family room made comfortable by a cool breeze that enters and circulates all day. Meanwhile, rough wood texture on the doors and windows adds rustic charm to the warm and intimate interior.

From the minimalist façade, outswing windows open to reach towards Nanthaphon’s mother’s house, conjuring up the image of social and family life in former times.

For more privacy, the bedroom is tucked away behind the multifunctional area. Their little girl still sleeps in the same room as Mom and Dad at least for now, but a separate room has been set aside for her future use on the third floor.

By design, this white box house is more than a place of residence: Nanthaphon’s cooking workshops are held here, too. Her focus here is less on preparation of dishes than on understanding how raw ingredients can be used in various culinary purposes.

Her food creations are straightforward and easy to follow, and they inspire visitors to try them at home.

white box house
Photographs: Spaceshift Studio

Architect: Sook Architects Co.,Ltd.

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Fresh Air, Sunshine and a House Built around a Tree

Fresh Air, Sunshine and a House Built around a Tree

/ Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Nestled in the countryside at Baan Rai Thawsi just outside of Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, this light, bright and airy home is bursting with joy. Away from city lights, it’s built around a tree to reap the health benefits of fresh air, sunshine and cool trees providing shade in the environment. Here, the towering mountains of Khao Yai National Park to the south can be seen from miles around.

Seen from a distance, the transparent house façade is designed to take in an expansive panorama of countryside landscapes. The upper floor under a mansard roof holds calm and peaceful bedrooms.

Homeowner Piyaporn Taepaisitphongse was first introduced to Baan Rai Thawsi while her mother was attending a meditation retreat at nearby Baan Boon village, taught by the revered Buddhist monk Ajaan Jayasaro.

It’s easy to get why she came away impressed. Out in the foothills, it’s calm and peaceful. In her words: “Mom brought me here and I liked it. She wanted a country house, so here we are!”

A healthy tree thrives in the middle of the house plan, a focal point for people going from one part of the house to another.


Piyaporn’s mother added: “We built it here for a lot of reasons. As Bangkok people, we feel safe living in a housing development. Here neighbors watch out for each other, plus it’s a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere.”

This was certainly clear to our team. Most households are also practicing meditation, adding to the pleasant ambience.

In a creative way, the tree at the center of the house plan connects the home with nature. Nearby, concrete walkways around the building fuse into a single path reminiscent of classic Japanese design.
The walkway around the building connects people of different generations. For Grandmother, it’s a place for walking meditation. For the little ones, it’s a semi-outdoor area to run and play in.

Piyaporn said: “We wanted a place to live after retirement, when we get old. And Mother is making plans now. We like the design by Rujnumporn Keskasemsook, of Sook Architects. He’s the one who created this open and airy house.”

The tree at the center of the house plan blocks the sun’s harmful rays from penetrating the walls, keeping the living room cool and comfortable during daytime hours.
The kitchen conveniently connects to the dining room and living area, thanks to an open concept floor plan that promotes interactions and socialization processes in the family.

Architect Rujnumporn’s design also includes lodging accommodations for houseguests staying overnight and pathways to get out there and experience the natural surroundings firsthand. From the front, we get a wide view of the duplex style home that blends right in with the environment.

The downstairs external envelope is glazed using clear glass standing tall from floor to ceiling, surrounded by covered walkway systems that also double as a porch.

The upstairs is quiet and secluded, sheltered by a mansard style roof that makes the house feel roomy and light. The mansard boasts the beauty of subdued color combinations of whites and grays, adding to the home’s proper, orderly look. At the same time, the tree in the middle stands out from the surfaces, easily noticeable from afar.

The little children’s bedroom boasts bright furniture colors silhouetted against the walls in cool-toned white. As might be expected, the bed has drawers for storing toys.

Overall, interior décor is simple, partly because it’s a vacation home. Plus, the homeowner prefers it that way. Furniture for the most part is movable, except for the kitchen that contains built-ins for ease of maintenance.

Flooring and ceiling materials are made of dark-colored artificial wood, creating a visual contrast with the building’s glass enclosures. It’s a design that seeks reconnections with the natural world outside while creating a warm and peaceful ambience inside. In the evening, sunlight shining softly through the tree creates breezy patterns like poetry in motion on the white walls.

Easygoing décor in the bedroom with a slanted ceiling that matches the mansard roof. There’s quiet reading nook by the wall.

From the outside, the two wings stand separated by a tree in the middle of the home plan. One wing serves as small hostel with eight beds for guests; the other wing holds the family residence with a bedroom downstairs for Mother, and the other bedrooms upstairs for the homeowner couple and their little children.

The “house built around a tree” in Pak Chong seems like the perfect example of a co-living arrangement, one that gives special importance to family togetherness and the joy of staying in close touch with nature.

Little children enjoy tending plants thriving in the backyard garden; among them, sunflowers, okra, and other green vegetation. It provides a conducive learning environment for kids. Out here, nature is the best classroom.

Architect: Rujnumporn Keskasemsook of Sook Architects

Visit the original Thai article…


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