Blog : Ventilation

Planter Box House: A Narrow Lot Home with Edible Landscapes and Raw Concrete Façades

Planter Box House: A Narrow Lot Home with Edible Landscapes and Raw Concrete Façades

/ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia /

/ Story: Kangsadan K. / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Ameen Deen /

Edible landscapes provide amazing benefits. But what if you don’t have space for them? Raised garden beds and planter boxes come in handy to deal with the challenges of living in a small space. This narrow lot home in Kuala Lumpur is a living proof of creative design and the advantage it brings to garden plants fit to be eaten. Done right, they thrive everywhere, building façades included.

Form panels made of bamboo strips leave their imprints on poured concrete surfaces and unadorned planter boxes on the building façade.

Boasting beautiful edible gardens and lush fruit trees, the modern home in KL affords 340 square meters of living and functional spaces. The overall effect is impressive notwithstanding its austere simplicity characterized by the rawness of concrete surfaces. But that’s precisely the quality that radiates curb appeal.

There’s more to it than meets the eye. The secrets to creating indoor thermal comfort and sustainable living environments lie in those planter boxes that adorn building façades at the front and back. Plus, the rooftop deck has even more room for raised garden beds filled with herbs, vegetables and fruit trees growing luxuriantly.

A drawing illustrates the positioning of living, functional and gardening spaces on all three levels of the house plan. / Courtesy of Ameen Deen
A side-elevation view of the house plan in cross section shows front and rear façades bedecked with deep planter boxes starting from ground level all the way to vegetable gardening spaces on the rooftop. / Courtesy of Ameen Deen

Named the Planter Box House, it’s the brainchild of Formzero, a homegrown architectural practice renowned for advocating sustainability and design best suited to the geographical features and the Tropical climate prevailing in this part of the Malaysian peninsula.

That being said, it’s designed to be power efficient, thanks to passive building strategies that include deep planter boxes on the balconies where lush trees and edible plants grow. Together they work in tandem to keep the sun and heat out, thereby regulating indoor temperatures by allowing just the right amounts of daylight and fresh outdoor air into the home.

From a distance, the planter boxes crafted of poured concrete have a rawness feel to them that blends seamlessly with trees in the vertical garden landscape. The building exteriors are made to appear untidy and unrefined by design.

Take a closer look, and you discover more than 40 types of edible plants. For safety, big trees are securely anchored in deep planter boxes. Needless to say, they fill passers-by with curiosity as to whether it’s some kind of a fruit orchard tucked in the middle of an urban neighborhood.

A drone’s eye view shows planter boxes filled with fruit trees overlooking edible plants in the front yard garden directly beneath them.

For lack of a better word, it’s a home in a class of itself, one made attractive by a forest of lush foliage and the upper branching of trees that set it apart from everything out there. The poured concrete surfaces lack sophistication as a result of bamboo strips being used to make concrete form boards.

For the architects who designed it, the house represents a fusion between heritage unique to this part of Kuala Lumpur and a new design concept that attempts to redefine Tropical residential architecture from a modern perspective.

A concrete form board made of bamboo strips leaves its imprint showcasing ridges and grooves on the surface in its austere simplicity.

Take a look inside and, surprise! The solid, unsophisticated exteriors belie the fact that the house plan is quite open and airy creating a sense of space, thanks to windows and doorways glazed using clear glass with generous wall openings strategically placed for good ventilation all year round.

Downstairs sitting room enclosed by a clear glass wall affords a view of the front yard filled with thriving fruit trees.

The ground floor contains a kitchen and dining room lying furthest to the back of the house. A set of light and bright stairs crafted of steel separates them from a sitting parlor with comfortable furniture located upfront. The kitchen and dining room combo takes pride of place under a high ceiling that rises 6 meters from ground level.

It’s a spacious, well-lighted place, thanks to clear glass walls that stand tall from the floor to the ceiling. On the opposite side of the stairway, the sitting parlor affords a view of the front yard garden adorned with edible plants and trailing woody-stemmed vines handing down from concrete exteriors.

A steel staircase made light and airy by design separates the living room upfront from an open kitchen and dining room lying furthest to the back of the house.
The homeowner enjoys his retirement busy making art in the dining room enchanted by high-ceiling design.
A small piece of ground affords room for vegetable gardening right next to the kitchen and dining room.
A large dining table takes the most prominent position under a high ceiling that rises 6 meters from ground level. The room serving multiple purposes feels light and bright enclosed by a glass wall with swing doors opening to a small backyard.

Climb a flight of stairs, and you come to the second floor that’s in fact a private mezzanine containing a bedroom and a sitting room en suite. From here, the stairway continues on to the third floor holding a quiet, secluded reading nook. Worthy of attention is that every part of the home is surrounded by vegetables and herb gardens growing luxuriantly at the in front and back of the building.

Concrete planter boxes and fruit trees provide a privacy screen for the semi-outdoor shower room enclosed by glass walls.

Proceed to the rooftop deck, and a beautiful panorama of the cityscape unfolds before us. Equally fascinating are lush and shadowy gardens developing vigorously covering the full extent of the deck space.

Low-profile barriers on the third-floor balcony afford a beautiful panorama of the cityscape.

Albeit small in size, it’s a living space that speaks volumes for the homeowner’s love of gardening. And it shows in the way raised garden beds and planter boxes are put in every possible place.

In the end, it boils down to ingenious design, the kind that’s fit for the warm and humid Tropical climate prevailing in this part of Malaysia. Plus, it’s a confluence of ideas resulting in crisp cool shade, good ventilation and indoor thermal comfort. Simply fantastic!


Architect: Formzero

Principal Architect: Lee Cherng Yih


You may also like…

concrete homeNDT-LTC HOUSE: Oozing the Charm of Raw Concrete and Lush Vertical Garden Façade

suburban home the red roof vietnamThe Red Roof: A Suburban Home Enlivened by Rooftop Terraced Gardens and Old Ways of Life

Ngói Space: A Community Center in Vibrant Orange Graces a Suburb of Hanoi

Ngói Space: A Community Center in Vibrant Orange Graces a Suburb of Hanoi

/ Hanoi, Vietnam /

/ Story: Phattaraphon / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Le Minh Hoang /

A good-sized community center is making its presence felt on the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. The building stands enclosed in authentic Vietnamese fireclay roof tiles. The external envelope in exuberant shades of orange rises above a street corner surrounded by modern structures. It begs the question. Is this some kind of experiment being undertaken to test a point that has never been dealt with? “Your guess is right.”

