Blog : white house

EE House: A Small Family Rendezvous Connected to Nature

EE House: A Small Family Rendezvous Connected to Nature

/ Buriram, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Prueksakun Kornudom, Ketsiree Wongwan /

This one-story small white house in Lam Plai Mat, a district in northeastern Buriram Province, is a well-designed place where the homeowner lives. It’s just a few steps from her little sister’s home, separated only by a small unkempt yard that lies in-between. Family relatives who live in other parts of the district come by for a visit regularly. And that’s where the architect comes in handy to find a way to connect the two sisters’ homes and, at the same time, create a rendezvous for socializing, cooking and eating together as family.

small white house

The house plan starts off with a carport in the front of the house. From here, a corridor leads to a veranda along the outside of the building that opens to a backyard garden at the rear. Along the passage, functional areas such as storage, bathroom and laundry are neatly organized, lying hidden in plain sight behind the carport wall.

small white house
A variety of architectural forms and features combine to add character to the small white house.
Floor Plan / Courtesy of WOS Architects
A perspective drawing shows the integration of I-Beam steel framing systems in the overall house plan. / Courtesy of WOS Architects

Viewed in its essential qualities, the veranda serves as centerpiece of family life. It runs parallel to the building and occupies one third of total land area.

Designed to serve multiple purposes, the semi-outdoor room holds an open kitchen, dining table and chairs. It’s roofed over to protect from the harsh sun and rain, well-lit by natural daylight and made comfortable by a nearby green space. Thanks to the perfect passive design, there is no need for air conditioning.

small white house
Surprisingly spacious living/dining room opens to the veranda overlooking a lush lawn in the backyard.

small white house

small white house
Although private, the bedroom is light and airy thanks to a large wall opening.

The appeal of a lush lawn lies beyond the veranda that’s an extension of what goes on inside the home. At the farthest end, the backyard wall separates the home from the outside.

From the roofed platform, the sister’s home on the opposite side of the vacant lot can be seen in full view. There’s a gate at the end of the garden with wall-mounted bench seating under a large opening that’s the focal point in landscape design.

In this way, the two sisters and family can communicate with each other like all friendly neighbors do. And for a good appearance, shrubs and other plants that cluttered up the space in-between were completely removed.

small white house

small white house

small white house
The veranda with an open kitchen provides an additional dining room, the centerpiece of family life where the two homes bond together as one.
small white house
There is good design flow from the backyard to the veranda and the integrated steel framing system that connects the house with perimeter walls.

Step inside the house, and you come to a secluded area that holds a comfortable living room, bedroom and bath. There is a sense of good design flow between rooms from the living room, to the veranda, to the green lawn, to the perimeter wall. It’s a thoughtful design that ensures all elements fit well together to form a coherent whole and every part exists for a purpose.

A large wall opening with wall-mounted bench seating goes to work fostering good relationships.
small white house
A small wall-mounted gate provides a shortcut between the two houses.

Take for example steel beam framing that extends from inside the house all the way to the perimeter wall. It sends a message that all parts are inextricably related. The same applies to the various types of wall openings that seek reconnections with nature and bring the outdoors into every part of the home.

A flashback when the aisle between the two houses was filled with unkempt rambling plants.

Long story short, what makes this small white house stand out is the use of red I-beam framing as a tool to carry electrical wires and cables to all parts of the home. It conveys a great deal about truth to materials architecture, which says that all materials and methods should be appropriate and exposed. Together they create visual connections between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Open-plan living ideas connect the two homes.

Owner: Jintana Pongtipakorn

Architects: WOS Architects (wosarchitects.com)

Lead architect: Prueksakun Kornudom, Ornpailin Leelasiriwong


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


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Dien Khanh HouseDien Khanh House: Where Modern Lifestyle and the Rural Way Intermix

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Dien Khanh House: Where Modern Lifestyle and the Rural Way Intermix

Dien Khanh House: Where Modern Lifestyle and the Rural Way Intermix

/ Khanh Hoa, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki /

A small white house overlooking river views merges into the countryside vernacular of Dien Khanh, a district of Khanh Hoa Province on the southeast coast of Vietnam. Built on an elongated rectangle, it has a narrow frontage to the street like other houses in the neighborhood. Yet, it’s different from the others for its ultramodern appearance. It all started with the architect trying to create a home that’s up to date and, at the same time, capable of blending into the surroundings. Ideally, it should agree with the historical and cultural setting of the place. And it has to be comfortable to live in.

Dien Khanh House

The result is a two-story home with public spaces in the downstairs layout. The front of the house plan holds the sitting room and dining room. High ceilings make the overall interior space feel light, airy and cool.

