Here’s a home with a Modern space designed for a big family in Singapore. Its generous interior provides great sensory pleasure with fresh air and plenty of room where plants grow luxuriantly. Unique and neatly planned, it redefines the meaning of Tropical design, which in this instance is manifested in an intriguing combination that makes the home feel more comfortable.
Because Singapore is an island, every square inch counts and it doesn’t come cheap.
To build a good home, one must ponder the question of what functions and useable spaces it offers, plus all the modern conveniences.
At the same time, it’s nice to bring nature inside to create powerful psychological effects. And from this point of view, this beautiful oasis with in the city is truly a gem.
The multigenerational household comprises three families. Naturally, it makes sense to accommodate the needs of every age group without sacrificing the common area that’s available to everyone.
Done right, it allows interactions to take place in the family. To facilitate the socialization processes, greenery space is added to the mix to let house occupants reconnect with nature wherever they may be.
The well-planned common area gives the gift of healing and the human touch that everyone craves coming home at the end of the day.
Taking everything into account, the contemporary cube-shaped house is in a league of its own. It celebrates the simplicity of open living spaces conceived and developed by the Singapore-based architectural practice ASOLIDPLAN.
Among other things, what makes it unique is the use of rectangular openings in various dimensions to make the building façade aesthetically pleasing. Done right, the openings in the walls and rooftop admit light and air and allow people to see out.
In this particular case, the building sits facing west, so every precaution is taken to protect the interior from the sun’s harsh glare keeping it nice and cool all day.
The answer lies in a complete rethink of the building shell design, hence the name “Envelope House.”
Step inside, and you come to a gorgeous center courtyard with triple-height ceilings and skylights on the rooftop. It’s a clever hack to reconnect with nature by bringing the outdoors into every nook and cranny of the interior.
Houseplants perfect for miniature landscaping thrive everywhere, even under the staircase. Nearby, young trees with healthy lush foliage stand front and center next to a garden water feature with stepping stones that decorates and refreshes the room.
Looking for a quiet place to lean back and chill? There’s a nice sitting room with a garden view by the window.
The second floor contains living quarters for elderly parents, while the third affords plenty of private residential spaces for grownup children and their families.
Here, fresh greenery is never out of style. It’s an awesomely cool Modern space, where the beauty of plants is present everywhere, whether it’s on the staircase or along the corridors.
The entire interior is so well-lit by skylights that there’s no need for electric lights anywhere in the daytime. And the house plants benefit from it, too, no doubt.
Speaking of design, there’s a special feature that makes the house with a Modern space feel more comfortable. Its thermal envelope is made of energy-saver double-layer walls that form the first line of defense against heat and the elements.
Where possible, landscaping plants thrive in between the two layers to protect the interior from the sun’s harsh UV rays. That’s not all. There’s also a rooftop deck with green grass lawns for outdoor relaxation in the cool of the evening.
In the fewest possible words, it’s a perfect example of homes well suited to a Tropical climate — a complete rethink of strategies that doesn’t rely on adding or extending a roof overhang to protect from inclement weather.
Plus, double-layer wall construction makes this piece of architecture original and unique in itself simply by bringing the outdoors inside.
By integrating a green oasis into the design of the house’s Modern space, it succeeds in dealing with limitations that come with overcrowded urban spaces.
/ Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun / English version: Bob Pitakwong /
/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /
A renovation done right turns this 40-year-old house into a minimalist home that oozes charm and character. It’s spacious with all mod cons. The original frame of the house is retained, but important interventions are added to improve structural integrity, enhance indoor comfort and boost curb appeal. Among them, an array of vertical blades provides vital sun shading integrated into the façade.
Condominium living is awesome for young adults and families without kids. But as their family grew, Prem and Wasinee Chatmanop soon found it unfit to answer their lifestyle needs.
That was reason enough to go searching for a house to buy starting from their familiar neighborhood. Call it serendipity. It wasn’t long before the couple found a fixer-upper located on a 40-year-old housing development in Choke Chai 4 area.