Ngói Space Hanoi

Named “Ngói Space,” the community center building sends a strong message that exciting new architecture can be created using indigenous building materials. In this particular project, more than 20,000 thin rectangular slabs of baked clay are used to make the building facades. They are the same ubiquitous building materials as those used for covering roofs.

Ngói Space Hanoi

Ngói Space Hanoi
The immediate empty space between the perforate shell and the building wall offers semi-outdoor room for relaxation.

Ngói Space performs a dual role as recreation center promoting community wellbeing and reception area for both normal and important occasions. It’s open to everyone in the community who needs a place and time to unwind, not to mention empowering the people and strengthening the neighborhood.

Among others, it has coffee shops, multiple purpose rooms, conference venues and exhibition halls plus a rooftop garden for relaxation.

The interior space is light and airy, a peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

The unique outer surface of the building got its inspiration from trees thriving vigorously in the wild, while the interiors conjure up mental images of the atmosphere inside a prehistoric cave dwelling. The design thinking process started with interior planning. Once that’s done, the team at H&P Architects then proceeded to work on the building’s exteriors.

A pencil sketch illustrates steps in the thinking process culminating in the final design of the community center building named “Ngoi Space” / Courtesy of H&P Architects
A diagrammatic representation shows the coming together of support structures and building facades crafted of fireclay roof tiles. / Courtesy of H&P Architects
The floor plans in cross section / Courtesy of H&P Architects

To arouse people’s curiosity and interest, the facades are covered in roof tiles fired the old-fashioned way, an indigenous building material that the Vietnamese were most familiar with. In a way, it’s a design that takes people back in time by reintroducing traditional materials and techniques and putting them to good use in modern day applications.

A trio of images shows how the thin rectangular slabs of baked clay are put together creating the face of the building that houses the community center. / Courtesy of H&P Architects)

There is one incentive for doing so. As the country continues to advance, more and more old homes are torn down to make room for new ones. So now is the time to start thinking about the need to reuse and recycle as a means of preserving natural resources.

For this reason, the facades are built of fireclay roof tiles recycled from much older homes. In this way, nothing goes to waste plus it’s a creative and cost-effective way to build in this day and age.

Ngói Space Hanoi
Split level design makes for a pleasant and airy interior.

Ngói Space Hanoi

Here, the old roof tiles are put together diagonally to create one triangle after the other that in turn forms the perforate outer shell of the building. Together they go to work protecting the walls and windows behind them from severe weather.

Besides providing shade and more insulation for the interiors, the immediate cavity in between the two layers provides room for exhibitions and nooks along the walls to sit sipping coffee. That’s not all. There’s also a rooftop garden offering a wonderful panorama of the cityscape. Or just chill out and enjoy the view through wall openings anywhere in the building.

Ngói Space Hanoi

Ngói Space Hanoi
A custom loft net system offers visual continuity between upper and lower floors.
Ngói Space Hanoi
A multi-use space lies between the fireclay tile façade and the building wall fitted with panes of clear glass.
A meeting room set in theater style is illuminated by natural daylight.

Ngói Space Hanoi
Fireclay roof tiles fixed in position with abrupt alternate left and right turns add balance and harmony to interior design.

From the design perspective, “Ngói Space” takes pride of place in this part of suburban Hanoi, having occupied a prominent position among modern buildings in the area. What makes it stand out is the perforate shell made of old roof tiles in shades of orange, an intriguing combination that gives it character and the power of storytelling about the city’s past and present.

Ngói Space Hanoi
The rooftop garden affords a beautiful panorama of the city landscape.
Ngói Space Hanoi
A façade of fireclay tiles is beautifully handcrafted with wide openings for a better view of the great outdoors.
Ngói Space Hanoi
A simple opening in the building facade allows access to the building. The exterior wall covered in orange roof tiles fired the old-fashioned way provides a window into the community’s long-standing traditions.

All told, it’s a beautiful piece of modern architecture made possible by putting together little things to create a bigger thing. That being said, it takes courage and the ability to see things from a different perspective. Only then can one appreciate the value hidden inside little things and successfully turn them into a product that pleases the senses and the mind, much like an artist adeptly turning “objets trouves” into art.

Ngói Space Hanoi
The orange of the fireclay tile façade stands out from mostly white buildings in a suburban neighborhood of Hanoi.

Architect: H&P Architects (hpa.vn/en)


You may also like…

Urban Farming Office: VTN Architects’ Office Gives Back Lush Greenery

brick officePremier Office: A Nature-Inspired Brick Office Design Giving off Good Vibes

 

W39 House: A Hillside Home Renovation That Brings the Outdoors in

W39 House: A Hillside Home Renovation That Brings the Outdoors in

/ Ampang Jaya, Malaysia /

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

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Built on a slope, this three-story home renovation project sits beautifully ensconced by a vast expanse of lush vegetation. The front façade opens to the east to take in panoramic views of the rolling hills as the sun rises over the horizon. The back of the house facing the hillside holds a quiet, secluded area for living rooms and bedrooms.

Originally purchased as part of a development project back in 1980, it has gone through several improvements to maintain a good state of repair. After the children had grown up and moved out to start a family of their own, the home was last renovated from 2015 to 2018.

Among other things, the upper floors were tailored to meet the needs of aging Mom and Dad while rooms downstairs are reserved for accommodations for visiting children.

Drawings of floor plans for all three levels. / Courtesy of Zlg Design
A cross-section drawing shows the side elevation of the home renovation project built on the hillside. / Courtesy of Zlg Design

Back in the day when the kids were young, the interior of the house was divided into smaller rooms. Things have changed and hence all the room dividers were torn down to create a larger, more light and airy interior that’s compatible with the Tropical climate.

The result is a complete home renovation that brings elements of the outdoors into the home. They include rays of sunshine that stream in through openings in brick walls and skylights, plus fresh air and the smell of flowers in the room.

Home Renovation
The first-floor bedroom overlooks the front yard that’s set apart from the entrance to the main living spaces on the second floor.
Home Renovation
The bedroom is tucked away at the farthest end while skylights illuminate a nearby utility area.
W39 House Home Renovation
The bedroom wall is fitted with plantation shutters designed for good ventilation. It opens to connect with the entrance hall and center court.

The first floor contains a studio apartment complete with bedroom, bathroom, laundry space and a front yard landscape. The second floor holds sitting room with a kitchen island and dining space that opens to the terrace overlooking the backyard.

W39 House Home Renovation

W39 House Home Renovation
All second-floor room dividers have since been removed to create an open-concept living space that connects with a green hillside landscape in the backyard.

W39 House Home Renovation

To ensure safety, the backyard is made secure by retaining wall systems that protect against flooding and erosion as well as create usable land for plants to thrive, a setting that conjures up images of being in the great outdoors.

