Aptly named “Baan Asai,” literally a place to live, a modern glass house in Nakhon Ratchasima was crafted with skill and imagination to achieve one goal – soak up the spectacular views. The owner, Issaraporn Prasongkij, designed this residential cluster development herself.
An amalgam of the traditional and the modern, the two-story, cube-shaped home was built fast thanks to advancements in metal tech industries. Metal became the primary building materials for two reasons – cut down construction time, and in turn reduce any effects on the environment.
From the outside, the house looks like the coming together of three mirror cubes, each of which serve specific functions. To minimize reflections in glassy and metal materials, the designer chose to cover them with hip roof design in pleasing shades of brown. The muted earth-tone colors not only gave the house a comfortable feel, but also enabled it to blend into the natural surroundings.
Because the outside walls are transparent, much of the house’s interior can be distinctly seen. The beauty of it lies in the detail of furniture, fittings, and other decorative accessories. The owner and her husband handpicked these items for their cozy appeal, from carpets to cushions to porcelain sets. They even designed some of the items themselves.
To take in great panoramic views, glass panels mounted on aluminum frames are chosen over ordinary solid materials. The first floor living room boasts high ceilings that rise as tall as 10 meters from the floor to the apex. Close at hand, an alfresco leisure corner and dining space with an island kitchen counter stand within easy reach from the carport.
With good reason, areas that require privacy, such as bedrooms and baths, are partitioned off from the rest. The house’s two bedrooms are tucked away in the innermost part of the second floor, which affords sweeping views of the Khao Yai Mountains.
The couple also has plans to build a community of urban residents in the area. They are looking at a form of co-housing similar to the ways of the Thais in times gone by. It’s interesting to see how that will take place in years to come.
The old house has served as big family rendezvous in Pattaya, a seaside town just two hours’ drive from Bangkok. Those times are gone now. The extended family home is now in the hands of the second generation with a smaller household. That’s reason enough to renovate it to suit single-family lifestyle needs.
“At first when I examined the building, I was trying to identify parts that need repairs and whatnot,” said architect Kasin Sornsri. “I talked with both generations of the family, and I could feel the love they had for this house. So, I decided to go for renovation instead of putting in an entirely new building.”
In the process, the old roof that fell in disrepair was replaced by a new, single sloping roof. The new roof shape was chosen for its ability to provide tall ceilings, which directly benefited the interior living space on the upper floor. Like the architect intended, the new feature added attractive curb appeal to the house and its surroundings when viewed from the street.
For the lower floor, open-concept dining space is capable of entertaining up to 20 visitors on occasions. The architect has kept the iconic archway design and brick walls on the front façade pretty much intact. Adjacent areas are adjusted to suit the way of living of the second generation, while the first generation enjoys plenty of room for privacy along with dining space and kitchen.
The interior presents an ambience resembling that of an antique shop. Pieces of old furniture and stained glass decorations serve as reminders of the olden days. Handcrafted tiles paired with iron grill designs echo the beauty of floral glass patterns. Together they breathe new life into the old brick house that has been home to two generations. Built to last, and further improved through renovation, it now stands ready for the future.
Every year the Thailand International Furniture Fair (TIFF) continues to attract wider audiences from across the country. The landmark event has become a Mecca for designers, craftspeople, and the industries to present the latest in designs and innovative ideas to public views. Here are some of the trend-setting shows from 8-12 March 2017.
– Podium –
Podium’s 2017 collection features beautiful pieces of cane furniture made using the latest in cane weaving techniques. Also known as rattan, or wicker among Americans and Scandinavians, cane furniture is sought after by aficionados of the minimalist and Tropical decorating style.
– Yothaka –
An exciting collection by Yathaka is known as “Yothaka X Galvanii.” It’s the product of collaboration between the master craftsman and the galvanized steel furniture specialist. The Yothaka collection offers a series of metal panels with complementing weaving crafts that blend well with galvanized steel sofa sets by Galvanii.
– Galvanii –
Durable galvanized steel is an ideal material for outdoor furniture. Galvanii has the design and cutting-edge technology capable of doing exactly that.