The house was in poor condition and had to be completely renovated. A lot had to be demolished, from the floors to walls to ceilings that had fallen into decay. Only the beams, poles and gable roof trusses that were part of the original load-bearing structure were preserved.
Out with the old, in with the new
“I went out and looked at several houses. In the end, I was really pleased that I chose this one.
“The old house sat on nice square shape land 100 square wah in extent that was characteristic of housing estates in the past. I had a team of building engineers do a structural integrity assessment to determine it was good to buy.
“The house’s interior was old and in disrepair. So we left the renovation project in the good hands of architect Sitthichai Chompooh of the Perspective design studio. We specifically chose to have him do it after having seen his work in ‘The Renovation’, a BaanLaeSuan TV program. It happened to be the style that I liked,” said Prem.
At first, the architect was a bit concerned since the old house was built on a slope below the street level. In spite of that, he was attracted by the gable roof that was the popular appeal in the old days. This made it possible to create an open concept floor plan that seamlessly merged with a lush green side garden. The result was a complete transformation that offered 287 square meters of living spaces.
Sharing his experience, Sitthichai said: “The ground floor was further elevated by 30 centimeters to prevent groundwater flooding. Then, the old false ceiling suspended from the structure above was removed to create more headroom. Next, everything that had been added to the existing construction was demolished to make room for a new open floor plan.
“This included taking out the old floors, walls and extensions that were damaged over a long period of time.”
Higher floor, more windows, and continuous flow
The renovation project started with further elevating the ground floor to put it higher than street level. Then, the entire floor plan was reorganized and the exterior redesigned. This results in bigger windows that allow for natural daylighting and the interconnectedness between spaces.
The highlight of his design is a spacious interior that brings indoor and outdoor rooms together to form a larger whole. Plus, the atmosphere is relaxing, thanks to side garden ideas that bring the benefits of natural light into the interior.
All of this is achieved without making changes to the original framework of the house. Where appropriate, unnecessary details are reduced and important units of construction added to enhance structural integrity. In the meantime, green spaces are integrated in the design for indoor thermal comfort, while simple clean lines create a warm and inviting place to unwind after a long day at work.
Taking everything into account, it’s an amazing house makeover, one that transforms an old-fashioned fixer-upper into a modern minimalist home that reflects the personality of the people living in it.
A cool and restful home close to nature
Slightly off-white walls go best with wood accents. The gray tinge is a winner with soft, weathered wood trim. It’s a contemporary calming color scheme just right for an open floor plan that extends from the living room to dining room to pantry.
That way a feeling of continuous flow is created, and it makes perfect sense to float a sofa in the middle of a large room. From the inside, the living room is enclosed by glass window walls that look out over a lush green side garden, a visual of the design that makes the homeowner couple very happy.
Sharing her experience, Wasinee said: “We spend the most time here in this area, unlike at the condo where the kitchen was isolated from the rest of the interior. The floor plan layout contains a variety of functions separated from one another by furniture rather than being enclosed by walls.
“It’s an open concept design that promotes social interactions. Prem sits here at his desk. I can see the kid playing on the sofa while preparing a meal in the kitchen nearby. It’s a flexible layout that’s easy to update. For the time being, the more space, the better. The child is growing up fast, and more furniture will be added in future.”
The renovation project benefits from large openings in the wall that let natural light stream into the interior living spaces. In the meantime, privacy is very important and needs to be protected. This explains why only the side of the house facing the solid wall of an adjacent townhouse is open for daylighting and connecting seamlessly with a side garden.
Commenting on the renovation plan, the architect said:
“We put in a sundeck patio that’s easily accessible from the dining room. It serves multiple purposes. Where appropriate, vertical fin facades are erected to shield the house from the sun while allowing natural ventilation and daylight. The upright structure also doubles as outdoor privacy wall.”
