Recessed Residence A seamless space of happiness for two generations

When kids grow up, becoming adults and having a life of their own, it’s quite normal that the parents may then need some personal space at home. For some families, their kids may move out to stay at a condominium or dormitory and it can’t help the parents feeling so worried about them.

And that becomes the reason for Recessed Residence. The place was built with intentions to cater spaces clearly allocated for the parents and the children. It was like connecting two houses. Designs are interestingly different within each section to resonate with the lifestyle of each resident. It’s another masterpiece of Win-Thawin from WARchitect.

Preferences and limits of space

Originally, the parents would like to have two houses on a land of 1 rai. One was for themselves to prepare for their retirement and the other was for their children, who have already become grownups now. The two generations preferred something completely different. While the parents wanted the house to look elegant with classic elements, the children indeed preferred minimal and simple decorations, or simply said, a Muji style.

“When working on the design, we faced obstacles as the idea was limited by the lining of high-voltage electric poles set on the land. Due to that reason, it was unavoidable for us to waste half of the land, because it required setback distance according to law and there are prohibitions against constructing a building or growing a tree that is higher than 3 meters in such case. So, it wasn’t easy to split the building into two and make them a completely different style, as we needed to take into account the setback between the two houses, which would also result in each house having a smaller size as well.”

Combined into one

Even though this issue wasn’t expected by the owners, it’s something architects normally get prepared for. However, once paying more attention and looking into the problem, there lies a key to unlocking all the obstacles, which enabled me to ensure the owners’ preferences could be met while the design would also be suitable for the entire family.

“So, I proposed to combine the two houses into one and created some styles that could fulfill the needs of the two generations. It didn’t mean to create something in-between the classic and minimalism, but I chose to interpret each style based on the owners’ understanding and perception. To give a clearer picture, it’s about how to create an elegant look that stuns visitors but still limit the details to make it look minimal and simple at the same time. So, I used cornices, drawing curves and shapes to form the façade, seamlessly blending the style with preferences of the residents. Everyone seemed to love it.”

Solid gate and recessed façade

For the design of the front gate, the architect created a completely dense one, as there’s no function that needs to get the views outside the front gate. Thus, the front part was designed to be simple and solid, like a museum whose wall is often opaque and couldn’t be seen through.

“On top of saving budget, the dense front gate also helps protect the house from thieves. At a corner of this house, there is a bridge from which someone could even jump into the house. At the same time, thanks to the unobstructed wall, it can be used to shade and prevent disturbing sunlight. In front of the house, there is only a recessed door which leads directly to a compact indoor garden, from which we can walk further to get to the larger lawn.”

The main highlight of this house is its façade where classical architecture is narrated by the architect. He was inspired by what the owners had asked for, thus applying recession elements and decorating them with cornices to create a new pattern. The sight portrayed convex and descending shapes, a truly unique architectural language. In addition to preventing sunlight and heat from penetrating into the house, the sunlight can also shine and reflect with the façade to magically create beautiful light and shadow.

One but functions of two

The functions of this house practically consist of spaces for the children. It comes with a living room with a multi-leveled seating, a kitchen, and, on the second floor, there are bedrooms and a work area. For the area allocated for the parents, there are living room, dining room, and bedroom, while on the second floor, there is a Buddha room. It could be noticed that the area of the children and the parents are clearly separated like two houses, but indeed combined into one.

“When you enter the house from the central door, the left side will belong to the children and the right to the parents. These two sections separate the entrance hall to serve as another space. The children’s area will be designed as a single room since the new generation does not appreciate room subdivisions. Instead, they would prefer a duplex single living space where all functions are shared in the same area but separated by levels. Additionally, the courtyard area is enhanced by adding beautiful betel nut trees. The glass railings connect the ground floor and the upper floor, which appears to be a mezzanine bedroom. The shelf units in the working area will complement the exterior facade.”

“For retired parents, it might not be a good idea to make them climb up and down the stairs. Hence, all functions must be located on the first floor in a comfortable, café-like environment. Since the bedroom and the living area are adjacent to each other, we use a pivot door as the bedroom door which slides smoothly against the wall. Visitors will perceive that the residence has a limited amount of space unless the guests are staying overnight. Only the homeowner has the ability to open the door. We did not use levels on this side. There are only robust and sturdy stairs leading to the second floor for a comfortable and confident supportive grip.”

Material selection

To give the house a warmer look, architects chose all-white surfaces for the buildings and interiors, while adding luxury to the child’s space with marble tiles and wood-like rubber tiles. In the parent’s area, engineered wood-patterned tiles at a 45-degree angle allow for oblique angles to convey a warm, adult atmosphere. Furthermore, wooden and beige furniture is used to blend in with the rest of the room.

Home design that is not taught in school.

“The functions and needs of every home are clearly stated since the beginning, while demands are constantly increasing over time. As a result, whether a design is good or bad is determined by the designer’s flair or negotiation to what extent we can maintain our design style without compromising the owners’ needs. We must, however, inform the owner of the benefits and drawbacks of the design and construction so that he can make an informed decision. Fortunately, we met the homeowners who understand and believe in our choice and the contractors who can ensure the quality of our work. Despite some delays, overall, it was satisfactory. Home design work is a service in which we will work together from the beginning to the end to ensure that everyone is satisfied. This is the crucial lesson that schools fail to provide.”

Client:      Allianz Ayudhya
Location: Ploenchit Tower
Area:        10,000 sq.m.
Year:        2021
Scope of Work:
-Interior Design
– Lighting Design
– Environmental Graphic Design
– Interior Fit-out
– MEP works by SKN Power Engineering and Union Product
Photographer Credit: W Workspace

Watsapon Vijitsarn

Watsapon Vijitsarn