Dien Khanh House
Small green spaces on both sides of the front yard pathway add a natural touch to the main entry area.
Dien Khanh House
The living room is light, airy and cool thanks to a double-height ceiling that brings an element surprise to the interior. It’s strikingly different from the entry area where the ceiling is lower.
Dien Khanh House
A triangular rooftop skylight adds an element of playfulness to design. It illuminates a part of the interior during daylight hours.

Half way into the house plan, a spiral staircase that’s the focal point of design winds up to the second floor. Further inside, a more personal room contains small kitchen space that’s clearly separated from the bedroom for aging Mom and Dad located at the rear.

Climb a flight of stairs, and you come to two more bedrooms with an ancestral hall at the far end.

Dien Khanh House
The spiral staircase acts as a focal point for creativity in interior design.

A drawing shows the house location in the riverside neighborhood. / Courtesy of 6717 Studio
A diagram shows spatial relationships between Floors 1 and 2, plus the roof. / Courtesy of 6717 Studio
The side elevation illustrates spatial relationships between functional spaces in the home. / Courtesy of 6717 Studio

Despite it being long and narrow, the architect had no difficulty finding ways to make the interior room well-lit and well ventilated. The problem of confined spaces is resolved simply by growing a small garden in the main entry area, a natural way to create passive cooling effects in the home.

At the rear, a small backyard serves as engine that drives natural air circulation. That’s not all. At the center of the house plan, a small square courtyard adds a little bit of greenery to the interior. Together, these little green spaces go to work bringing fresh outdoor air into the home all day long.

Dien Khanh House
A corridor connects the living room in the middle to a quiet, more private living spaces at the rear.
Dien Khanh House
A square courtyard opens to admit light and fresh outdoor air into the interior.
The downstairs bedroom opens to the interior courtyard.
Dien Khanh House
The kitchen opens to the courtyard to admit light and get rid of cooking smells in the interior.

Taken as a whole, these are the key attributes that give the new home character. Plus, the roof with a high pitch is designed to perform in severe storms. It’s painted a bright shade of orange to add a new feature to the community landscape.

Combine that with simple clean lines and white walls, and it conjures up the image of a small cozy home that blends perfectly with the charm of rustic rural life.

Dien Khanh House

For privacy, the two upstairs bedrooms are separated by the center courtyard.

Dien Khanh House


Architect: 6717 Studio (6717studio.com)

Lead Architect: Le Viet Hoi


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


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Tile House: Façades of Glimmering Tiles with a Story to Tell

Tile House: Façades of Glimmering Tiles with a Story to Tell

/ Lam Dong, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki /

This eye-catching home with a glimmering tile façade is situated in Bao Loc, a town in Lam Dong Province on Vietnam’s Central Highlands. It stands surrounded by buildings made of concrete and metal scattered across the cityscape, calling to the mind the image of a hot and dry summer. The house is roofed over with ceramic tiles in subdued orange that fill the upper half of the external envelope. On the whole, it’s design that expresses the homeowner’s playful personality, curiosity and desire to do something new and different.

Tile House Vietnam

But the outer appearance seemingly lacking in vitality belies the fact that the interior is bright, airy and comfortable. Walk in the door, and surprise! There’s a lively courtyard at the center of the house plan illuminated by a rooftop skylight. The rooms are disposed around the plant-filled area enclosed by the walls, while rock garden ideas add visual interest to the interior landscape.

Far from being hot and stuffy, it serves as communal space that’s the heart of family life. It provides play room and a conducive learning environment for kids. For aging grandma and grandpa, it brings a special kind of pleasure — the joy of grand-parenting.

Tile House Vietnam
The house façade is covered in terracotta tiles in subdued orange, the same materials used for roofing.
Serving for camouflage, louver windows with angled slats blend perfectly into the façades of glimmering tiles. They are part of passive design strategies for lighting, cooling and ventilation in the home.

To maximize space utilization and for the privacy of this house and its next door neighbors, the architect decided in favor of a home plan that occupies the full extent of the land. The result is a curious amalgam of regular and irregular geometric shapes that make up a series of seemingly windowless facades.

From the outside, it portrays an image of a complex house plan, kind of a single-story home with a mezzanine. But inside, the interior space is neatly planned every step of the way from the courtyard floor to the circular skylight on the rooftop.

The overall effect is impressive, thanks to open-concept design that creatively divides rooms without using building walls. At the rear of the house, sliding patio doors open to a small private garden that’s calm and peaceful, a perfect sight to create deep relaxation.

