Blog : white house

An Urban Nature House with Peace in Mind

An Urban Nature House with Peace in Mind

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Ajchara Jeen / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

This beautiful house belongs to Bhalangtham Klomthongsuk, a well-known drama series organizer and television personality. The single-level urban nature house takes up most of the 200-square-wah land space with modern living amenities and a private retreat amidst nature. The peaceful setting fits the lifestyle needs of the homeowner whose name translates as the power of dharma.

urban nature house
A couch makes for a cozy outdoor room between Bhalangtham’s bedroom and the nearby compact garden.

Showing us around the property, he said:

“On first seeing, I liked the way it differed from the style typical of modern-day housing developments where everything looked very similar. Besides, I’ve always preferred a single-level floor plan.

“Initially, I didn’t plan on doing any remodeling for five years, kind of waiting for my son to grow big enough to have his own room. But, I didn’t want my elderly Mom to climb up and down the stairs any more.

“So, here we are! This house offered many advantages. It was fully functional for an old home. There wasn’t much damage to repair to begin with, except a few updates here and there to make home life easier. That was pretty much it.”

urban nature house
The courtyard that connects the bedroom wing to the function wings is bright, airy, and suitable for multiple purposes.

From the main entrance, a hallway leads to a corridor that connects to the left and right wings of the house. The right wing contains a kitchen and dining room, while the left wing has a bedroom with private bath that has since been transformed into a multi-use space.

The most outstanding part of this urban nature house is a small courtyard garden at the center of the home plan where Bhalangtham’s bedroom is located. The open space offers refreshing environment in the middle of lush foliage. There’s an outside sitting area with a private garden view.

Lined with greenery, the house’s main entrance feels warm and inviting. Creative vertical garden ideas paired with floor-standing houseplants add a relaxing tropical feel to the entryway.
The hallway leads to a living room lit by natural daylight that streams into it from one side of the building. Indoor plants re-humidifies the room preventing it from feeling too dry.

The furnishing and decoration are left in the good hands of interior designer and close friend Suranart Lerdkunakorn. Knowing the homeowner’s taste, Suranart creates a mix-and-match interior combining chic vintage ornamentation with newer furniture and decorations from different eras and styles.

On the whole, home décor and accents give a hint of Eastern culture that makes the interior warm and welcoming. Strong, deep colors make the interior room visually interesting. Asked to elaborate on this, the designer said:

“Bhalangtham likes the metallic duck-head green and navy blue; hence much of the interior is pained dark shades of color. Together, they bring renewal and nature to the indoor living spaces.

“As for furniture and decorations, a chinoiserie dining table that’s a gift from the previous homeowner comes in handy to reduce the stiffness of modern home design. Elsewhere, vintage décor ideas imported from Bhalantham’s old house complement a look that’s stylish and relaxing.”

The duck-head green of the wall and the cream and beige of living room furniture provide an agreeable contrast. Green leaves freshen the atmosphere and make the room feel warmer and more inviting. The living room is part of the function wing that’s designed to serve multiple purposes. An ethnic design carpet adds curious excitement to the room.
A small dining area adjoining the living room is flexible and party ready, thanks to a chinorserie table that was a gift from the previous homeowner.
Nature House
The metallic duck-head green dominates a corner where young Arty practices music. Like the homeowner intended, the green room serves to connect indoor spaces with the lush courtyard outside while the sound of music rejuvenates the atmosphere.
The dark shade of blue in Bhalangtham’s bedroom contrasts with the beige of leather upholstery on the furniture and the floor in natural wood stain. An area carpet in lighter shades brightens the room.

A perfect amalgam of chinoiserie, vintage, modern, and classic styles is a distinctive feature that gives the house meaning and character. Combine that with a courtyard filled with lush foliage of the container garden, and the benefits are amazing. Despite its small size, the patch of greenery serves as the lungs of the house, a condition that ensures everyone wakes up fresh and happy every day.

urban nature house
For the homeowner, nothing compares to his favorite hangout with a private garden view.
urban nature house
Besides the lone tree that’s the focal point of the yard, the outdoor room is adorned with potted houseplants, mostly tropical species. Plant containers in various shapes and sizes offer plenty of seats that make the area party ready.

