Structural Engineer: Tai Athiarpanon
Text description provided by the architects. In a neighborhood packed with quarries and highways, three dramatic planes keep things cool and quiet for a family of five in this Anghin Architecture-designed house. The Chonburi Sila House is located in Thailand’s Chonburi province, a heavily industrialized area dubbed the Detroit of Asia. This particular house’s neighborhood is a jumble of factories, warehouses, and eight-lane highways. The environment is loud, dusty and not all that pretty.
The Chonburi Sila House is therefore designed to shield its occupants. One three sides of its plot, it contends with the fumes and cacophony of industrial activity, leaving only the Southern edge looking into a warren of low-slung houses and overgrown yards. As a result, the structure is designed to project solidity and privacy in all but one direction, the garden to its south. The mineral quality of the dramatic planes making up the house’s structure echoes the surrounding quarries and factories.
The angular surfaces carve out three main volumes evoking the massive stones (or sila in Thai) being pulverized nearby. These planes also shield residents from viewing the nearby motorways and junkyards, while at the same time, they provide each volume with views channeled toward the garden to the South. The three soaring dividers anchoring the house’s design give away very little as to the true shape and size of the interior volumes. From some angles, the interior seems completely hidden with them, while from indoors and from the garden, the walls seem to almost disappear, making way for a vast sense of openness.
Notwithstanding Chonburi’s specific challenges, all of Thailand suffers from an overabundance of daylight and heat. In response, the double walls designed with air-gap insulation slice into the house, a design that catches the breeze, channels it through windows, skylights and carefully positioned openings. This creates effective cross-ventilation so that every part of the house is naturally illuminated yet shielded from the elements.
Interior functions are arranged according to the required level of privacy. The entrance and the social areas are on the lower front layer: the first of the three volumes. The middle volume serves as a semi-private area where the main vertical circulation equipped with the skylight is located along with a Buddha praying area, a study area, a toilet and a kitchen. The third volume provides a set of private spaces including bedrooms equipped with private balconies and a bathroom with a skylight and interior garden.