W39 House Home Renovation

W39 House Home Renovation
A semi-outdoor kitchen is hemmed in by retaining walls built into the mountainside.
W39 House Home Renovation
The room in the front of the house affords beautiful views of the mountain landscape. The façade is glazed in metal framing with window hinges recycled from the old house.
W39 House Home Renovation
Skylights in the rooftop illuminate the center court. They serve as engine that drives natural air circulation vertically and horizontally.

The third floor is accessible via a spiral staircase. It’s a quiet, secluded living space with sitting room, home office and bedroom set apart by divider curtains for easy updates. Open to the outdoors, it conveys a great deal about the inextricable connection between humans and nature.

A spiral staircase connects to third floor. It’s enclosed in perforated walls built of light mass brick that’s inexpensive, plus there’s no need for cement plastering. During the daytime, rays of sunshine streaming inside add interesting dimension to the room.
W39 House Home Renovation
The third-floor corridor runs the entire length of the weather-beaten cement wall. Framed art pieces line the interior wall reminiscent of a small gallery.

In terms of value it’s a good home renovation that stands the test of time thanks in part to quality materials that perform well despite the weather. Meantime, bare concrete surfaces and brick masonry walls blend perfectly into their surroundings.

The front façade has since been adapted to go well with metal window and door casings. For good looks, they are fitted with vintage hinges recycled from old homes.

There’s a part of the wall that’s made using light mass bricks without cement plastering. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find locally. Where appropriate, openings are made in the brick walls to let fresh air and natural light stream into the home creating abstract reflections on the wall. It’s a way to keep the interior cool and comfortable without air conditioning.

W39 House Home Renovation
Drapery hanging in loose folds divides the third floor into different rooms. At every level, the bathroom is set against the exterior wall to create ample living spaces inside.

W39 House Home Renovation

The bathroom is enclosed in perforated brickwork for good ventilation. Nearby solid sliding doors and walls add privacy protection while the gap at the top lets air pass through.

The natural surroundings play a crucial role in making a home renovation full of life and energy. This place is no exception. It’s a happy home built on a good understanding of the environment and the humble nature of human and non-human elements in nature.

So it’s good to let nature take its course for a change. Let lichens grow. Leave those little mud stains on the wall alone. Let climbers thrive on the trellis and the wall. They are there for good reason.

The same applies to those unkempt ground covering weeds here and there. There is beauty in imperfections too, especially those semi-outdoor decks made of wood planks. They may be worn by exposure to the air.

Unpleasant, perhaps? But they serve the purpose as place to enjoy a good cup of tea, have a conversation, even prepare food and wash dishes, or just sit back and relax in the early morning quiet. That’s the secret to living a memorable life.

W39 House Home Renovation
A relaxing nook on Floor 3 sits directly above the semi-outdoor kitchen on Floor 2. It opens to a vertical garden that fills up the retaining wall built into the hillside.

Owner: Susanne Zeidler, Huat Lim

Architect: Zlg Design (zlgdesign.wordpress.com) by Susanne Zeidler, Huat Lim


This house appears in the Special Bilingual Edition (English and Thai) of Baan Lae Suan and Living Asean, titled “Tropical Suburban and Country Homes”. It focuses on designs for cozy living in harmony with nature.

We have handpicked ten houses for this special edition that serve as the perfect example of design innovations in sync with the natural world. Front and center, it’s about the pursuit of ways to live more sustainably and create a better future for all. Looking for inspiration? Perhaps a glimpse into nature-inspired “Tropical Suburban and Country Homes” is a good place to start.

Delve into the new book today. It’s hitting Thailand shelves now. For more details, visit https://www.naiin.com/product/detail/592504

For bulk ordering, contact livingasean.bkk@gmail.com


You may also like…

Small Houses in Cambodia: Lack of Space Is Nicely Compensated for by a Cozy Garden Ambience

Huamark 09: A Concrete Block House Stands the Test of Time

LDT Residence: A Contemporary Home Celebrates the Alluring Charm of Bali

LDT Residence: A Contemporary Home Celebrates the Alluring Charm of Bali

/ Bali, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Indra Wiras /

A contemporary home stands amid the rice fields that merge into the breathtaking landscape of Ubud, a town on the Indonesian island of Bali. It consists of two identical houses situated, side by side, parallel to the paddy fields growing luxuriantly in front and back.

contemporary home bali

Incorporating stunning earth tones into the exterior, each building covers about 200 square meters in extent, which translates into roughly 150 square meters of usable spaces. In essence, it’s a design that celebrates the richness of culture and rustic charm typical of the Balinese countryside.

Skillfully planned, it culminates in a living space made more private without a fence, a home in the rice fields set against the backdrop of rainforest ecosystems.

contemporary home bali

contemporary home bali
Opaque front façade ideas make this contemporary home in Bali feel more private without a fence.

From the perspective of the architects who designed it, the first thing that came to mind was how to create the external envelope that would sync with the natural environment. They decided on a single-level home plan that fitted perfectly in the circumstances that formed the setting of the place. Hence, simple clean lines parallel to the horizon are a focal point in the design as we see it.

The same applies to low-pitched roofs that are chosen for their ability to fit in this environment. In this particular case, dual garble roof lines create a distinct architectural feature. Plus, they perform as effectively as high-pitched roofs without appearing too large or too heavy for the surrounding paddy fields.

contemporary home bali
Hand carved to perfection, the front door embraces the richness of local art and culture. The panel is kept relatively small for more privacy, while sidelights on the brick façade let natural daylight stream into the home.

Interior space planning is tailored to meet simple lifestyle needs. The overall effect is impressive. Step inside, and you come to a small hallway where you can feel the atmosphere change.

The house plan shows spatial relationships between living and functional spaces. / Courtesy of UOS Architecture Studio
A cross section drawing shows different floor levels in relation to ceiling heights. / Courtesy of UOS Architecture Studio

There’s a comfortable living room-dining room combo with a small kitchen, and two bedrooms at the farthest end. The sitting room looks out over the rice fields, while an in-ground swimming pool and nearby wooden decks provide a visual connection between indoor and outdoor spaces.

All the rooms open to the green expanse of rice fields at the back of the house while, on the opposite site, the solid front façade goes to work protecting family privacy.

contemporary home bali
Sidelights in the brick façade create warmth and a sense of openness in the entry hallway leading to the interior.

contemporary home bali
The living room-dining room combo opens wide to bring the outdoors in. High sloped ceiling design creates a light, airy home vibe.