– Hat –
Hat is a group of award-winning designers. The cohort of creative thinkers is widely known for impressive designs of great originality.
– Kenkoon –
Highlights of the Kenkoon booth include an enormous coffee table designed for the outdoors. The table comes wrapped in materials designed to emulate beautiful sedimentary rock formations.
– BaanchaaN –
A forest of elegant chandeliers and hanging lamp ideas by BaanchaaN is inspired by the beauty of weaving crafts.
– Masaya –
This up and coming brand is making great progress and likely to become even more successful in brass furniture design. Masaya just won a DEmark Award last year.
– Ease –
Ease, an embroidery design studio, has come up with the aptly named, “Silence Collection” for 2017. Its embroidery design acoustic board is the product of collaboration between Ease and Feltech.
– Plural Designs –
Plural Designs rose to fame with its ingenious modern design. Now the designer has made the brand even more attractive by adding a touch of craftwork to the design.
– Dots Object –
The wooden fixed-gear bicycles on display bespeak the designer’s passion for bicycle riding.
– Deesawat –
Deesawat, one of Thailand’s big names in furniture making, reveals a new lounger with brilliant design. Made for space saving and mobility, the comfortable lounger can fold vertically, pack, and store neatly when not needed.
– Corner 43 –
Making heads turn at TIFF 2017 are a set of woven chairs by “Salt and Pepper Design Studio X Corner 43.” The eye-catching chairs are made using special weaving techniques. The group also has on display plenty of beautiful pieces inspired by weaving crafts.
– Bambunique –
Bambunique takes the charm of bamboo into the world of contemporary design. It features new collections including beautifully handcrafted cosmos tables and Tether chairs in pleasing shades that restore glory to bamboo design.
– Studio 248 –
This young and synergized group has never run short of great ideas. Its showcase this year includes an expandable pendant lamp shade for indoor use, and a wooden folding chair.
– Ayodhaya –
Ayodhaya’s signature is about using natural materials for their ability to bring out a touch of the Orient. Its products should go well with eco-chic decor.
– Plato –
If you are a big fan of teak wood furniture, the Plato booth is a must-visit.
– Mobella –
Mobella creatively adds a traditional Thai-style ambience to the living room with a comfy modern sofa set. The company also introduces “Mobella Home,” a sister brand, at this year’s show.
– Eqologist –
Uniquely designed indoor pendants by Eqologist are made of eco-friendly cassava particles with a bamboo base.
– ROOM Lab –
ROOM Lab is a group of fun and creative designers. These wall clock designs crafted of wood highlight the brand’s charm and personality.
– Patapian –
Patapian presents fine woodcraft products paired with unique weaving designs. This year the designers introduce two new items — an adjustable wood tray, and a handheld mirror inspired by a snail in motion.
“I wanted a house with both common and private corners on each floor,” said Sorakit Kitcharoenroj, the owner and architect. And with good reason, he called it “Baan Moom,” which is Thai for a house with corners.
Sorakit had the fulfillment of his family’s needs for highest priority. That said, he translated it into this three-story, three-bedroom house complete with living room, dining room, kitchen, workspace and home theater.
A focus on function didn’t necessarily mean that he had to abandon all the charm and poise. Rather, in a unique fashion he incorporated the concept of “Moom” in the detail. The word refers a space between two intersecting lines. That pretty much explains the ever-presence of triangular shaped design everywhere inside and out.
One of the house’s outstanding features is the triangular-shaped skylight crafted of insulated glass panels. The rooftop opening stays open to let a shaft of natural light pour into the interior via the stairwell. The stunning design took several months in the making, during which the contractor adjusted the staircases many times until everything was perfectly aligned.
Sorakit designs the bedrooms in ways that best suit each person’s lifestyle needs. For his parent, he chooses to highlight the elegance of the oriental-modern style. His own bedroom is a bit different. It’s the most playful corner in the house. He sleeps on the mezzanine above the workspace that is tucked away on the lower floor. The bedchamber is accessible via stepladders. Right next to it, a hammock floor is there to take relaxation to a whole new level.