Taken as a whole, the ground floor is very well thought out. To prevent the living room from smelling like food, an enclosed kitchen is built at the rear of the house that’s devoted to Thai cooking.
The back of the house also has a bedroom kept out of sight in one of the quietest locations. The second floor has three bedrooms, the largest of which affords a garden view from above.
In a few words, the renovation project brings new ideas and energy to an old house after it was vacant for many years. Done right, the old-fashioned gable roof house completely transforms into an awesome minimalist home oozing with charm.
Simple, clean lines give the house its character as well as beauty. Above all, it’s a piece of architecture that connects past, present, and future.
/ Story: Samutcha Viraporn / English version: Bob Pitakwong /
/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /
It’s everyone’s dreams to have a beautiful home. And it takes a special kind of knowledge, skills and wisdom on the part of the architect to create one that’s both gorgeous and great to live in. This box-shaped house in cool-toned whites belonging to Thanaphong and Thinan Nakaprasit has what is needed for comfortable living.
Initially, construction was delayed for a period of time for Dr. Tonkao Panin, a professor at Silpakorn University, and Tanakarn Mokkhasmita, of the Research Studio Panin to properly develop a plan to build the house around a tree.
“Our old house had a high “tai thun” (the lower open space at ground level) and a tree that’s the focal point on the property,” explained Thanaphong. “We loved this place, but we wanted to change a few things. To put in a carport in the tai thun, the house had to be raised a bit higher to create more headroom. Our first house plan had a half courtyard with the tree only partially surrounded.”
Thanaphong and Thinan had seen the results of Dr. Tonkao’s design work in the past. They grew familiar with her lines of thought that stressed using simple geometric shapes to bring out hidden character and warmth. Especially for Thanaphong, it gave him further insights into the concept of utilizing proportions, a code to unlock the geometric secrets in classic designs, and a sense of security that’s a design challenge in architecture.
Having lived in a house with glass walls, privacy and security were important to Thanaphong and Thinan: they wanted more containment. Creating secure viewpoints for looking both out of and into the house posed a challenge for the architects. Solutions began with placement of a large tree as the focal point of the house plan. The rooms are disposed around the tree in the center courtyard and have views for monitoring the exterior of the house. People inside can hardly be seen from outside, while the addition of steel panels adds more security.
The security steel panels were originally designed to be of Exmet (expanded metal), but Thanaphong consulted with the architects and decided instead on perforated steel, adding a charming polka dot pattern to the latticework blocking off the long walkway behind the house by the canal.
“Environmentally, this is a great location: water and mountains are behind us, so we need practically no gardening of our own,” explained Thanaphong. Instead of being near the road, the house is set deep in the back of the .4-acre property. Besides the tree between buildings, the living room has a beautiful view of the natural forest on the other bank of the canal.
For easy maintenance, the property is landscaped primarily with grass lawn or paved with stones and large rocks, which are used especially for the shady, peaceful “tai thun” space (the lower open space), which gets no direct sunlight.
For movable furniture, Thanaphong especially wanted to bring some Modernform “black Iceland” items from their old house, which required some expansion of the kitchen. Other furniture is mostly from IKEA, with light color tones and light, simple shapes.
“The longer we’ve lived here, the more charm we’ve found in this house, its great functionality, and the open areas, the deck and the tai thun. This is a very special design. Completely separate from other benefits, just the view as we drive in lets us see past the buildings to the mountains, water, a panorama of nature. I love it,” the owner wrapped up beautifully.
/ Story: Kor Lordkam / English version: Peter Montalbano /
/ Photographs: Ketsiree Wongwan /
Secluded behind what appear to be walls of white paper, the “PA House” is a perfect combination of modern Tropical architecture and a unique solution to its site-specific environment. It’s the brainchild of IDIN Architects, a Bangkok-based architectural practice.
Architect Jeravej Hongsakul explained that the first design challenge of this 400-square-meter house was its owner’s interest in privacy for his growing family.
