Architect in ChargeIntanon Chantip
Text description provided by the architects. This project started off with a very basic question for many Thai parents when their children grew older and felt ready to have their own family: “how a family can live comfortably together when it becomes expanding?”.
The site was originally packed with a 50-year old traditional Thai house structure that was handed down to the current owner from the grandparents 15 years ago. This old house had kept expanding over generations until it covered most of the land plot.
After a number of discussions among all family members, the brief of this project was then divided into two parts: (1) tearing down one third of the existing traditional house and renovating it to suit new lifestyle functions for the parents, (2) erecting a new building to increase the area amount for the fact that everyone in the family can joyfully share and to accommodate the upcoming new families with a proper degree of privacy.
However, the plot’s conditions for the new house are quite peculiar. First of all, the plot is about 2 meters below the street level. Its shape is like a long tapered strip, which on the long side runs along a canal and on the short side is exposed to the street. But somehow with some technical problems the upper floors of the house has to set far back from the street side causing the footprint of the house to have less area to manage. Nonetheless, the architect has summed all conditions and turned them into clear design strategies: (1) The house is divided to have a base and a form on top in order to suggest a visual exposure to the street due to a big visual difference between the street view and the land plot view. (2) The base should be exploited as an elevated ground in order to increase the usable area, whereas the upper form has to be composed as a combination of small forms, so it will not appear too dominating to the surroundings. And (3) the vertical circulation of the house has to be the spiral stairs in order to safe space and performs as a sculptural piece at the center of the house.
In the functional respect, the house is arranged by floor as follows. The first floor is set to have a guest bedroom and a big connecting space for several shared facilities, a living area and a dining area, directly connected to a kitchen, a multi-purpose terrace, and the front pocket garden. The second floor is somehow intended to perform as a new ground for the new families where they can enjoy the garden from the top view. It is arranged to have the stair hall as a pantry, which can serve the outdoor terrace. And it has an accommodation unit for one family. It comprises a big bedroom, a walk-in closet, and an en-suite bathroom. And lastly, the third floor is a repeat of the second floor for the accommodation unit for another family, except it has an extra private living room.