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam
The center courtyard illuminated by a rooftop skylight connects all the rooms in the house.

There is more. To maintain the lush Tropical feel of the courtyard in a hot climate, most people simply water their plants using tap water that comes out of the faucets. That’s not the case here. To save water, the architect chose a different course of action.

They brought the outdoors into the home and put it work watering the plants when it rains. In doing so, they made the corrugated tile roof incline inward toward the center of the house plan, whereby harvested rainwater is directed to the courtyard and out via an underground conduit.

This eliminates the need for installing the gutters and downspouts on the outside of the building, a clever hack to protect neighboring houses from a splash back during rain.

Master Plan / Courtesy of The Bloom
First Floor Plan / Courtesy of The Bloom
Entresol Plan / Courtesy of The Bloom
Section / Courtesy of The Bloom

For the most part, the living spaces are on the ground floor, except for a small mezzanine that’s the children’s bedroom.

For a relaxed indoor ambience, the ceiling is painted a cool-toned white. The tall side wall that reaches all the way to the roof truss has a large semi-circle window that admits natural daylight and fresh outdoor air into the room. Overall, the house is roomy and well-ventilated, thanks to double height living spaces.

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam
The interior is light and airy, thanks to openings in the building façade where roof trusses meet the bearing wall.

Viewed from outside, a trio of louver windows with angled slats fixed at intervals blend perfectly into the façade covered in orange tiles. They are the same materials as those used to build the house’s corrugated terracotta roofing. The louver windows are part of passive design strategies that utilize the natural environment to provide lighting, cooling and ventilation to the building.

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam

Tile House Vietnam

The children’s bedroom on the mezzanine is spacious and airy, thanks to a large window and double height ceiling.
Tile House Vietnam
An operable glass wall system separates the bedroom from a small private garden, creating a spectacular space for relaxation.

The external envelope covered in orange tiles is the biggest factor that gives this house curb appeal. Among other things, terracotta tiles are the materials of choice the architect picked for the protection of privacy in the home. In his words, they “communicate” directly with the climate characteristic of the locality.

Plus, they add the charm of rustic life to the home, at least from the perspective of Grandma and Grandpa who live here. All things considered, it’s a bioclimatic home that uses the natural environment in which it stands to create a perfect place for peace and relaxation.

Tile House Vietnam

Going in the reverse direction, the roof inclines inward toward the center of the house plan, whereby harvested rainwater is directed to the courtyard and out via an underground conduit.

Tile House Vietnam


Architect: The Bloom (www.facebook.com/TheBloom.Architects)

Construction: The Roof Builders


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Rupu House: White Geometric Design Bespeaks a Close Family Bond and Privacy at Home

Rupu House: White Geometric Design Bespeaks a Close Family Bond and Privacy at Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Nantiya Busabong /

It all began with a thoughtful son’s wish to build a new home and be close to his aging father. And Jun Sekino of the atelier JUNSEKINO Architect and Design was on hand to do precisely that.

Jun Sekino, the architect who designed it, said that originally the plan was to put in an add-on to the existing family home. Later there was a change of plan.

The owner preferred to build a new home on the opposite side of the street from his dad instead, so the design was revised in order to fit an entirely different context.

The result was a white geometric home of outstanding beauty – one that’s simple yet attractive and fully functional. It’s the product of a 360-degree turn.

And after making all necessary adjustments, the architect aptly named it “RUPU HOUSE,” a made-up term coined from the Japanese word for the action of rotating around an axis.

Built on 200 square wah of land (roughly 0.20 acre), the new two-story home offers 680 square meters in total.

It stands surrounded by greenery that’s kept further away at appropriate distances to create a well-lit, well-ventilated living space. The first floor contains functional areas including an open contemporary kitchen with dining space at the center.

There’s a sitting room tucked away in a quiet corner for relaxation. Nearby a semi-outdoor space is reserved for entertaining guests. It lies enclosed by the glass walls of the dining room and sitting room. Glass walls enhance visual continuity and the aesthetic appeal of the home.

By design, the semi-outdoor space on the ground floor is the heart of family life, said the architect. It’s easy to get why this cool and airy area has become the homeowner’s favorite niche.

The second-floor deck keeps it in shade for much of the day. It offers ample space perfect for entertaining.

Despite the house’s modern appearance, the semi-outdoor room evokes pleasant memories of comfort provided by the wooden house on stilts of former times. It’s an ideal place for receiving visitors without disturbing the peace in other parts of the house.

Climb a flight of stairs, and you come to the quiet and secluded second floor that contains three bedrooms. The master bedroom belongs to the homeowner, while two slightly smaller ones are reserved for kids. That’s what the future looks like.