Owners: Bhalangtham Klomthongsuk

Interior Designer: Suranart Lerdkunakorn


Visit the original Thai version…

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A White House Made for Healthy, Happy Family Life

A White House Made for Healthy, Happy Family Life

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

Because the house was left unoccupied for some time, naturally there were parts that had fallen into disrepair. Remaining intact were dull and uninteresting room dividers typical of housing developments that were built in times past. On their return after having been away, the homeowner couple made an exciting new discovery. Their neighborhood was also home to a school where they planned on sending their children. That was a big plus in terms of a good quality of life.

modern white house
The courtyard of this white house consists of a garden and a swimming pool that lies at the far end to protect family privacy. Invisible from the street, it offers a pleasant outdoor space that connects the whole house with its natural surroundings.

To give this old house a complete makeover, Vasu Thongmeepetch and Panompon Ratanaprayook wasted no time to consult a team of experts in architecture, interior design, and landscaping.

Architect Praepailin Jantanachotiwong can still recall the day they met: “Besides replacing the old and worn-out doors and windows with new ones, the highest priority was to pick a design that would best fit the homeowner lifestyle needs and be adequate for the family size.

“Going through the house, I was attracted to the idea of tearing down the walls separating the interior and the swimming pool outside. That would translate into enlarging the interior space big time, kind of like bringing the outdoors into the living room.

“It was a perfect spot for a playroom, where the children remained visible in close proximity to a sitting parlor made for rest and relaxation. Eventually the whole area turned into a rendezvous point connecting people to people in a warm and welcoming family atmosphere.”

modern white house
Double-height glass walls make the playroom for kids bright and airy. It’s a TV room and toy room in one. Bean bag furniture in lively colors fits in well with the fun atmosphere of the interior and adjoining outdoor playground.

She calls it “the life of gravity” concept, a whole new approach that gets its inspiration from an open space that attracts everyone in the family toward the center of the home, especially the dining area overlooking the courtyard.

“The new design comes complete with an array of folding doors that open to connect with the garden, the swimming pool, and other outdoor facilities. There’s something for everyone, and that’s what makes people gravitate to an interconnected lifestyle,” said the architect.

modern white house
The dining room is bordered by folding glass doors that stack flush against one another as they open to connect with the garden outside. The lush courtyard can be seen in full view from inside the room, while a well-placed swimming pool provides passive cooling that reduces internal and external heat gains and brings in fresh air.

Interior designer Thaipan Nopladdarom also responded with a new home plan that subtly divided into three zones in accordance with family needs. He created a beautiful combination of reception room, playroom for kids and dining space set contiguously on one open floor plan. Clever screen ideas control natural light shining into the interior.

There is latticework design on the stairway wall that brings just enough light into the white house, thereby eliminating the need for electric light in the daytime. Elsewhere, open windows can benefit the indoor environment. They let fresh air in and improve the air quality in indoor spaces.

He said, “As for the furnishing and decoration of the room, the emphasis is on the minimalist style. Only a few pieces of furniture are there because they are needed. Where appropriate, built-in furniture is installed as permanent part of a larger construction.

“Lighting setups vary according to the specific needs of each location. To avoid illumination bouncing throughout the room, accent lights are installed to create interest at night.”

dining area
Good design judgements result in thermal comfort that transforms the dining area into the heart of family life.

The overall effect is very pleasant. For the children, it’s the playroom that has become their favorite hangout. For the mom and dad, the dining area has been an oasis of calm and relaxation. They can rest by the pool, or go for a quiet saunter around the yard, and wherever they may be, the family is never out of sight of one another.

minimalist style
Subtle, soft shades of colors that speak to the minimalist style keep the sitting parlor calm and spacious like the homeowners intended.

To make the courtyard lush and functional, landscape architect Tawatchai Sakdikul was instrumental in planting shade trees to avoid some of the heating effects and keep the home cool. Apart from being pleasant to look at, the yard is easy to keep clean with all features functioning as intended.

As for the highlights, he said: “We put in a waterfall that became a focal point in the swimming pool area. Then a walkway was built around the yard.