By design, the nontransparent front façade creates a unique architectural feature. It uses color and texture creatively combining the brownish red of brick masonry walls with the gray of Paras Tulung Agung, a type of sand stone obtained from sources in the locality, plus the carved wood doors that convey a great deal about the island’s cultural heritage.

A rooftop skylight illuminates and improves ventilation in the bathroom, plus more privacy.
contemporary home bali
The primary bedroom at the far end of the pool has large openings connecting to nature and the outdoors.

Together, they protect privacy and make for a strong and durable home. Elsewhere, the living room overlooking the swimming pool and nearby sun decks open to admit natural light and fresh outdoor air into the home. All things considered, it’s a delightful place with gorgeous scenery to calm the mind and create deep relaxation.

contemporary home bali
Solid walls and vertical fins conceal windows and doors at the rear of this contemporary home in Bali.

Architects: UOS Architecture Studio (www.instagram.com/uosarchitecturestudio)

Lead Architect: Gde Banyu Priautama

Design Team: Tjokorda Gede Dalem Suparsa, Putu Rahayu Sitha Dewi

Contractor: NATS.Project

Owner: Hendra Rusli


This house appears in the Special Bilingual Edition (English and Thai) of Baan Lae Suan and Living Asean, titled “Tropical Suburban and Country Homes”. It focuses on designs for cozy living in harmony with nature.

We have handpicked ten houses for this special edition that serve as the perfect example of design innovations in sync with the natural world. Front and center, it’s about the pursuit of ways to live more sustainably and create a better future for all. Looking for inspiration? Perhaps a glimpse into nature-inspired “Tropical Suburban and Country Homes” is a good place to start.

Delve into the new book today. It’s hitting Thailand shelves now. For more details, visit https://www.naiin.com/product/detail/592504

For bulk ordering, contact livingasean.bkk@gmail.com


You may also like…

Treehouse by the Lake: A Nature-Loving Forest Home on the Lakeshore

Villa Sati: A Country Retreat Breathes in the Energy of Nature

Floating House in Thu Duc: A Home under the Canopy That Fits Right in Nature

Floating House in Thu Duc: A Home under the Canopy That Fits Right in Nature

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki /

Here’s a midsize three-story house in Thu Duc, a neighborhood on the northeast side of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s nestled in a riverside community that’s no stranger to seasonal flooding. Houses on stilts can be found almost everywhere. This new concrete home is no exception. It’s raised on pilings about a meter above uneven ground to keep it safe from rising floodwaters. More importantly, it’s open-concept design that adds character to the home. Precisely, over 70 percent of the house plan is open to fresh air and natural daylight, a well-design outdoor living space that brings joy to the home.

Floating House in Thu Duc
The light and airy flat-roof home is ensconced in the lush greenery of a riverside community.

On the whole, the concrete-framed house plan appears light and airy. It shows how component parts are pieced together using straightforward building techniques.

Functional areas are scattered over three concrete slab floors that vary from one to the other depending on needs. The ground floor at plinth height holds a quiet, secluded space consisting of the master bedroom and lovely veranda overlooking the backyard garden. It’s positioned to be invisible from the carport and main entrance areas.

Bypassing the first-floor private space, a flight of stairs at the rear of the building leads to the upstairs living room. With traffic flow arranged in this way, the master bedroom lies hidden from view — out of sight, out of mind.

Floating House in Thu Duc

The carport lies under the concrete slab that makes the second floor. The bedroom is separated from the entry area by service spaces such as bathroom and laundry room.

Floating House in Thu Duc

Floating House in Thu Duc

Floating House in Thu Duc
The terrace along the outside of the house is an open-air space with double height ceilings on the outer edge.
Floating House in Thu Duc
Thoughtful design opens the master bedroom to natural light.

The second-floor living space contains a sitting room, dining room and kitchen. It’s made attractive by good-sized balconies that wrap around all four sides of the house plan.

The entire building envelop that encloses the sitting room is glazed using clear glass that stands tall from floor to ceiling. It’s a natural way to create a visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces on the balcony and beyond.

Floating House in Thu Duc
The stairwell at the rear of the building connects the first floor to the upstairs living room.
Floating House in Thu Duc
The living room is glazed using glass paneling that opens to take in fresh air and views of the surroundings.
Floating House in Thu Duc
The enclosed kitchen opens to a nearby hall. Large windows make it equally well ventilated.

Floating House in Thu Duc

Floating House in Thu Duc
The veranda offers ample space that merges with nearby sitting room.

The third-floor deck offers a panorama of surrounding communities. It’s accessible from the second floor via an outdoor staircase that’s built into the front façade. There’s a bar counter with outdoor grill table for the perfect barbecue. A cool place to be, it lies under the canopy of overhanging trees with luxuriant foliage reaching into the sky.

Floating House in Thu Duc
An aerial perspective shows plenty of calm and relaxing family rooms.

It is, in brief, a design where nature is front and center, a home that’s comfortable without being strikingly noticeable. It reflects the line of thought that a simple, beautiful home can be built using ordinary materials and techniques; such as concrete masonry, timber, terra cotta tiles and white walls.

A drawing shows the house’s location within the community. / Courtesy of Sda. – Sanuki Daisuke Architects
Downstairs house plan / Courtesy of Sda. – Sanuki Daisuke Architects
Upstairs house plan / Courtesy of Sda. – Sanuki Daisuke Architects
Rooftop deck plan / Courtesy of Sda. – Sanuki Daisuke Architects
A front-elevation drawing shows structural relationships between concrete slab floors and functional spaces. / Courtesy of Sda. – Sanuki Daisuke Architects

In this particular case, the concrete-framed house is built on a budget using the usual commonplace materials. There’s practically no limit, and it’s up to the person to pick and choose to beautify his home. Take for example the outdoor staircase built into the front façade. In terms of the general impression, it’s an interesting architectural feature that performs its intended function.

Floating House in Thu Duc


Architect: Sda. – Sanuki Daisuke Architects (www.sanukiar.com)

Lead Architect: Sanuki Daisuke, Nguyen Huynh Bao Ngoc

Structure Engineer: Thanh Cong Construction Design Co., Ltd

ME Engineer: Hung Viet Tst Corp

Contractor: Coppha Builders Construction Co., Ltd


This house appears in the Special Bilingual Edition (English and Thai) of Baan Lae Suan and Living Asean, titled “Tropical Suburban and Country Homes”. It focuses on designs for cozy living in harmony with nature.

We have handpicked ten houses for this special edition that serve as the perfect example of design innovations in sync with the natural world. Front and center, it’s about the pursuit of ways to live more sustainably and create a better future for all. Looking for inspiration? Perhaps a glimpse into nature-inspired “Tropical Suburban and Country Homes” is a good place to start.