To create a light and airy feel, the spacious master bedroom boasts high standards of comfort with a big bed at the center, a walk-in closet and en-suite bath. But what makes it exceptionally good is the double height ceiling, which gives enough room for a private office on the mezzanine floor.

It’s a layout option inspired by duplex design, a peaceful place in which to work undisrupted. According to Jun Sekino, it’s like having a beautiful office apartment hidden inside the home.

The overall effect is impressive. White geometric design adds interest and a sense of excitement to the house’s external appearance. As Jun Sekino puts it, there is an unadorned beauty plus clean simple lines that fit an easy lifestyle, and that’s exactly the way the homeowner likes it.

Technically, it’s meant to be a simple one-mass unit of construction with a high-pitch shed-style roof, a geometric shape without terra cotta tiles and minimal detailing. And the same treatment applies evenly from top to bottom.

To create a soothing ambience, the concrete exterior home is painted white, a single-color trend toward simplicity in design.

Its shed style roof and external envelope are characterized by regular lines and shapes. This is summed up in the vertical awnings that overhang the walls of the building on all sides.

Together they go to work keeping the sun and rain off the façade, windows and doorway on the ground floor. They also double as a design strategy to break the fall of vertical lines that run from the rooftop to the ground floor.

To improve visual and spatial continuity, the windows, doorway and most of the walls at ground level are glazed using clear glass panels.

The second floor is treated differently. Where appropriate, windows are installed only in the direction that’s not exposed to strong sunlight. Meanwhile, the external walls that face the sun have no wall openings at all.

These solid walls, in turn, make the white geometric home even more noticeable from a distance. As for the interior living spaces, a mix of wood and stone masonry is preferred for its ability to reduce the stiffness of strong geometric shapes.

Looking back over the years, Jun Sekino could still recall that concrete roof construction was the hardest part of the entire project. Steel-reinforced concrete roof building required special skills to ensure the remarkable smoothness of the outer surface and prevent leakage.

Apart from that, other challenges included window fittings, which also needed specialized skills and craftsmanship to make sure they don’t leak when it rains.

All things considered, it’s a home project that brings deep pleasure derived from Jun Sekino’s abilities to accomplish a mission. The concrete exterior is smooth and with no apparent gaps or cracks of any kind. It’s a home carefully thought out to age gracefully.

Like so, the homeowner will be able to repaint the house when necessary without worrying about too many practical details. The new home offers a calm and cozy atmosphere with plenty of room for entertaining and the opportunity to be close to his aging father.

It’s a heartwarming moral story of unbreakable bonds.


Architect: JUNSEKINO Architect and Design

Interior designer: JUNSEKINO Interior Design

Contractor: M.W.K. Construction


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Baan Hing Hoi: A Modern House Exudes Old World Charm

Envelope House: Big Family Makes a Modern Space Feel Cozy

Envelope House: Big Family Makes a Modern Space Feel Cozy

Envelope House: Big Family Makes a Modern Space Feel Cozy

/ Singapore /

/ Story: Phattaraphon / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: KHOO Guo Jie /

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.

Modern space

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.

Modern space

Modern space

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.”

Modern space

Modern space

Modern space

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.

Modern space

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.

1st Floor Plan Courtesy of ASOLIDPLAN
2nd, 3rd, and Roof Floor Plan Courtesy of ASOLIDPLAN

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.

Conceptual Diagram Courtesy of ASOLIDPLAN

Modern space

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.


Architect: ASOLIDPLAN (asolidplan.sg)

Lead Architect: QUCK Zhong Yi


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An Awesome Steel Home in Binh Thuan

An Awesome Steel Home in Binh Thuan

/ Phan Thiet, Vietnam /

/ Story: Lily J. / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Trieu Chien /

Speaking of unconventional houses, here’s a truly awesome steel home located in Phan Thiet, the capital of Binh Thuan Province in the Southeast of Vietnam. It’s a small house that makes a big difference in terms of value, form, color and texture. A well-thought-out home plan, it’s where the heart is for a family of four who live here. Built in a way that steel frames and other elements fit in well with modern furniture, it looks the epitome of good design that speaks volumes for the family’s present lifestyle and their preparations for the future.

steel home in vietnam

steel home in vietnam

Meeting Basic Needs Despite Limitations

For the young family, a small shed roof house on 150 square meters of land makes perfect sense.

It fits nicely within their budget. To get things done, they left it in the good hands of the architects at MIA Design Studio to develop a good plan with all the required components and qualities.

