Engineering: Yongyot Rotchaya
Text description provided by the architects. Located in a quiet gated community in Si Racha, House DN is a home for a family of two. Ideal for its location in front of a private canal leading to a beautiful lake, the land is also complimented with a mountain view beyond. It is designed to grow and transform along with the lives of its owners, the Nakaprasit family.
The first and foremost requirement of the house is to be opened onto the canal at its back, and also for its spaces to be organized around a central courtyard to provide utmost privacy for the owners. Thus, the orientation and the court act as a pretext to the design; it gives the framework of both the interior and exterior spaces. Along the design process, the role of both the owner and the architect gradually merged, creative inputs and active dialogues from both sides allow the design to transform into something neither deliberately “owned” nor “designed.” It would be a place that accepts and welcomes both prosaic and aesthetic transformation.
Organized around a central courtyard, activities are simply divided into two groups of “private” and “public” activity. Yet there is never a clear line between them as the court allows both parts to participate in any daily activities that may occur. This house can be seen as a task of transforming the place, merging different activities into a unified whole. The “public” space of the house integrates four distinct settings into one ensemble: the kitchen or cooking area, the space for dining, the living room and the studio. Each is defined by its own equipment. The long porch enveloping the spaces simply bind together settings for cooking, eating, living and working.
The climate, which enables ones to spend time out of doors, has brought forth the design equipped with courtyards, verandahs and porches enclosed with glass panels. This makes it possible for inhabitants to live both inside and outside the house, and also in the in-between areas. Shadows for rest and for residing are produced by the brim of solid slab, under which daily domestic activities could unfold. In so far as the Thais are still the same people and the climate had not changed, these types are still valid, no matter how traditional or “modern” the house appear. By means of open-air covered spaces, interior and exterior could be bound together.
Moving from one space to the next, the task of describing the place becomes clearer. It is to develop vocabularies and concepts that will demonstrate how settings that are distant and distinct from one another can also interconnected, how they can remain apart and be joined. To inhabit the house means to focus on the performances that the separate settings sustain, and to discover similarities between them. Only in this way will architectural setting be seen to exhibit not just remoteness but familiarity; that is, typicality of recurring situations in a different place.