Delve into the new book today. It’s hitting Thailand shelves now. For more details, visit https://www.naiin.com/product/detail/592504

For bulk ordering, contact livingasean.bkk@gmail.com


You may also like…

The Hiên House: A Wood and Concrete Home Full of Balcony and Terrace Ideas

Treehouse by the Lake: A Nature-Loving Forest Home on the Lakeshore

Baan Noi Doi Hang: Little House on the Hill Boasts the Beauty of Work-from-Home Design

Baan Noi Doi Hang: Little House on the Hill Boasts the Beauty of Work-from-Home Design

/ Chiang Rai, Thailand /

/ Story: Nattawat Klysuban / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Rungkit Charoenwat /

It’s amazing how a small space can make a big difference. Here’s a little house on the hill located at Tambon Doi Hang in Chiang Rai’s Muang District. It’s only 35 square meters, which is no bigger than an average condominium unit in the city. But it’s location, location and location that makes it a stunning place to live. The homeowner couple wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and live somewhere out there in the countryside. Like a stroke of serendipity, their wish came true.

Little House on the hill

Theirs is a tiny home built into nature. It sits beautifully ensconced in the misty morning air and, beyond, forested mountains can be seen from miles around. It’s a calm living space designed for a remote work-from-home job and hence no time is wasted in daily rush-hour commutes.

Plus, they get to choose a way of life tailored to their needs. It’s a lifestyle pared down to the essentials thanks in part to a simple house plan, in which every square inch serves a purpose for which it’s intended.

Little House on the hill

The homeowner couple are natives of Bangkok. They had lived in other places before moving out to this northernmost corner of the country. So they pretty much had a clear picture of what they wanted in a new home plus the functionality and the size that would be right for them. They tossed the ideas around with a team of architects. And the overall result was impressive.

Little House on the hill

It’s a small house designed for two people to fit in comfortably, with a bedroom, workspace, bathroom and a kitchenette with coffee bar. It even has a closet and outdoor rooms for relaxation and al fresco cooking and dining.

Basically, it’s a small living space with many advantages. To begin with, it’s a way to avoid expensive cost overruns. It’s easy to keep clean and maintain in good condition, which translates into more time being devoted to something else more important.

Little House on the hill

A large countertop made out of hardwood is perfect for preparing favorite meals and beverages.
The closet with shelves attached to a wall has a wash basin nearby for extra convenience.

The house on a hill is positioned along the east west axis with the view of a lush landscape. The north and south sides have long eaves overhanging the walls that shield the bedroom from exposure to intense afternoon sun.

For health benefits, the architect puts in a front porch under the gable to create room to sit sipping coffee in the morning and to cook stakes in the late afternoon. The house plan is made in this way for good reason; the outdoors can impact human wellbeing. So it’s a good idea to step outside and connect with nature to reduce stress or just lean back and chill.

A floor plan illustrates relationships between spaces. / Courtesy of IS Architects
A drawing illustrates front and side elevations of the house built on sloped ground. / Courtesy of IS Architects

Little House on the hill

Little House on the hill
Multiple swing door systems are glazed using clear glass to soak up the views of lush countryside.

Like a good neighbor who cares about the community, the house was built using locally sourced materials by local builders and artisans highly skilled in woodworking and masonry.

The ingredients obtained from the locality included roofing materials, reclaimed hardwood, and cement for textured plaster walls. The builders were tasked with work according to their specialized skills so as to add countryside flair to the home.

A steel bracket connecting the house post with concrete footing helps protect against moisture damage.

Like everything else, the Northern Region is not without its challenges. It’s no stranger to air pollution caused by seasonal agricultural burning. To be prepared for all eventualities, the architect makes sure the doors and windows are impervious to dust and dirt when that happens.

Well-made swing door systems and awning windows are chosen for their effectiveness in keeping dust out. At the same time, attention to detail ensures there are no gaps between the window pane and the frame when shut.

A teakwood post supports the roof truss consisting of beams and common rafters, a collaboration between the project architect and experienced local builders.

On the whole, the little house on the hill is designed to blend perfectly with the circumstances that form the setting of the area. It’s a product of thoughtful planning by the project architect and the homeowners. And the result is a humble abode that syncs with the rhythm of life in the highlands region of Chiang Rai. Priceless!

Little House on the hill
A bird’s-eye view of the little house on the hill in relation to lush greenery in the surroundings.

Architect: IS Architects (www.facebook.com/isarchitects.team)

Lead Architect: Pawin Tharatjai


You may also like…

Vernacular Home NatureBaan Suan Athisthan: A Contemporary Vernacular Home in Sync with Nature and Community Life

A Naturally Peaceful Single-Storey Home

Stalk Jakarta, the Tree-Hugger Bar: A Restaurant and Bar That Cares about the Environment

Stalk Jakarta, the Tree-Hugger Bar: A Restaurant and Bar That Cares about the Environment

/ Jakarta, Indonesia /

/ Story: Kanamon Najaroen / English version: Bob Pitakowng /

/ Photographs: Mario Wibowo /

As its name suggests, Stalk Jakarta, affectionately known as the Tree-Hugger Bar, has environment protection as its front-and-center concerns. It’s a design that integrates the relationships between all things as the primary framework before additional tasks can be taken. The result is an enchanting restaurant and bar amid an oasis of lush greenery in a busy area of the city.

The building is roofed over with a tensile fabric cover supported by membrane structures resembling the coming together of five huge bell marquees. There are openings at the apexes to let tall trees grow through reaching up some 30 meters into the sky.

Stitched together so that they become a whole, the five bell tents work in tandem to protect the place of business underneath from severe weather. At the same time, tree crowns and overhanging branches cast shadows on the fabric cover, creating visual interest with contrast in design.

From a distance, a combination of huge bell marquees rises among the treetops creating a visual blend with the natural surroundings and buildings in the background.

The completely tented restaurant space may seem incompatible with other buildings in the neighborhood. But from the parametric design perspective, it’s a sustainable architectural approach that makes sense in every possible way.

In essence, it’s about trying to minimize any negative impact on the environment. And in this particular case, saving all the existing trees on the premises is of the utmost importance. It’s a noble thing to do to leave the trees where they have always been and let them thrive.

From the look of things, it’s thoughful and unique design that puts Stalk Jakarta, the Tree-Hugger Bar, in a class of its own. It’s the product of step-by-step planning that results in a situation, in which each side benefits in some way.

