Architect in ChargeSomboon Sudmaksri, Karp Boonthavi
Located more than 20 years in Bangkok metropolis, Thailand, Geodesic Design Co.,Ltd. had been looking for a place to be home, where architectural design studio co-exist with green lawn, ray of sunshine and may be, shade of a tree. We found the place 18 kilometers toward north of the heart of Bangkok, in Pakkred, Nonthaburi.
A 16 metre x 24 metre plot of land is oriented North-South, on the east side is an unpleasant vacant lot, on the west is a 10 years old house with lush small garden, on the street side, an old rain tree branches over the full width of the plot. The new building was set on the plot's east side, behind the tree, created an open space on the west side. The tree and the open space become the first and second element of our architecture.
The building is small, room’s size is dictated by a 4 meters span and a standard 6 meters long steel parts, most of interior walls are clear glass to make rooms feel larger, east side wall is solid to block the view of adjoining vacant lot, to reach out to outdoor space, large opennings filled west-side elevation which is 6 metre high by 16 metre long, facing afternoon sun.
Which brought the third element to the design, system of sunshades to protect the building from heat and extreme light, while open to the view.
Lesson from designing a house 10 years ago was applied as the forth element of the design. The ground floor was raised 1.2 m. to create crawl space that would be use as storage and for maintenence, air flow would disperse heat, shaded ground would be increasingly cooler by times. Traditional Thai house has raised floor to avoid inundation. The design keep this is mind in case of Thailand facing severe flood likes the 2011 monsoon season again.
Others design choices followed these main element, steel skeleton and steel-deck flooring kept the construction site clean and shorten the time the tree was disturbed. Solid walls were made of lightweight bricks and concrete covered wire mesh panel with foam core. Exposed metal floor planks became open ceiling. All windows were low-emissivity glass. To experiment with solar energy, solar panel feed electricity directly into our usage. ( 1 U.S.$ saving daily /10 years return ).
Few hours were gain from not getting stuck in big city traffic everyday, that times were spent sitting on our terrace, under the tree, sipping some beers.