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It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that ‘home’ is a safe place to rest your body and relax your mind without having to be careful or concerned about appearances, no judging on how you sit, walk, or sleep in your own home. ‘Privacy (together with safety)’ is an unquestioningly decent element in every home.
As well as the family of the four consists of a father, a mother and two daughters, resides in a village in “Suan Phak” district which is surrounded by vacant properties and fruit gardens. They were concerned and insecure living in the desolated location. Thus, when it comes to renovating the house for their daughters, Ton-Nattapol Techopitch, an architect from Looklen Architects, was assigned to design Mit Chit House—”Mit Chit” meaning close together and close friendship—with the end in mind of being ‘a safe and secluded house.’
A house that is ‘Mit Chit’ (Close Together)
At their first briefing with the owner and site survey, the architect team can undoubtedly feel the parents’ concern for their children. Along with the unoccupied lands in the village were dented and left desolate, the team came up with the idea to manipulate the openness of spaces with architecture to create privacy and safety via design, not via shallow elements like fences or curved steel that we are familiar with in traditional houses in Thai.
Khun Ton explained the design process that “I found that all the windows or back doors of the neighbours’ or even the former parents’ house were abundantly attached with stainless steel grills which, to me, indirectly solves the problems. If I design a house to turn inward where no one could peek in from the outside, I believe it will bring a sense of safety and privacy for the owners. So, with this house exterior, we will design a solid wall with no single void.
On the contrary to the solid exterior aiming to block the view from neighbours, openness to nature is key that the architects intended to create the most contrast in interior space. This openness connecting with nature also matches the owner’ preferences and bonds the family members to do activities together in this private space.
The manipulation of the “wall” prioritizing privacy.
After getting an evident concept, the architect team then researched architectural elements that could bring secureness to the residents, that is, the sense of stability could block outside view, and could act as a privacy shield. These conditions lead to “walls” manipulation which the architect chose to precisely create spaces for this house.
A typical room is a boxy shaped space normally made of four square walls. But for Mit Chit house, wide-open space together with privacy is key. Khun Ton then split square walls on one side into planes and turned them into L-shaped that move up and down creating an astounding character of the building, with solid planes on the outside and the vast amount of openness inside. Plus, the vertical space between the upper and lower floor also becomes a double space that seamlessly connects other spaces expansively in the house. If this is a checklist, this design has crossed off almost the entire requirements.
When a typical box (room) was split and being turned into solid planes and void planes alternately, it creates modular dimensions that give privacy and openness at the same time. Khun Ton uses this method in creating Mit Chit spaces. The four courtyards are formed by flipping the modular in different ways together with perspective and weather conditions analysis. A common element like “wall” therefore plays various roles, that are, to bring safety, to create a sense of privacy, and to offer a liveable environment for the residents.
Dtips; Since the walls already play a prominent role in the house, its interior seeks out simplicity to complement the wall and its given role. As per the house structure, the architect team intends not to have any pillars in the house. Hence, at a glance, it seems like the walls were just placed together. In fact, they need to spare about three centimetres of the beams in the construction to properly plastering the two sides of the wall.
Solid on the outside but airy on the inside
It seems like an unpleasant living experience if surrounding by solid planes. Nature, therefore, becomes an important aspect to increase the livable perspective to the interior. The remaining void spaces were designed to be four courtyards in the center, connecting nature to the interior and the main internal functions. The architects designed open spaces, ignoring the typical rule of room, to bring feelings of freedom and closeness to nature while shielding with the external wall.
All areas of the house always contain more than one open void and are also connected with courtyards that comfortably allocated the greenery space. Shades from the large main tree, the nesting birds, the winds swaying the treetops, sunlights on the interior space, these natures charmingly bring life to the house.
first floor as an intersection of the existing and the new houses, allowing the parents of the family to easily make their way to their two daughters. The shared space is also connected to the original house parking space. The architect seamlessly fosters continuity on the second floor using a Family Room referable to the location and height of the existing house to ease with the parents’ continuity. This Family Room also plays an essential role in the house, designed to be most open to the greenery in all directions complete with the views of the property’s first-floor area.In keeping with the notion of the togetherness of the family, the architects designed a split-level garden on the
Mit Chit house means “close friendship” to the original house, bonding the family together in the space that designed to build a closer lifestyle ever while the word “Mit” has a double meaning as “close together” creating an air of seclusion and safety as the name implies.
Location: Soi Suan Phak, Taling Chan, Bangkok
Gross Built Area: 350 square meters
Owner : Hiranthip Intaranukulkij
Architect & Interior Team: Looklen Architects
Lead Architects: Nuttapol Techopitch
Design Team: Natcha Sontana, Nonglak Boonsaeng
Structure Engineer: Taned Khemavas
System Information Engineer: Suthep Nualnom, Udorn Kantasa
Landscape: RITT Landscape
Constructor: Will Studio
Photograph: Varp Studio