The restaurateurs get the perfect space they need to do business, while the trees get a new lease on life. On the whole, completely tented design provides a commercial space that’s eye-catching, while shady tree canopy ideas make customers feel calm and peaceful away from noise and distractions outside.

Stitched togethered so that they become a whole, bell-shaped tensile fabric tents have openings at the apex to let trees grow through the roof keeping the restaurant space in shade.

In the big picture, it reflects the design team’s vision of creating a piece of architecture that’s inextricably linked with the environment and the circumstances that form the setting of a place. Especially for Stalk Jakarta, it’s the team’s intention to try out new design possibilities to ensure the viability of the project.

They also plan to share their experience with business property developers with a way to reduce negative effects on the environment and, at the same time, maintain the existing state of affairs and physical features of the land. In this way, property value in the central business area will not be negatively impacted.

A drawing of the first-floor layout shows the welcome area leading to clearly defined VIP rooms and semi-outdoor dining rooms embraced by lush greenery. / Courtesy of RAD+ar
The open concept second floor holds a restaurant and bar in nature’s peaceful embrace. / Courtesy of RAD+ar

 

A side elevation drawing shows spatial relationships between shade trees, tensile membrane structures, and restaurant spaces. / Courtesy of RAD+ar

Stalk Jakarta, the Tree-Hugger Bar, consists of two floors. The first floor holds a number of drinking and dining rooms for private parties, aka VIP rooms. To get conversation going upon arrival, there’s a spacious welcome area decorated with plants with an inverted bell-shaped canvas roof serving as the focal point in the room.

From here, the dining hall on the second floor can be accessed via a ramp that winds around the upside-down bell curve at the center.

A ramp winding around the inverted bell-shaped fabric roof cover provides access to the upstairs dining hall.

The second floor contains a restaurant and bar, 750 square meters in extent. It’s roofed over with a combination of huge tensile fabric tents with openings at the apexes to allow shady trees to literally go through the roof reaching up for the sky above.

The thick fabric cover and the canopy of the tall trees protect the restaurant interior from heat during the daytime. In a way that arouses interest, overhanging brances cast shadows of the fabric cover creating a light and shadow play that changes in length and direction over the course of a day.

After sunset, beautiful chandeliers turn the dining hall into a well-lighted place with easy listening music provided by a live band.

An intriguing combination of color and texture makes the VIP room feel warm and welcoming.

Return to the first floor, and you find several VIP rooms clearly defined and separated from one another for privacy. Metal wall panels hammered to look like water surfaces and sandy soil add visual interest to the rooms.

At a glance, it’s a sight that evokes pleasant memories of a journey deep into the forest where the sun shines dimly and slightly, thanks to strategically placed lights in the interior.

An intriguing combination of color and texture makes the VIP room feel warm and welcoming.

All things considered, the high tension membrane roof cover comes in handy for the team of architects at RAD+ar to create an outstanding piece of parametric architecture. It looks the epitome of elegant design and an interesting amalgam of the built environment and the lush green surroundings.

What makes it the perfect rendezvous is the open concept layout that provides good natural ventilation, keeping the interior cool and calm with the sound of leaves rustling in the wind.

Without unsightly solid walls, the restaurant and bar space feels bright and breezy, thanks in part to the tensile membrane structure that performs two functions simultaneously, as fabric roof covering and semi-outdoor enclosure.

In the fewest possible words, it’s the best example of design that’s good for people living in the big city, and good for the environment, too.


Architect: RAD+ar (Research Artistic Design + architecture) (radarchitecture.net)

Lead Architects: Antonius Richard Rusli


You may also like…

Tanatap Ring Garden Coffee Shop: A Design Experiment on the Interaction between Commercial Space and Nature

Blackbird Hotel Hotel in BandungBlackbird Hotel: Hotel in Bandung Enlivened by a Round Honeymoon Suite Trio

MA Architects Office: Integrating Natural Features in Workspace Design

MA Architects Office: Integrating Natural Features in Workspace Design

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Paul Phan /

Overcrowding conditions in Ho Chi Minh City have given rise to both challenges and opportunities for the design team at MA Architects, a homegrown architectural practice in Vietnam. Back in the day, their office was on rental property with little to no room for flexibility. Albeit equipped with air conditioning and modern conveniences, the small workspace was lacking fresh air and ventilation, a far cry from the environment conducive to a relaxed atmosphere and creativity.

Coconut fiber coverings shield parts of the roof for best interior lighting and insulation.
The front façade in cool-toned gray stands sandwiched between a vacant lot and a tall building on the street corner.

Because of that, they decided to break out of the confined space into a home of their own. The new office stands sandwiched between two properties, a tall building on one side and a vacant lot on the other. Its front yard landscape is infused with green foliage.

Thoughtfully devised, the design atelier with an awesome cool gray façade is open to plenty of sunlight and fresh outdoor air plus trees and shrubbery. And the result of all this: a workplace ambience free from disturbance, one that’s good for staff’s ability to create and stay focused on their tasks.

The hallway holds a reception room that’s light and airy.

Bringing the outdoors inside, the office holds workspaces set on concrete slabs along one side and a strip of sand earth for in-ground gardening on the other.

The small, 100-square-meter office space is nestled in a peaceful city neighborhood. It occupies the full extent of a rectangular shaped lot measuring 5 by 20 meters.

The building has a narrow frontage to the street. Its external envelope is built of brick masonry plastered to form a smooth hard surface. In front of it, a small earthen terrace hemmed in by lush greenery provides a neat appearance.

An isometric drawing shows three principal dimensions of architectural features with elements of nature integrated in interior design. / Courtesy of MA Architects
An architectural drawing shows the positioning of natural elements in relation to upstairs and downstairs rooms. / Courtesy of MA Architects
In cross section, a side elevation drawing illustrates cross air flow patterns through the workspaces and under the roof. / Courtesy of MA Architects
Flashback: A photo collage shows stages of construction in chronological order. / Courtesy of MA Architects

Downstairs, a spacious workplace lies connected to a woodworking shop in the back of the building. The meeting room is upstairs that’s open to allow plenty of natural daylight and cool breezes into the interior.

Overhead, the trusses that support the roof are made entirely of timber covered by transparent corrugated roofing materials for best indoor lighting. Where appropriate, sections of the roof are protected by dry coconut fiber coverings for insulation from the sun’s harsh glare.

A woodworking shop occupies the back room, from which a staircase leads to the second-floor meeting room.
The woodworking shop lies on the earth floor with a kitchen and bathroom at the farthest end.

Because when it rains it pours in the Tropics, it makes perfect sense to plaster the entire building envelope. The hard and smooth surface goes to work protecting the building from extreme heat and wet weather all year round.

