‘Baan Klai Wat’
a private area in which natural phenomena play a significant role

Nature and humanity have been intricately interwoven since the beginning of existence. We are all, in some manner, depending on nature. We cook using natural elements to maintain life. Plants, sunlight, and wind are all used for recreation. As a result, every dwelling home, which is the fourth factor of human beings, is dependent on nature in some way.

As for ‘Baan Klai Wat’, nature has become an important aspect that the homeowner intends to incorporate into the house to make the architecture the background image, allowing the living relationship to occur in harmony with nature. The first thing to notice is not the appearance or language of the architecture, but rather the openness to the unpredictable rays of sunlight or wind blowing against the body. The house was designed by Khun Karj – Karjvit Rirermvanich of Physicalist.

A dwelling that was sparked by the needs of the owner

The house is called ‘Ban Klai Wat’ because it is close to the temple where the owner’s family believes and where the owner himself used to ordain. The house’s owner planned for it to be a home for the family where their parents could come to live and comfortably stroll back and forth to this temple, as well as a place in Thailand for the homeowners who travel to the United States on a regular basis for work.

With both homeowners being designers, Khun Kaj mentioned that on the first day they discussed the requirement for home design, the homeowners had prepared the model for him. “The model is the forerunner that informs him what they want.” There is a meditation room as the Main Recreation Space, a living room, a dining room, and a parents’ bedroom on the ground floor, while a master bedroom and a guest bedroom on the top floor to welcome friends and visitors. The space can be clearly distinguished from other areas.”

“In addition, the owners created a stunning Design Brief.” The brief includes the Japanese keyword ‘Komorebi,’ which translates as “sunshine filtering through the trees.” Another keyword is ‘Integrated with Nature,’ which the owners derived from P. Payutto’s teachings that mention the place where the mind can rest. It is a location with a ‘Rommanee,’ a comfortable setting that can provide a sense of serenity and is an important source that will provide us with a good state of mind. The brief strikes me as highly spiritual. It primarily discusses the space’s quality, lighting, or status, with the look or appearance of the architecture coming afterwards.”

The pavilion in the midst of nature

When you have a particular and clear demand, the design process becomes very intense, according to Khun Kaj. Since the homeowners are designers, they have a lot of involvement in the projects. Furthermore, because the concept is so abstract, the endeavor is more akin to a collaborative experiment. The design team decided to begin the construction of the space primarily through physical model work to understand abstract difficulties as clearly as possible as physical challenges. The first stage was the team’s Sketch Design, which was released in several formats. When we brought these models to the homeowner for discussion, the strengths of each model were merged, resulting in two distinct personas.

The first character is the house layout, which separates each function with the goal of making each living space as private and open to the landscape, light, and breeze as feasible. The second characteristic is the attempt to blend in the entire space with the surrounding terrain as much as possible, both in terms of plan dimensions and opening design. These two points contribute to the mass of the home that distributes function, allowing each cube to have as much surface area facing nature as feasible.

Floor plan 1st Plan
Floor plan 2nd floor
Concept’s section view
Concept’s diagram
Concept’s diagram

Architecture’s existence and nonexistence

Following that, it is an attempt to break the shape of the structure, leaving simply Interior Space that straightforwardly encapsulates various functions. The entire house is planned to be like a pavilion in a garden, with the structure and walls integrated into the four corners of the house, while the centre area between the four corners is open to connect to nature in all directions. All of the voids in this section can be opened and stored at the wall’s corner. Whether the space is half outdoor, half indoor or whether the space is a room or not is debatable. This is when nature takes the place of architecture. Even the innermost parts, such as the restroom in the corner, were constructed by drilling holes in the ground and roof to open up to the light from openings above and a garden below, leaving only a privacy wall. As a result, each area becomes a part of the overall garden.

The house layout is a square’ shaped with a courtyard in the center, allowing the landscape to interact with the interior space. There is a living room, a dining area, and a long open plan kitchen on the other side. On the left side of the layout, there is a multipurpose meditation area with a stairway leading to the second level and a restroom. The final half is the parents’ en-suite bedroom, which has a walk-in closet tucked in another corner.

The second-floor space derived from the same principle by clearly differentiating the building’s wings. The guest room, which is divided into two bedrooms, is on the left. The master bedroom, a workspace, a bathroom, and a dressing room are all on the right. According to the garden position, an opening on the ground plane of the second story leads to the ground level. Skylights on the roof plane bring natural light into the interior rooms. The architect designed the building’s shell with white metal sheet doors that can be entirely closed while not at home for easier house upkeep for the villas on the second level on both sides.

Something More: On the voids on the second floor, the frame is built into an L-shape, to allow natural light to penetrate even when all the doors are closed, making the internal space to alter over time.

“The overall design eliminates the house’s front and back sides. Its conventional form was entirely removed. It likes several villas encircled by chords of equal weight. That is, we live in the house as if we were in the midst of or in nature. We shall feel like we are a part of the light that comes in or the wind that blows the leaves. As the architecture fades away, all of this produces a sense of serenity and tranquillity,” the architect explained.

Location : Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Area : 400 square meters
Architects : Physicalist
Design Team : Karjvit Rirermvanich, Boonchu Chantawan
Landscape : Archive Landscape and Allplants
Interior Designer : Phanupol Bawornwiwut
Structural Engineer : Itthipol Khonjaisue
M&E Engineer : Suchada Nilchan, Wittaya Pangnucha
Drawings : Thandorn Prakobphol
Images : Supakorn Srisakul

Rangsima Arunthanavut

Rangsima Arunthanavut