“For the outdoor playroom, we added an oversized rabbit head sculpture to arouse interest and curiosity, and a blackboard to scribble something on as they played. As for the plants, we avoided the dense thorny undergrowth that was the most common cause of injury. Rather, we focused on growing a variety of herbs that promoted learning about the natural world.”

modern white house
A level platform along the outside of the building is ready for al fresco dining when the weather is nice.

An open floor plan for this white house offers many benefits. In this particular case, it answers the lifestyle needs of the homeowners whose business has to do with manufacturing and selling items of clothing online.

The floor plan that minimizes the use of small, enclosed rooms means they can sit and work anywhere and still be visible. Here, happiness is being home with the children and getting work done at the same time.

outdoor playroom
A rabbit head sculpture adds interest to an outdoor playroom by the pool, while lush green lawns make it a nice place for kids to run around.

As the couple puts it: “We are thankful that the architect designs it in this way instead of separating adults and children occupants into different zones. The interconnected floor plan answers the borderless lifestyle that combines work life and family life in one.

“It’s designed for easy updates based on needs. That’s what makes living here fun. It’s easy to get why we love this white house so much.”

modern white house
Seen from across the swimming pool, the newly remodeled white house is peaceful, warm and welcoming.

Owner: Vasu Thongmeepetch and Panompon Ratanaprayook

Architect: Praepailin Jantanachotiwong

Interior Designer: Thaipan Nopladdarom

Landscape: Ginggaanbai Co., Ltd. by Tawatchai Sakdikul (www.ginggaanbai.com)


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Renovation Brings Comfort into a Modern Home

Renovation Brings Comfort into a Modern Home

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

/ Photographs: Sitthisak Namkham /

The family’s firstborn son is married and household members have increased. For the past 40 years, the old house located on a residential estate has gone through various stages of repair and expansion. The time for further improvements has come, and the Sattayavinij family thought it wise to renovate the dated, tired-looking home, turning it into a modern home that’s warm, livable, and in sync with the present time.

Woranol Sattayavinij, the firstborn, is an architect at the reputable company Architects 49 Limited. And the responsibility to remake this modern home rested with him.

Earlier on, the family had entertained the idea of tearing down the old house to make room for a new one set on 96 square wahs (384 square meters) of land.

Fully aware of the family’s lifestyle needs, the kind of place they wanted, and the limited budget they had, he had a change of mind and went for a renovation project instead.

Modern Home
Tall aluminum latticework that makes the front façade protects the west-facing home from harsh sunlight. It provides a buffer against solar heat gain building up in the interior. On the street, black iron lattice fencing promotes natural air circulation and doubles as a privacy screen.

“I made a walkway connecting to the courtyard that has become our sitting room.  Using my stock of lumber and wood recycled from the old house, I mixed teak with Makha wood (Afzelia xylocarpa), and gave it a fresh layer of paint,” explained Woranol.

“It was a mix-match since the boards came in different sizes, but nothing serious.  Now mom and her sister seem really pleased  that it’s a nice spot to sit and catch the cool breezes.”

A flight of garden steps leading to the house interior is canopied by overhanging trees thriving along the fence line. The corridor offers enough room to stroll around in the privacy of home.
A flight of garden steps leading to the house interior is canopied by overhanging trees thriving along the fence line. The corridor offers enough room to stroll around in the privacy of home.

The question is: How can I go about it coming up with design that’s open, bright and well-ventilated?” he added.

“First, the land itself isn’t oriented in a direction that can avoid getting direct sunlight or minimize solar heat gain. Besides, it’s a modest home. There isn’t much room for the long roof overhangs needed to protect it from the elements.

“So I solve the problem by putting a courtyard at the center of the home plan to make the interior light, airy and very comfortable.”

The unroofed area between the buildings becomes a small courtyard garden. At the further end, the architect puts in a long seat for people to relax under the shade.
The unroofed area between the buildings becomes a small courtyard garden. At the further end, the architect puts in a long seat for people to relax under the shade.
An empty space between buildings looks stunning from the architectural perspective.
An empty space between buildings looks stunning from the architectural perspective.