Although relatively small in size, the office interior crafted of wood is impressive thanks to an open-concept, well-ventilated layout. While dry coconut fiber coverings over the roof make the interior feel cool and dry, the uncovered part works like a skylight turning indoors into a well-lighted place.

Besides light and wind, the architect also integrated other elements of nature in the design, among them earthen floors that cover parts of the ground level. Only the workspace and kitchen floors are made of concrete slabs for ease of use and safety.

Nearby, earthen floors add a warm, natural feel to the interior with plenty of room for growing plants in-ground. As the architect puts it, being in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city, anything that brings a touch of nature, however small, is priceless.

The second-floor meeting room is open to natural daylight and connects to the trees.

A building material of choice, earthen flooring makes it possible to fill the interior with healthy green foliage along the entire wall. Earth and sand absorb and release some moisture, which contributes to a relaxed indoor ambience.

At the same time, vegetation in the front yard and decorative indoor plants both in ground and in containers go to work in tandem keeping the new office building cool and cozy just like home.


Architect: MA Architects (www.facebook.com/mastudiovn)


You may also like…

Urban Farming Office: VTN Architects’ Office Gives Back Lush Greenery

Bao Long Office: An Old Shophouse Beautifully Renovated

The Hiên House: Creative Design Takes Balconies and Terraces to the Next Level

The Hiên House: Creative Design Takes Balconies and Terraces to the Next Level

/ Da Nang, Vietnam /

/ Story: Kanamon Najaroen / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Quang Dam /

Here’s a Tropical-style home located in Da Nang, a coastal city in central Vietnam famous for its gleaming sand beaches, Buddhist shrines and the Marble Mountains. The beautiful Han River runs through it. The hybrid timber and concrete home is appropriately named “The Hiên House” for its lively green façades, Hiên being Vietnamese for semi-outdoor room along the outside of the building. Overall, it’s a design that comes from thinking outside the box to create a relaxing space in the open air.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home

The house’s external envelope is simple yet contemporary in style enhanced by verdant balconies and terraces symbolic of homes in the Tropics. Plus, there’s a unique Vietnamese flair to it. As the architects intended, it’s a layout that speaks volumes for a lifestyle that seeks reconnections with nature.

The concept is manifested in the way the ordinary balconies and terraces transform into the proverbial “breathing space” for nature to recover from disruptions. That said, it makes perfect sense to live more sustainably in this day and age.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home


Wood and Concrete House

Situated away from a densely populated urban area, the wood and concrete house occupies the full extent of a long and narrow lot sandwiched between two roads. It’s home to three generations of a family highly skilled in traditional carpentry living in one household.

There are four stories of living spaces, excluding a rooftop deck. By design, the floor plans cater to the needs of different generations and hence vary in size and appearance from one level to the next. To celebrate the family’s distinguished career in carpentry, the architects made woodworking front-and-center concerns in house design and interior decoration.

During construction, the homeowners were also on hand to provide technical expertise at various stages in the process, especially where traditional Vietnamese woodworking skill was needed.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
The light and airy front entrance is visible from the driveway covered in stone pavers.

To help protect the environment, the design team at WINHOUSE Architecture, a design atelier headquartered in Da Nang, chose to use reclaimed wood instead of newly cut timber from the lumberyard. The recycled building materials used in this project included parts of the staircase, such as treads and risers taken from old homes that had been torn down previously.

Other parts were adapted from old decking, post sleeves, balusters and handrails as well as wooden fascia. They were made suitable for a new use or purpose. And, importantly, they were easy to transport and repair without using specialized tools.

Timber is durable even as it ages. It’s safe to handle and capable of withstanding heat and humidity in the air over a long period of time. Old and weathered wood has a natural appearance that’s beautiful and needs no preservative chemicals to prolong its lifecycle, which translates into big savings and convenience.

Using reclaimed wood in combination with local knowledge and modern techniques add a new dimension to construction technology.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home


Balconies and Terraces for Free Air Circulation

What sets the four-story house apart from the rest is its surprising room ideas and lively green balconies that fill up the entire front façade. They are integral to a design that brings natural light and fresh outdoor air into the home. At the same time, they help dissipate heat from the building keeping the interior cool during the daytime.

Elements of design common for Southeast Asian architecture, the roofed open-air platforms along the outside of the building, be it the balcony or the terrace, perform many useful functions. Among other things, they expand the living areas, protect against the elements, and provide space for sitting rooms and passages for walking along.

First Floor Plan / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture
Second Floor Plan / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture
Third Floor Plan / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture
In cross section, a side elevation drawing shows space planning decorated with plants working in tandem with wall openings to admit natural light and fresh outdoor air into the home. / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture
Isometric visuals show reclaimed building materials being adapted to suit new purposes on all four levels of the new home. The message is clear: save the Earth and cut costs. / Courtesy of WINHOUSE Architecture

As is often the case with most houses, the elements of design such as balconies and terraces are built on the outside of the house. But in this particular case, the architects think it wise to incorporate them in the interior as well, sort of like going in the reverse direction. First they put in an inner courtyard at the center of the ground floor plan.

Then, by disposing the rooms around the courtyard, the areas with a faint light, such as the sitting room and workspaces, suddenly become well-lit and well-ventilated. It’s a clever hack to bring the outdoors into the home. The result is a comfortable living space filled with natural light and fresh air that contributes to feelings of relaxation.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
The kitchen in the farthest room is well-lit and well-ventilated.
THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
Going in the reverse direction, the terrace that in most cases lies along the outside of the house is put inside overlooking a lively green inner courtyard.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home

Taking as a whole, the traffic patterns and space design make the long and narrow house plan feel roomy inside. Walk in the front door and you come to a hallway that’s light and airy, thanks to a rooftop skylight illuminating the stairs connected to a foot bridge over the nearby inner courtyard. There is no need to turn on electric lights during the daytime, which translates into big savings.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
Illuminated by a rooftop skylight, the staircase and foot bridge spanning the void over the inner courtyard make traffic flow easy and convenient.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
A well-lit foot bridge crafted of reclaimed timber connects the major living spaces in the home.

Climb a flight of stairs to the second floor, and surprise! It’s divided into two separate parts, the front room and the back room linked by a foot bridge that spans the void above the inner courtyard.

The same space planning applies to the third floor, except for one thing. The next staircase leading to the fourth floor is positioned further toward the back of the building. The front part holds a bedroom with a balcony decorated with lush greenery.

Cross over the foot bridge, and you come to the back room containing a workspace and sitting room. The fourth floor contains a quiet, more secluded reading room with a bright and breezy small garden for relaxation. It’s a comfortable living space and the light is more diffuse under the canopy of trees.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
Plants growing luxuriantly make the house façade green and lively.