The plan included all beautifully organized functional spaces suitable for the needs of everyone in the family. The initial design phase was completed during an outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the limitations in the ensuing days, the architects and the contractors relied on long-distance communication to finish the project on schedule.

steel home in vietnam

steel home in vietnam

Nurtured by Nature

The most important part of the design is natural daylight and ventilation. They are two key factors that contribute to a simple but cozy and comfortable atmosphere.

It’s for this reason that plain openings in the wall and the most common ventilation method are used to admit just enough amounts of light and fresh outdoor air to enter and circulate inside.

Where appropriate, curtains are suspended from the top to complement interior décor, separate living spaces, as well as control light, privacy and indoor temperatures.

Overall, it’s a balanced interior design that’s clean and fit for occupant behavior and lifestyle at present.

Steel Home in vietnam

Steel Home in vietnam

Steel Structure Home Takes Less Time to Build

From a distance, the house seems small, supported by steel framing and enveloped in corrugated steel siding that’s relatively inexpensive and ubiquitous in rural areas.

On the whole, it’s built strong thanks to the main load-bearing structural elements that combine with load-bearing walls to convey the weight of the entire house to a solid foundation.

Components that are usually considered separately, such as sliding door frames, furniture, curtain track hanging systems, even wardrobe hanger rails are integrated so that they become a whole — a smart way to cut costs.

Steel Home in vietnam

To save even more on construction, the house is made of easy-to-find materials sourced from the neighborhood, usually within a one-kilometer radius. This ensures that no money or energy is wasted on long-distance transportation.

That’s one useful hack to promote eco-friendly green building. Plus, modular design makes it easy to add extra units of construction to meet family needs in the future. All these things can be added without a significant impact on the existing modules.

Steel Home

Steel Home

By design, the even distribution of weight enables the building to remain strong and wear-resistant. This is achieved by taking into account every heavy and bulky thing, such as furniture, during the design process.

As the architects intended, it’s a home where the young couple and their little children reconnect with nature and experience greater joy in their lives. It’s a modest house plan conducive to a relaxed atmosphere and promoting socialization processes in the family.

In essence, it’s about creating a flexible, forward-looking modular design that’s the signature of the architects at MIA Design Studio.

Axonometric Drawing Showing House’s Structure / Courtesy of MIA Design Studio
Axonometric Drawing Showing Spatial Orientation / Courtesy of MIA Design Studio
Floor Plan / Courtesy of MIA Design Studio
Section / Courtesy of MIA Design Studio
Section / Courtesy of MIA Design Studio


Architect: MIA Design Studio (www.miadesignstudio.com)


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Never Too Small: Renovation Gives a Townhouse the Atmosphere of Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Nattakit Jeerapatmitee /

An old townhouse in the heart of Bangkok’s downtown has been lovingly restored in ways that adapt to changing lifestyle needs. No longer is it a stuffy, overcrowded space lacking fresh air and ventilation. A redesigned open floor plan has given it the feeling of home, a sense of belonging and purpose. Incredibly light and airy, it feels like anything but a townhouse, so to speak.

Inheriting the townhouse from his parents, the new owner has made a firm decision to renovate it to a good state of repair.

It’s the place where he lives when traveling to the city for business. Or it can be available to be rented if need be.

The task of refurbishment was given to a team of architects from the design firm OAAS. Central to their work was the creation of an open concept home plan that’s flexible for multiple uses.

townhouse

townhouse

Accordingly, the old second-floor balcony was knocked down and replaced by steel framing for a light and spacious façade.

Upstairs, the entire floor plan was revised, while the ground floor platform was raised slightly to keep it above the edge of the water during a flood.

townhouse

Never too small to make a difference, the newly refurbished townhouse stands out from the rest in that its building shell is made of air bricks that are great for natural ventilation.

The perforated bricks double as a decorative privacy screen that protects the home from prying eyes. It’s a surefire way to improve air circulation and get rid of stuffy smells, a common problem of townhouse living.

townhouse

The wooden door opens into a surprisingly peaceful semi-outdoor room aptly named “Sala”, which is Thai for garden pavilion. Albeit situated at the front of the house, it’s a private living space that conveniently connects to the sitting room and dining area lying further inside.

Beautifully designed, it calls to mind an image of a garden sitting area with a side passage for walking along.

townhouse

The overall effect is impressive. The side passage sets this townhouse apart from the others.

Since it’s often impossible to build a walkway around a townhouse, it makes perfect sense to build one on the inside that connects the garden pavilion at the front with the living room and other functions at the rear.

townhouse

There is a challenge to overcome. Because the side passage takes away a large chunk of the square footage of the house, the designers have to make a choice from a range of possibilities.