That said, Woranol chose box-shaped design featuring twin rectangular buildings that run parallel to each other with a courtyard in between.

The little oasis that’s open to the sky contains a small garden with a wood deck made for sitting and catching some fresh air. It serves as engine that drives natural air circulation all day. This creates a comfortable atmosphere in the entrance hall.

As for the A/C, who needs it anyway?

Modern Home
While lattice screens go to work protecting the home from the outside world, large opening glass walls connect the interior room to a lush courtyard garden thrown in between buildings. Diffused light and winds passing through the permeable shell keep the entrance hall cool all day without the A/C. No wonder it’s the family’s favorite hangout.

The forward part of this modern home has a carport that’s separated from the street by wrought iron fencing. The black on the fence contrasts with the silver on aluminum latticework protecting the building.

From the outside looking in, it’s clear that privacy protection is high on the list of priorities. It’s achievable without sacrificing the desire to live in close touch with nature.

Modern Home
Adjacent to the sofa set, the dining room is well lit and made comfortable by fresh air blowing in from the nearby courtyard garden.
The raised passageway around the courtyard is built of old wood worn by long exposure to the weather. Concrete steps provide easy access to the garden floor. It’s a place to sit with your legs hanging down, enjoy a patch of greenery, and shoot the breeze on a lazy afternoon.
The raised passageway around the courtyard is built of old wood worn by long exposure to the weather. Concrete steps provide easy access to the garden floor. It’s a place to sit with your legs hanging down, enjoy a patch of greenery, and shoot the breeze on a lazy afternoon.

Evergreen Korean banyan trees (Ficus annulata) lining the fence and the house exterior reduce the harshness of concrete construction and make the home appear more environmentally friendly.

The modern home with 450 square meters of usable space boasts a bright and airy interior, thanks to open floor plans that emphasize interconnectedness throughout.

Modern glass room dividers promote visibility and warm social interactions within the family. Steel construction saves time and makes the interior living space appear spacious and lightweight.

In the end it’s all about feeling good and living better.

An Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis), the courtyard’s main attraction, develops a healthy crown near the studio and the bedroom on the upper floor.
An Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis), the courtyard’s main attraction, develops a healthy crown near the studio and the bedroom on the upper floor.
While they allow natural light and fresh air to pass into the courtyard, metal lattice panels also double as privacy screens and safety precautions against intruders.
While they allow natural light and fresh air to pass into the courtyard, metal lattice panels also double as privacy screens and safety precautions against intruders.

Woranol further explained, “I made a walkway connecting to the courtyard that has become our sitting room.”

“Using my stock of lumber and wood recycled from the old house, I mixed teak with Makha wood (Afzelia xylocarpa), and gave it a fresh layer of paint.

“It was a mix-match since the boards came in different sizes, but nothing serious. Now mom and her sister seem really pleased that it’s a nice spot to sit and catch the cool breezes.”

Modern Home
The room upstairs can be used for work or pleasure. Open the door to see what happens below, and take in the view of the lush courtyard garden. Some fresh air really will do you good. After all, it’s about bringing nature into the home.

“For security purposes, iron latticework is preferred over solid walls. To keep the sun out, the perforate shell is lined with trees. There is an Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis) that has grown tall to shade the interior and give sweet-smelling white flower,” added Woranol.

“We also put in a Common Tembusa tree (Fagraea fragrans) which grows slowly, and a Brazilian rosewood (Jacaranda obtusifolia) which is loved for its beautiful purple flowers.

“The courtyard floor is covered by a container garden intended to make cleaning easy after seasonal heavy rains. It’s OK to get wet sometimes, but it’s better than being enclosed by solid walls.”

Modern Home
Rustling leaves in the Indian cork tree make a sound that has a relaxing effect, especially for the home office and the bedroom located across the yard.

His choice of furniture speaks to the minimalist style of interior design. The idea of less-is-more translates into an interior living space that’s open, easy on the eye, and conducive to natural ventilation.

It’s easy to get why everyone likes to hang out together in the hallway downstairs that connects to the lush courtyard garden. The natural environment helps them feel relaxed all day every day in this modern home.