The house is without a doubt an awesome intersection of function and design, and “Baan Moom” is the perfect name for it.
Skillfully handcrafted of Siberian cedar, this ready-made wood cabin is designed to suit a variety of lifestyle needs, from a refocused life in the city to a perfect getaway on the forest fringe. Check it out.
A series of small serendipities came together in a happy way. The owner already had a piece of land on the forest fringe at Khao Yai. And the wood cabin design came in handy to turn her dream into a picture worth a thousand words.
“I wanted a small home and was glad to get one built on a limited budget,” said the owner. “I came across a ready-made cabin design by Me Home, and I knew right away it was the right kind for me. The home is built strong with adequate interior spaces at a bargain price.”
The wood cabin is beautifully handcrafted of Siberian cedar, the timber known for its pleasantly unique scent. Built fast, the handsome dwelling took only three months in the making, thanks to all the various parts that came custom-made to suit every application.
The modest one-story design comes with a bedroom, a living room with kitchenette, and a bath. On the exterior, a relaxed front porch is hemmed in by green spaces with plenty of fresh air from the nearby wooded hillside. The tiny kitchenette belies her unfailing love for cooking. The interior reveals a lifetime of journeys manifested in the mix-and-match style featuring beautiful ornaments and tchotchkes from flea markets across the globe. Experience as a flight attendant no doubt culminates in such a lovely ambience.
Small house design leaves large outdoor space for gardening and recreation. For visual continuity, native plant species thrive blending seamlessly into the wooded hillside. Together they add charm and character to the beautiful wood cabin no one knows is a ready-made.
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.
“I recently googled places with mountain views and good weather, and it gave me this,” said Siriwat Mungkalarungsi sharing the story that led him to the stunning bucolic countryside. “I drove here to check it out for myself and ended up buying a plot from a local family.”
Siriwat designed the country home and oversaw construction himself. It gave him some reminding about past journeys. Beautiful mountain scenery conjured up images of Provence, a southern region of France. That explained the house’s full tilt towards rustic Provençal, a style widely admired for its an artistic expression. “I want a small house, one that’s easy to care for when I come here alone,” he added.
The house has a living room and kitchen on the lower floor, while the bedroom is tucked away on the mezzanine. It has just enough furniture and ornaments, no more no less, since the owner wanted his home to look and feel simple like the typical houses on the countryside.
Siriwat said that his neighbors were very kind. They looked after his house while he was away. Trying to blend into the cultural tradition of the local population, he sometimes invited them over and dined together. He could still recall camping out here while the house was under construction. For him it was a chance to step out of his comfort zone and lived among generous people and nature — an enchanting experience no doubt.
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.
The two-story townhouse belongs to an interior designer, who bought it from a property developer while it was under construction. She came in just in time to apply improvement ideas to the original design.
For a well-lit interior, she replaced solid walls with an array of glass doors with transom windows. Stairway walls and ceilings on the upper floor were removed. Some of the original windows deemed to be too small were replaced with bigger ones. The homeowner even found an ingenious way to add an attic for her kids. The result was a light and airy dwelling place, quite an aberration from a typical townhouse.
Inside, the wooden parts, such as window frames, doors, antique decor and crafts bespoke the homeowner’s passion for woodwork. She designed all the built-in furniture, including wooden cupboards with intricate carvings, and bought other furnishings and ornaments herself. She admitted she didn’t have a plan when she bought them. What a nice fluke! They turned out to be a perfect mix and match style with a common hue.
“I once had the opportunity of visiting the house of Geoffrey Bawa, my favorite architect,” said the owner when asked about her inspiration. “I learnt the concept of space management and the art of applying cultural identity to design. These things make the residence feel cozy, charming and timelessly livable.”
Space management as a concept may be simple, yet in practice it’s never easy. This townhouse with all the charm and poise has proved one thing. The homeowner managed to put her newfound knowledge to practice. And it showed in the intelligent use of space and the way she decorated with crafts.
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.