Among them, an open concept floor plan is useful in making the home feel more spacious. There’s no need for room dividers for a home theater or TV lounge since it’s never a desirable lifestyle here.

Plus, by floating furniture, the owner is free to create a more intimate atmosphere and a layout that’s capable of multiple uses.


Owner: Jiramate Chanaturakarnnon

Architect: OAAS

Design team: Sineenart Suptanon, Sirakit Charoenkitpisut, Nattakit Jeerapatmitee, Jiramate Chanaturakarnnon


The article is an excerpt from “Shophouse & Townhome”, a proudly presented publication from the “Best Home Series” under “room Books Publishing.
Available in paperback (Thai Edition) at: https://www.naiin.com/product/detail/532110
Here’s how to order online. https://www.naiin.com/how-to-buy/read/1125


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A House in Quang Yen: Massive Roof Design Celebrates Vietnam’s Climate and Culture

A House in Quang Yen: Massive Roof Design Celebrates Vietnam’s Climate and Culture

/ Quang Yen, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Hoang Le, Duc Ngo /

A big roof two-story house in Quang Yen is designed for a large family. Located in Quan Yen, a town in Quang Ninh Province in Vietnam’s Northeast, it’s a collaboration between two design studios, ra.atelier (Gia Thang Pham) and ngo + pasierbinski (Piotr Pasierbinski and Duc Ngo). They were tasked with preserving the existing landscape with a water pond and Tropical garden on it and, at the same time, catering to the lifestyle needs of the homeowners in post-retirement age. The result is a 121-square-meter home that observes the beautiful culture and Tropical climate of Vietnam.

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

Precisely that translated into maintaining the outdoor space in the state that was in existence at the time as much as they possibly could. This included the outdoor room for planting trees and a flower garden plus spaces for vegetable gardening and a flexible piece of ground for entertaining several houseguests and relatives.

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Duc Ngo

The house is situated on 735 square meters of land (roughly 0.2 acres), shaped like an elongated rectangle with a narrow frontage to the street.

The face of the building stands facing south, overlooking a small semicircle body of water. Nearby a miniature mountain garden décor separates the front yard filled with flowers and bonsai from the backyard that’s reserved for vegetable gardening.

According to the architect, the new house was built exactly where the old house once stood. It’s set slightly toward the back so as to create more room for a veranda projecting in front of the building.

Illustration: Courtesy of ra.atelier and ngo + pasierbinski
Illustration: Courtesy of ra.atelier and ngo + pasierbinski

Illustration: Courtesy of ra.atelier and ngo + pasierbinski

Illustration: Courtesy of ra.atelier and ngo + pasierbinski

The layout of the house is primarily related to its intended functions. In the big picture, the building has the approximate shape of a cube, the front part of which is reserved for general purposes such as giving lessons to kids in the neighborhood, a common activity for people in post-retirement age.

The back part of the house is quiet and a little more private, with room for a kitchen and bedrooms. Halfway in between lies an uncluttered center hallway made attractive by double-height ceiling design.

Climb a flight of stairs and you come to a more personal center hallway connecting to two bedrooms and an ancestral worship room. It’s a long-established custom in Vietnam to offer veneration to ancestors from whom the family is descended.

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Duc Ngo

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

All of the above parts work together to form a coherent house plan that’s perfectly oriented to maximize all aspects of the surroundings. In terms of the aesthetic appeal, the water pond is the focal point of the front yard landscape.

There’s a sense of physical and spiritual relationship among all things. Arranged in a straight line, the miniature mountain décor and the pond can be seen through the round, compelling window of the worship room at the center of the house plan.

The water pond, as the architect puts it, represents the essential part of the original landscape that had long been there before the old house was torn down and replaced by a new one. In a nutshell, the main idea is to keep everything where it belongs.

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Duc Ngo

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Duc Ngo

Apart from a set of traditional beliefs and sociocultural values, other important factors are also taken into account in creating a design that best fits the natural surroundings and climate of the region.

This is manifested in visual continuity that extends from inside the worship room to the miniature mountain garden décor in the front yard. Plus, the open floor plan design allows natural daylight and fresh, clean air to enter and circulate inside the home. In essence, it’s a trinity of complementing factors – the water pond, the building, and the surrounding landscape.

The architect wraps it up nicely. “It’s a design based on the relationship between common spaces, worship room, and the landscape.” There is apparent continuity starting with the entryway that boasts the spaciousness of double height ceiling design all the way to the second floor of the house. This allows all usable spaces and functions to conveniently link up with one another.