Owner/Architect: Woranol Sattayavinij


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Modern House in Bangkok in Nature’s Peaceful Embrace

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/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Punchat / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Wison Tungthunya /

It’s next to impossible to find peace and privacy in the midst of movement and activity of Bangkok’s busy Sathu Pradit neighborhood. But this modern house in Bangkok is one that defies the odds. The freedom of being observed or disturbed by other people is accomplished in ways that most would deem impossible. The difficult situation is solved, thanks to clever design and interior decoration by Integrated Field Co., Ltd. in collaboration with Na Laan Studio Co., Ltd. the landscape designer.

The homeowners wanted a place in which to spend their post-retirement years. That was the homework assigned to the capable team of designers at Integrated Field.

They were looking at creating a home that would be the heart and soul of the family. That was the main idea that went into building this house on an area just shy of 2 Rai (roughly three-quarters of an acre). However, there was a problem.

Modern House in Bangkok
The sun shining through the skylight above the courtyard creates a natural play of shade and dancing light as time progresses. The trees and vegetation beneath the canopy need sunlight to thrive.

The land was in a densely populated area surrounded by high-rise buildings, especially in the north and west directions. The architects dealt with the difficult situation by creating a home plan that wrapped around a lush central courtyard designed for the benefit of family togetherness.

This way, the house is now complete.

Modern House in Bangkok
A set of steps lead to the house interior and the courtyard garden enclosed by the building.

The ground floor exists in open view, so everybody can participate in the activities within the house.

The plan consists of an ancestral hall, living room, and dining space with large opening glass walls. It offers the view of a central courtyard that’s made for family gatherings.

There is visual continuity that allows everybody to be in the sight of everybody else. Only the service areas, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and living quarters for housekeepers are separated from the main hall.

Silver oak trees (Grevillea robusta) come in handy to shade the house façade against the sun coming in the south direction.
Modern House in Bangkok
Striking the right balance between concrete and steel frames, the modern home leaves plenty of room for nature to participate.
Modern House in Bangkok
A flight of stairs leads to the bedrooms and personal offices on the upper floor. It’s designed to clearly separate public and private areas.
An array of bi-fold doors opens to connect to the courtyard garden and other parts of the building. Bright and airy design allows natural light and wind to blow into the interior all day.

A Buddha room sits in the common area near a run of stairs leading to the upper floor that contains bedrooms for all family members. For the utmost convenience in modern living, each bedroom comes complete with a workstation, living area, a bathroom en suite.

Apart from the capacity for interconnection among household members, the house’s most outstanding feature is contact with the natural environment that’s apparent in a lush inner courtyard.

Modern House in Bangkok
There is visual continuity from the interior to the courtyard garden, thanks to large opening glass windows.
Modern House in Bangkok
Spacious rooms with just a few pieces of chinoiserie furniture bespeak minimalism in interior design. Every room is bordered by large opening glass walls overlooking the lush courtyard garden. With few material possessions, the interior is plain and simple with nothing to clutter up the hallway.

The building is oriented to have the front façade stand facing south, a direction that isn’t likely to be observed or disturbed by other people. It stands to reap the full health benefits from southerly winds that keep the house cool naturally all day.

In so doing, an array of bi-fold doors is installed, while transom windows are fitted with nets for ventilation. Meantime, a skylight that illuminates the interior also doubles as engine that drives natural air circulation.

All the bedrooms are fitted with insulated glass to protect from solar heat gain and reduce noises from the outside.
Equipped with everything necessary, the bedroom is a personal sanctuary that’s comfy, simple and clutter-free. It’s bordered by large opening glass walls designed to take in the view of the lush courtyard garden.

On the side that’s exposed to intense sunlight, double concrete walls are installed, while the windows are fitted with insulated glass. Outside, the walls are canopied by overhanging trees that have become the house’s first layer of protection from the elements.

What’s obvious here is that design isn’t about bricks and mortar alone. Rather, it has a lot to do with promoting the comforts and quality of life for people living in it. As this modern house in Bangkok has shown, it pays to have a good grasp of the location and ability to overcome the challenge in the most effective way.

By keeping the hustle and bustle of the city life outside, peace and tranquility at home is accomplished. Plus, it’s a lush courtyard in the design that adds up to a salubrious atmosphere in which to live.