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home

THE HIÊN HOUSE concrete home
Local builders skilled in traditional carpentry reinforce wood beams and pillars for increased load capacities.

In conclusion, the wood and concrete home called “The Hiên House” lives up to its name. All the elements of good judgement in design go to work turning it into an oasis of calm. Everything works out as it should, from a well-lit, well-aired inner courtyard to the plants, trees and small gardens thriving luxuriantly on the balconies and terraces. Perhaps, one word describes it all, salubrious!


Architects: WINHOUSE Architecture

Structural Engineers: Bim City


You may also like…

NHA BE HOUSE: A Brick Home Infused with Memories of the Good Old Days

HUAMARK 09: An Architect’s Charming Concrete Block House

Nha Be House: A Brick Home Infused with Memories of the Good Old Days

Nha Be House: A Brick Home Infused with Memories of the Good Old Days

/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki /

Here’s a beautiful good-sized home with exposed brick walls in subdued orange. It sits peacefully nestled among lush greenery in Nha Be, a suburban district of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. By design, it’s the perfect home size for four sisters who recently decided to come home to care for their aging Mom. A nice place for their family reunion, the brick home is filled with real warmth and memories growing up together back in the day.

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE


Connecting Home and Garden

Designed to fit a long piece of property, the rectangular house plan holds five bedrooms plus a roomy communal space that’s the heart of family life. The architect puts the face of the building closer to the road which passes in front of the house leaving just enough room for a small front yard.

Like so, it allows a huge space for the backyard garden devoted to trees and shrubs and an outdoor sitting room.

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE

Inside, the spacious room shared by all family members lies front and center on the house plan. To bring fresh air into the home, all the rooms are connected to the outdoor spaces in front and back of the building.

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE
The front yard holds a small garden that’s an important factor in curb appeal. The interior is comfortable thanks to double-wall construction. The perforated outer shell performs a dual function protecting the house from heat and glare and serving as privacy screens.

Overall, it’s a design that lets the earthy, woody scents of nature permeate the air. Up front, healthy green foliage transforms the communal area into a calm, pleasant place enlivened by plenty of natural light streaming in through generous openings in the walls.

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE
Open-concept design and floating furniture ideas make the communal room feel spacious, light and airy.
NHA BE HOUSE
An opening at the center of the house plan connects the first floor with the second, resulting in good visual and spatial continuity. The absence of risers between the treads of the staircase makes the room feel spacious and well-ventilated.

On one side of the floor plan, a flight of stairs connects to the second floor and continues to the room just below the roof that acts as a buffer against the sun and heat. The absence of vertical risers between the treads of the staircase creates visual and spatial continuity, plus good air flow in the interior.

Overhead, a shaft of sunlight streams through the rooftop skylight making the home feel bright and airy all day.

NHA BE HOUSE
A semi-circle skylight lets sunlight shine through turning the home into a well-lighted place.

Brick the Material of Choice

The two-and-a-half-story brick home, including the room under the roof, is built almost entirely of bricks for the best indoor climate. Needless to say it’s designed for healthy living.

The first floor is a perfect example of communal space with plenty of room for a generous sitting area, dining room and kitchen. It speaks volumes for a culture of caring and sharing that’s the essence of humanity.

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE
A patch of lush greenery in the front yard makes the sitting room feel warm and invitingly comfortable.

NHA BE HOUSE

For practical reason, Mom’s open-concept bedroom is on the first floor. It’s protected from the sun’s harmful rays by perforated brick walls that form the outer shell. The inside is clear of anything that might be a tripping hazard.

NHA BE HOUSE
The perforated brick wall forms the outer shell protecting Mom’s open-concept bedroom.

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE

Meanwhile, the four sisters each have their own bedrooms on the second floor. They are equal-sized rooms connected by a balcony overlooking the communal space on the first floor. At the very top, the space under the roof becomes a devotional room for traditional veneration of the family’s ancestors. It has a quiet sitting area with a view of the surrounding landscape.

NHA BE HOUSE
The bedrooms on the second floor are plain and simple. Windows on the interior walls bring back that peaceful easy feeling.
NHA BE HOUSE
The top floor under the roof contains a devotional room for the veneration of family ancestors

Taken as a whole, the natural environment is pristine thanks to an irrigation canal that runs past the back of the property. Both sides of the waterway are covered in greenery growing luxuriantly in the wild. It’s easy to get why the architect puts in a backyard garden here, a clever hack that blends perfectly into the lush landscape.

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE

The house is built strong using concrete frame and concrete floor slab construction, while the external envelop is made of bricks in assorted orange hues fired the old-fashioned way. Perforated brick facades enable interior spaces to benefit from natural daylight. Gaps between bricks in the house’s exterior walls admit light and fresh outdoor air into the home.

A material of choice, the vintage style bricks can absorb humidity from the nearby water body, which translates into interior thermal comfort all year round. Plus, they effectively filter out dust and pollution in the air.

The siting of the house in relation to others in the community. — Courtesy of Tropical Space

Apart from protecting against heat and glare, brick walls add a touch of timeless elegance to the home. Perforated facades double as privacy screens that prevent people from looking in and keep the home cool without air conditioning.

The light that shines through is more diffuse, while holes in the brick walls act as engine that drives natural ventilation. Plus, brick walls require little to no maintenance, and they look like new after many years later.

First Floor Plan — Courtesy of Tropical Space
Second Floor Plan — Courtesy of Tropical Space
Attic Floor Plan — Courtesy of Tropical Space
In cross section, a side elevation drawing shows the feel and functionality of the house plan. — Courtesy of Tropical Space

Backyard Garden Made for Relaxation

One of the house’s outstanding features is the backyard garden with an outdoor circular bench capable of seating several people. Built of bricks in subdued shades of orange, it’s the family’s favorite meeting place in the morning and evening.

Because it’s round, it creates more space for family members to come together face-to-face, talk together, walk together strengthening the bonds of sisterhood and relationships made in heaven.

NHA BE HOUSE
An outdoor circular bench made of bricks in assorted orange hues adorns the backyard garden designed for face-to-face family gatherings in the morning and evening.

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE

Brick Home NHA BE HOUSE
An aerial view shows the brick house in subdued shades of orange nestled among lush greenery with a tree lined irrigation canal in the backdrop, a healthy ecosystem that helps cool the environment.

Architect: Tropical Space (tropicalspaceil.com)


You may also like…

Long An House: A Charming Brick House in Vietnam

A Rectangular Brick Home For a Tropical Climate

X