Meanwhile, doors and windows are in the right proportion in relation to the size, shape and position resulting in well-ventilated interior living spaces that are not too bright, not too warm, not too dark or not too cold.

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

Photograph: Hoang Le

On the outside, the house overlooks the front yard with a water pond that lies to the south. It’s perfectly oriented to coincide with seasonal winds that carry atmospheric moisture into the home, thereby keeping it cool all year round.

At the same time, the extremely large roof covered in orange tiles shelters the home from severe weather and blends harmoniously with like-color roofs in the surroundings.

Overall, it’s a design well suited to the warm and humid climate of Vietnam. Although the roof is enormous by any standard, the interior is well-lit by natural daylight thanks to large perimeter windows and doors. The result is a breezy, visually stimulating environment for house occupants.

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

House in Quangyen
Photograph: Hoang Le

Finally, the interior living spaces are plain and uncluttered by design. In all parts of the house, white walls prove a perfect complement to the floors covered in gray color tiles. What makes the interior pleasing to the senses is the furniture, as well as windows and doorframes made of wood.

More importantly, it’s the ordinary interior that speaks volumes for the simple lifestyle characteristic of this area. That’s precisely the quality that gives this house a feeling of warmth, comfort and relaxation. Nothing describes the relationship and the atmosphere here better than the architect’s saying, “The house is an extension of the garden, and the garden is an extension of the house.”


Architect: ra.atelier (Gia Thang Pham) and ngo + pasierbinski (Duc Ngo, Piotr Pasierbinski)


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The Secrets of a Quintessentially Thai Modern Home

The Secrets of a Quintessentially Thai Modern Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Samutcha Viraporn / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Anupong, Hatairat Deenuanpanao / Styling: Worawat /

The cube shape and flat roof gives an air of modern comfort and calmness to this white home on the outskirts of Bangkok. Designed for a hot, humid climate, it is thoughtfully devised to provide physical ease and relaxation without air conditioning.

Modern Home

The home’s contemporary style belies the traditional Thai way of life that’s central to its existence and character. Plus, it shows great attention to detail that makes the house feel warm and welcoming.

Modern Home

Amazing as it may seem, the cube-shaped modern home is built on a piece of land with a small waterway and public walk along the left side of it. In such situation, the homeowner has to forfeit three meters of land along the waterfront to make room for public access as required by law.

The result is a property with narrow frontage abutting on the street. And that’s where the design team from Office Architect9Kampanad came in to create a place that’s light and airy yet relying little on air conditioning. The homeowner lives with her elderly mother; hence the design must be capable of answering their specific lifestyle needs.

For the most part, wood is the building material of choice. Despite its ultramodern architecture, the house plan is the most perfect example of the Thai way of life in former times.

Modern Home

The side of the house that looks out over the public walk gets plenty of fresh air and natural daylight. But it’s also facing west, which means the afternoon sun is much harsher and brighter.

To solve this problem, the design team puts in a perforated metal façade that doubles as an outer shell keeping the house cool during the daytime. The external envelope crafted of steel is painted white to harmonize in color and texture with the nearby boundary fence. It’s a simple yet effective way to overcome a challenge on site.

Modern Home

By design, the home is well-lighted and well-ventilated thanks to open-concept floor plans both in front and at the rear of the building. There’s nothing to block the winds from the north or the south.

Wood stairs with no risers between the treads allow fresh air to enter and circulate in the interior. They also illuminate the stairwell and nearby areas with natural daylight.

The structure is a hybrid of steel beams and joists supported by concrete piles and arranged in an orderly way like traditional Thai architecture in times past. Plus, solid hardwood flooring looks very nice and makes the interior cooler in the summer.

To create warm, beautiful environments, the house floor is made of hardwood on all three levels. As a natural building material, wood evokes positive responses. It also has a substantial impact on the wellbeing of humans in ways that tiles and concrete floors cannot.

Meantime, pieces of furniture from the old family home are given a new lease on life. They are adapted for use in a different purpose and given a fresh coat of paint that proves a perfect complement to white home decorating ideas.

Showing attention to detail, the design team ensures the house plan is right for the elderly mother who lives here. To make it easy for her to walk up a flight of stairs, each riser is reduced to just 15 cm from the average 17 to 18 cm.

As a precaution against slip and fall accidents, each stair tread is made deeper than average, thanks to angled risers that provide extra space.

thai house

Modern Home

The house fence is made of air bricks painted white. They have holes in them to create an air flow between the property and the public walkway on the other side. The masonry wall has no see-through gaps in it, which offers privacy and protection from unwanted prying eyes.