Modern House in Bangkok
Two walkways connect to the house. One starts from the carport. The other is a covered pathway designed for the elderly.

Architect: Integrated Field Co., Ltd. (www.integratedfield.com)

Landscape Designer: Na Laan Studio Co., Ltd. (www.facebook.com/nalaanstudio.co.ltd)


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/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Atta Otto / English version: Bob Pitakwong /

/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /

A Swiss chalet-style building had been a family home for more than thirty years. Eventually, it was in need of repair and restoration. The Panikabutra family gave serious thought to renovating and returning their two-story wooden home to its original condition. All things considered and when a decision had to be made, the homeowners thought it wise to have it demolished to make room for a new home.

Family Home
A wood deck is designed to take in the view of the courtyard landscape. Like a must-have in any design, a healthy, lush lawn serves as the yard’s focal point. The grass lawn is uncluttered and easy to keep clean like those on the golf course. Underneath it, a drainage system is in place to carry off excess water, thereby preventing flooding in case of rain and getting rid of mosquito breeding grounds. From this angle, the rectangular-shaped inner courtyard can be seen enclosed by a walkway system that connects everything on the property.

Reclaimed wood from the old house was prepared for reuse in a new single-level building designed for mother, Khunying Pannang Panikabutra. Her daughter, Thapanant Suwittayalangkarn, shared the story behind it.

“Old wood taken from the house that Dad built a long time ago was still in very good condition. It was considered so valuable.  Besides that, it was legal as timber prepared for use in the building. 

“Dad always insisted on the legality of things. Generally, it was beautiful reclaimed wood. There was some of it that had fallen into decay and new materials had to be purchased including old house  poles.”

courtyard
A set of stairs leads to the entrance of the building. Nearby, a ramp is put in place as part of preparation for possible future events should a wheelchair be needed. Only a short distance away, an Indian cork tree (Millingtonia hortensis) thrives in a round container. It has since grown through the skylight that’s purposely built to brighten a nearby carport during daytime hours.

The new home plan is arranged around a central courtyard with a beautiful lawn as its main attraction. It’s a great way to frame a view since every room opens to the lush, refreshing garden landscape.

This is especially true where the main hall and dining room connect to a wood deck with furniture, a perfect setting for relaxing outdoor living spaces.

The design is about disposing the home plan around a central courtyard. This way, the problem of a lack of natural daylight in the interior is solved. It immediately freshens up the room and makes it comfortable for everyone, especially older members of the household.

Family Home
The reception room boasts large opening glass doors overlooking the central courtyard. At the further end, two doors with matching transom windows add a light and airy feel to the atmosphere. In the middle of the room, despite its rather formal appearance, a vintage-style waiting room sofa in dark hues seamlessly fits into the décor.
The dining room and nearby sitting parlor get a good view of the inner courtyard, thanks to large opening doors that stand tall from floor to ceiling. Soft hues on the sofa upholstery creates a calm and serene atmosphere to make one feel more relaxed. It’s easy to get why this area has become the family’s favorite hangout.

Free from being observed by other people, the house’s five bedrooms have their place and private facilities around the courtyard garden.

The building being raised on piles at least a meter from the street level is a decided plus. The rooms are clean and uncluttered thanks to the under-floor space being used for utility systems.

Meantime, preparations for this family home are put in place to take good care of the elderly parent.

Family Home
The walkway around the courtyard is roofed over with translucent sheeting to shield it from sunlight and rains. The rafters and roof battens are made of reclaimed wood from the old house, while the posts are erected on cement foundations to protect against humidity damage. The passageway surface is covered in a mixture of small stones to prevent water splashing in case of rain.
An open space between walls offers room for a shady tree, while wood lattice fencing serves as an engine that drives natural air circulation. Together,
they create a spectacular light and shadow play that’s constantly changing with time.

Sharing her thought, Thapanant said:

“From our experience before Dad passed away, the old two-level home proved inconvenient since we were responsible for taking care of people in poor health.

“The safety precaution already in place wasn’t good enough. When we decided in favor of building a new family home, my brother looked into every design detail. We put in a garden walkway around the courtyard with direct access to Mom’s room. That was our idea of making space available for mobility exercises.