“In our first site survey, we noted the wide variety of sizes and styles of the surrounding homes, a four-story house here, a Louis-style there. How to fit a new house into this context and make it livable?”
The architects observed, took pictures, noted directions, viewpoints, levels, and distances between houses, and analyzed the collected data to feed into their design plan, and came up with a concept that used these surroundings not as a limitation, but, surprisingly, as a help.
“Each one of these other houses actually functions as an assistant architect, telling us where and at what levels to place the walls and planes that build connections on all sides, leading us to create open spaces within,” explained the architect.
“I sometimes feel like the conductor of an orchestra, arranging voices and the mix to bring this home to life as a beautiful piece.”
Accordingly, the relationships formed by viewpoints to and from surrounding buildings turned out to be a primary factor in the straightforward design of this home.
Each wall was placed to help deal with problems that might arise from its geographic situation. Where appropriate, well-thought-out adaptations were made to enhance utility and the livability of the house.
Coming in on the south entrance road, we encounter two planes meeting in a tall, wide “L” appearing to float out from the second floor of the house. This construction benefits the house in the same way as a raised hand can block sun from burning our face.
The ground floor is cool and shady, but still has a great view of the wide, open garden directly outside, while the upper wall both blocks the view from other houses and insulates against heat.
Along this section of the lower floor, a fence wall set two meters out from the house provides ample space for growing plants, while glass walls reach up another 6 meters for a look out through the shade. From here the sunlight traces down the inner wall, creating new dimensions and an open, airy feeling.
Comfort of use is the basis for the distribution of functionality within this white house. On the ground floor a living room and dining area open out on a wide garden view, and one portion is set aside for a guest bedroom.
On the second floor we find a master bedroom and one more room for a family member expected to come in the future. All this is coordinated with external design to support the family’s lifestyle in the most perfect way.
As the architect puts it, “The primary design is all about controlling sunlight and creating balance between outside and inner courtyards. The overall effect is open and airy in every direction. The horizontal plane forming the upper covering above looks almost like a hat on the house, and it functions both to block harsh light from the sun and create a wide open view at eye level.
“The concept is what we call ‘Passive Design’: design where the natural systems facilitate living. It also came out in a style both we and the homeowner are happy with. It’s a happy mix of many things.”
/ Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa / English version: Peter Montalbano /
/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /
This tropical waterside house brings back memories of Thai life as it was along Khlong Samsen (Samsen canal) in bygone times. From the outside, it looks straightforward and contemporary, but inside is a fascinating mix of antiques from the owners’ collections.
To match the Thai climate, Associate Professor Dr Tonkao Panin designed this house in a tropical style.
Although it has a contemporary look, the tropical waterside house contains a mix of antiques and collectibles belonging to owners Kajorn Tanaphaet and Eugene Kroon. A major design challenge for Dr Tonkao was to make old and new fit well together.
“My requirements are simply stated: 1. I don’t want luxury. 2. I want high ceilings, and 3. Air conditioning should be minimal. Tonkhao’s proportional design successfully connects the entire property: balcony, reception parlor, reading room, down through the kitchen and out to the swimming pool and pier.
“There are a lot of reasons I’m pleased with this location: it’s at the end of the soi, quiet and peaceful, one side opens onto Khlong Samsen, and there’s space in front for a nice garden.
“I bought the place some time before I ran across a house designed by Tonkao in a book I was reading and managed to get him to come design this one.
“As you can see, the end result is a good-sized house with a great style,” says Kajorn.
The design of this tropical waterside house took 8 months, and construction an additional year.
“We did it little by little, along the way discovering things we liked in the detail suggested by the word ‘house.’ Here is a mixture of many things: some sections come from Eugene and me, some from Tonkao, and there are things the craftsmen suggested as we chatted during construction.”
Aside from the remarkable style and the great number of owner-collected antiques and collected artifacts, another point of interest is the unusual transverse placement of the house, set crosswise on the property.