Taken as a whole, it’s an oasis of calm on the outskirts of the city thanks to additional green spaces along the fence line adorned with shrubbery that thrives in the understory of tall trees.

The farthest end leads to a vegetable garden where Mom spends most of her free time preparing the soil, planting a crop, and nurturing the plants. Backyard vegetable gardening is an ingenious way to live a salubrious life. It not only puts fresh food on the table, but also speaks volumes for their determination to preserve the Thai way of life in this modern home.

Modern Home

Modern Home


Owner: Nopphamas Houbjaruen

Designer: Chalermpon Sombutyanuchit (Office Architect9Kampanad)


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A Beautiful Waterside Home: To Grandpa, with Love

A Beautiful Waterside Home: To Grandpa, with Love

/ Ratchaburi, Thailand /

/ Story: Patsiri Chotpongsun / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Because memories are made here, Puchong Satirapipatkul of the design firm OTATO Architect built this beautiful waterside home for his grandfather Kumnung Yindeesuk. The new single-story house nestles in a coconut grove overlooking Nong Salid Canal that connects to Damnoen Saduak, a bustling little town famous for its Floating Market.

waterside home ratchaburi

Puchong knew from the get-go that the orchard land was in a clutter of untidiness while his grandpa’s old house was more than 30 years old and impossible to repair. The only way forward was a complete teardown to make room for a new home. The old house provided vintage recycled building materials, which gave Puchong the means to avoid a large cost overrun.

Ensconced in a grove of coconut trees, jackfruits, and tamarinds, the new house plan is well suited to a small 100-tarang-wah (400 sq. m.) plot of land. The orchard offers a peaceful, warm and comfortable environment while minimizing costs. To keep within a tight 700,000-baht budget, the architect used locally sourced building materials and oversaw construction work himself.

waterside home ratchaburi waterside home ratchaburi

To enhance the view, Puchong chose a U-shaped single-story house plan that’s made up of four blocks. Where appropriate, well-positioned tall windows create a stylish look and spacious feel. The overall effect is impressive; the house is pared down to a very simple form for cool minimalist living.

He also picked a low pitch gable roof that blended perfectly with traditional houses in the neighborhood. Walk in the door, and you find open-concept floor plans that maximize the use of space and provide excellent flow from room to room. The front entry and south-facing walls that receive the afternoon sun are built of solid materials to soak up the day’s heat.

For a more comfortable living environment, north-facing walls are open to take in fresh outdoor air and beautiful views of the nearby waterway.

waterside home ratchaburi Single-Storey House

To create a buffer against direct sunlight, the south-facing block contains service areas, such as pantry, workroom and storage closets. For indoor thermal comfort, the north-facing block is cool and dry, thanks to an array of vertical fins that protect the building’s façade and create diffused light in the interior.

Not far away, a viewing platform raised on girders extends from the house all the way to the water’s edge, a nice place for walking exercise.

waterside home ratchaburiwaterside home ratchaburi Single-Storey House

Puchong explained: “The overall house plan is carefully thought out based on how frequently a space is used. Hence, the more private residential areas are put on the right side with less traffic, while semi-outdoor rooms for family socialization and houseguests are on the left.

“By design, it’s a medium-sized house plan with large house functionality. The new home for grandpa has all the conveniences for comfortable living, including a nice living room, dining room, bathroom, and bedroom all neatly integrated in one coherent whole.

Single-Storey House waterside home ratchaburiSingle-Storey House

“All the rooms have undisturbed waterfront views. High ceilings paired with tall windows make the simple house among the trees feel bigger, light and airy.

“To shorten construction time, only standard building materials were used, including the average ceiling panels, roof tiles, and sheets of glass in prefab sizes from 1.20 to 2.40 meters. This made it easy for local builders to build, easy to maintain. Plus, it saved a lot of money, and reduced waste.”

waterside home ratchaburi

Puchong said: “Using vertical louvre fins is a technique that gives the house its character. They are architectural features that blend beautifully into the overall design.

“This is evident in the way every roof rafter is positioned to align with the top end of the vertical fin. Although in different sizes, the vertical fins are placed at regular intervals, resulting in a clean and simple exterior.”

waterside home ratchaburi

All things considered, this waterside home is well planned every step of the way. All elements are arranged in such a way that best accomplishes a particular purpose.

More than anything else, it’s about living in peaceful harmony with the land, the water, the trees, even the fireflies. For Puchong, building this retirement home as a gift is absolutely the right way to say: “Grandpa, I love you.

Single-Storey House


Owner: Kumnung Yindeesuk

Architect: Puchong Satirapipatkul (OTATO Architect)


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