“Everyone felt secure now that, to protect against slips and falls, all the rooms were set at the same level including the bathroom floor. We also put in a ramp linking the house to the  carport to be ready should a wheelchair be required in future.”

Family Home
The bedroom offers a relaxed corner for leisure activities, such as drawing and playing music.
Family Home
Mom and daughter relax together in a sitting area around the courtyard.

Architect: Apisit Suecharoen


 

A White House Matching Modern Architecture to Its Environment

A White House Matching Modern Architecture to Its Environment

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

/ 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.

White House

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.

White House

“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.

White House Modern House Modern House Modern 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.

Modern House White House

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.”

White House

White House


Architect: IDIN Architects (www.idin-architects.com)


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A Large White House with a Modern Oriental Flavor

A Large White House with a Modern Oriental Flavor

 / Bangkok, Thailand /

/ Story: Samutcha Viraporn / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs:  Sitthisak Namkham, Nantiya Busabong /

This beautiful place is home to a large, multigenerational family. With family members from 8 to 84 years old, what stories it tells! Here belongings passed down across nearly a century give a sense of modern oriental flavor to every corner of its design.

Modern House
Patama Roonrakwit, the architect and the owner (second from the right), and her family

Long-time community worker Patama Roonrakwit, CASE Studio architect who designed and owns the house, created it from her knowledge of the ways and tastes of all its residents in their old home.

In a unique adaptation and fundamental design difference here, she preserved an old wooden house Pong’s grandfather had built, hiring Chinese craftsmen to raise it up to the second floor of the central building so family members could continue to experience its warmth.

Besides this, the home contains the offices of CASE Studio, Ed The Builder/Contractor, her brother’s tour company, sister’s music school, and guest rooms where friends can stay.

 

All this had to fit in a space of 1 Rai (1600 sq.m.), a narrow, long north-to-south lot.  The building divides into seven sections, some of which are open, verandah-like corridors that give an angular definition to the space, trapping the wind and making for good air circulation throughout.

Modern House
Wooden slats guard against the sun and wind and create visual harmony.
Modern House
The lower floor is a multipurpose area, adapting the Thai traditional “tai thun” space below a house to fit modern lifestyles.
Modern House
A nearly hundred-year-old wooden house is set as the very center of the main home, and contains a shrine holding Buddha images.

Bedrooms are intentionally not large, so as to encourage residents to come out and socialize in common spaces. Throughout the home, doors open onto walkways sloping down to the swimming pool.

Modern House
The swimming pool parallels the central verandah on the west side, which is set back a bit to reduce heat entering the central building.

 

The charm of the wooden house and the heirloom furniture gives the three generations of the Roonrakwit family and their regular guests the sense of a home that has opened its doors to welcome change while incorporating the experiences of them all at this important time.

 

An elderly person’s room, with special adaptations: bathrooms with no steps, support railings, and adjustable wash basins.
An elderly person’s room, with special adaptations: bathrooms with no steps, support railings, and adjustable wash basins.


Owner: Roonrakwit family

Architect: CASE Studio


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A Bamboo House Embraced by Nature
A BAMBOO HOUSE EMBRACED BY NATURE
House in Trees: Well-made Home on a Narrow Lot

House in Trees: Well-made Home on a Narrow Lot

/ Bac Ninh, Vietnam /

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

/ Photographs: Trieu Chien /

Having to build on a narrow piece of land, an architect creates an urban home ingeniously designed to utilize the space in imaginative ways. Relevantly called “House in Trees,” the slim plan makes the best of circumstances by letting nature permeate.

The so-called “House in Trees” sits on a narrow lot measuring 5 by 15 meters in Tu Son, a county town in Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam.

The area is fast becoming industrialized as the city grows. Putting it mildly, the impacts of urban growth are already being felt, from noise to traffic fumes and other negative effects that come with industrialization.

On top of that, the location dictates that the house be built facing west.

Be that as it may, the design team at Nguyen Khac Phuoc Architects succeeds in creating an uncluttered, incredibly relaxed home for a family with two teenage children.