“Kajorn wanted to have the house right on the water,” explains Professor Tonkhao, “and orienting the house this way lets it catch the constant breeze from the lawn out to the khlong.”
So this tropical waterside house has permanent natural ventilation. “Even though the design is straightforward, we want it to create a feeling somewhere between being inside and outside, a tropical feeling.
“The house is designed so it can fully open up to the air from terrace and doorways, that all can be left open. At the same time, balconies and doors block the direct sun from entering the building, creating different levels of sunshine and shade inside and out.”
Even in the late afternoon, it’s still shady and cool. The patio has a long porch deck reminiscent of an “arcade,” the façade of a Sino-Portuguese-style house.
There’s a balcony door which can be opened vertically as a sunshade, a similar design to a Thai-style “baan krathung” pop-up window.
Features such as this help create an amazing sense of comfort for a Bangkok house.
This box-shaped modern house takes relaxation to a whole new level. Incorporating triangles in the detail, the home with edgy design comes to light with all the charm and character.
“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 nooks offering seclusion and security.
Sorakit had the fulfillment of his family’s needs for the highest priority. 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 living room corner or recess ideas in the detail. That pretty much explains the ever-presence of triangular-shaped design everywhere inside and out.
Even on the rooftop, a triangular-shaped skylight glazed using insulated glass panels 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. For his parents, 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” comes in handy as the perfect name for it.
/ Story: Wuthikorn Sut / English version: Bob Pitakwong /
/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /
Ever wonder what a dream house for cats looks like? Here’s a perfect place to find happiness and fulfilment in life for kind pet owners and their feline friends. This new house in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia is obviously designed with cats in mind. The front façade is wrapped in galvanized expanded metal mesh from top to bottom to protect the cats from wandering off or going into harm’s way.
“There used to be only four, but I adopted more cats. So I ended up with seven of them. They were the reason that we left our old apartment in the city and built a new home in the suburb.”
He made the right decision. The apartment back in Kuala Lumpur was a bit chaotic. The new house in suburban Petaling Jaya, Selangor turned out to be a convenient and practical solution. Now he can work in the comfort of his new home and occasionally go to meetings in the city.
In the process, the quality of life for him and his family, as well as that of the cats, has improved markedly.
The overall design got its inspiration from Rumah Melayu, or the vernacular dwelling of the Malays. The new place of residence differs from traditional residential design in that it’s built of modern materials, utilizing new technologies.
The new home boasts high ceilings for a light and airy feel. Correct orientation allows it to take advantage of certain aspects of the surroundings. Take for instance, the pinnacle of the steeply pitched roof, which is set at an angle that effectively shades the house from the scorching afternoon sun.
This results in thermal comfort in the interior living spaces. Like the house on stilts done in accordance with tradition, the ground floor is set aside for a carport, storage spaces, and a gym, while the entire upper floor provides ample spaces for modern living.
The front façade covered in expanded metal mesh is built that way for a very good reason. It protects the cats from wandering off, getting lost or going into harm’s way.
In the meantime, they keep the domestic feline population from coming in contact with stray cats. Plus, attention to detail ensures that every door closes securely. Even door knobs are carefully thought-out so that no cat can open them.
Thoughtful design ensures that surrounding landscapes can be seen in full view from the master bedroom. Well, at least for now. Everything changes. “The view from my bedroom will be the same until someone buys those hills,” said Chan Mun Inn with a smile.
This has been the story of kind pet owners and their feline companions, who had to choose between suburban and city living. With less traffic and more natural surroundings, they have made the right decisionb. In such a beautiful home, they can live happily ever after.
Marketing/Advertising Cookies – used to remember and process the relevance to your website visit in order to personalize contents shown including optimization of commercial advertising placements. For instances, we use this type of cookies to display commercial advertisements related to user’s attributes and interests as well as to limit how many times should a user see repeated advertisement in order to optimize and measure marketing activities.  อ่านเพิ่มเติม