Where the land is so narrow, the only way to go is up. The slim floor plans afford three bedrooms with baths, living room, kitchen, carport and storage, as well as an entertainment center, worship room, laundry.

The five-story home makes good use of two void spaces, one in front, the other in the center court.

Because the front façade is facing west, the architects fill the front void space with a leafy tree to protect the interior living spaces from hot afternoon sun and traffic fumes.

The second void space at the center is filled with greenery while lush shade keeps the homeowners naturally cool all year round. The idea is to let nature permeate as much as can be.

Tall bamboo and leafy trees diffuse natural light during daytime hours and protect the interior from gusty winds and rain.

The greenery-filled center court not only evokes a walk in the park, but also provides privacy for all the rooms that are set at tree-top levels.
A patch of greenery lines the corridor connecting the living room, kitchen and dining room.

One of the unexpected ways to decorate with plants. Greenery brings good energy, textures, and character into every space.

“The design is done within the context of the home’s unique surroundings,” explained the architects.

“We incorporate nature in the floor plan to promote better living condition for people living in it. Urban growth and industrialization are fast happening and they no doubt have impacts on the environment.”

 


Architect: Nguyen Khac Phuoc Architects


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

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

/ Bangkok, Thailand /

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

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

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

white box house
Photographs: Spaceshift Studio

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

white box house
Photographs: Spaceshift Studio

white box house

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

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

white box house

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

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

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

white box house

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

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

white box house

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

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

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

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

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

white box house
Photographs: Spaceshift Studio

Architect: Sook Architects Co.,Ltd.


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An Open, Airy Home with Privacy in Nakhon Pathom

An Open, Airy Home with Privacy in Nakhon Pathom

/ Nakhon Pathom, Thailand /

/ Story: Ajchara Jeenkram / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

Comfort, safety, and privacy were the primary considerations in designing this house. Spacious, cool and airy, it fits right into its Nakhon Pathom city neighborhood.

home nakhon pathom

“Coming back exhausted from work, the owner feels he’s escaped to the other side of a wall where he can finally relax with family in an inner sanctum hardly at all visible from outside.” Meechai Jaroenphon, architect from the Backyard Architect Co., Ltd., says the family wanted a lot of privacy for their home, which accounts for the dense concrete fence, broken only by a few narrow slots.

home nakhon pathom
The house entry area next to the carport.

The property holds three houses with a connecting court in between. There’s the main house where the owner lives, a second house for his siblings, and at the very rear is the parents’ house.

The idea was to live together as a big family while still having privacy. At the architect’s suggestion the homes are compact, leaving a large common space for a garden they work together, which adds a warmer, more intimate atmosphere.

Meechai goes on to say, “The owner wanted the different homes to be set at different levels, with stairs of different heights. I took this a step further and designed stairways as connecting elements, primarily using wood for its simplicity and warmth.”

The owner’s outside staircase.

home nakhon pathom

home nakhon pathom

Stairways connect the three buildings, and going up or down each time brings us into the private space of a different family unit. Sometimes there’s more functionality involved: the stairway in front of the first house, for instance, has a frame of steel and wood railing which screens the view from outside.

Although privacy is important, there are also openings to facilitate sun and wind coming in. “I had in mind the concept of a “safe house,” says Meechai.

“So I designed the carport to block a house view, but the buildings are open to the breezes. When the owner comes home exhausted from work he enters a cool, comfortable atmosphere, escaping into his very own world.”

home nakhon pathom

home nakhon pathom

The altar room is a common area where the parents come to pray and make merit every day. Set at the highest point, it’s larger than other rooms, and divides into two sections: a meditation room and a sitting room. The walls here are open on three sides for an open, airy ambience.

As you can imagine, it’s quite a challenge to create a home for people of different ages to live close to each other. Good design has to anticipate actual usage and find solutions for each person. This house in Nakhon Pathom is a real success story in that way: the big family really enjoys living together.

The house fence and carport wall have 10 cm. slits allowing a view outside.

Materials used in the house: teak, Makha wood, brick, marble, mosaic tiles.

Architect: Meechai Jaroenphon of Backyard Architect Co., Ltd.


Visit the original Thai article…

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