BAAN KHUN MOR OHM - Opaque Outside, yet Warm Inside.

In some ways, a decent home may not necessarily be spectacular, eye-catching, or expensive; rather, it is important to contain all of the comprehensive functions that will fulfill the needs of living in any activities when returning from hard work. After a long day at work, home should be a place where we can re-energize both physically and mentally.

Like BAAN KHUN MOR OHM in Chiang Mai’s downtown district, this residence is like Dr. Ohm’s safe heaven to unwind when he returns from a long and stressful day’s work. The house is designed by the local’s architect from Mitr Architects who crafting the house to be distinctively raw, precise, and stylish. 

The doctor’s professional stress calls for the house’s privacy

Dr. Ohm, who has one plot of area, wished to get an architect to design a one-storey house for him.  The doctor then expressed his need with the architect and get the architect to design the house which perfectly matches his lifestyle. 

“In building this house, we started mainly from the surrounding factors.  The house is surrounded with roads and accommodations in all four sides.  My client is a surgeon who has to perform major operation tasks, which require a high  level of detail orientated, so he has to encounter a high level of stress and pressure.  Hence, the doctor requires that this resident be private, shady, and relaxing.”

Rugged, but classy, as Dr. Ohm wishes

Initially, the architect intended for this house to appear comfortable and relaxed. However, when he learned more about Dr.Ohm’s lifestyle, which needs darkness for watching movies, green garden area, including the party area for his friends, he changed his designing plan.  That was not a big deal because the new style just hit the architect’s main street.   

“First, I wanted the house to turn out warm, bright, and relaxing, which looks totally different from what it is now.  When I learn more about Dr. Ohm, they want this house to be painted black.  In the daytime, they enjoy watching movies in a dark room. They can then open the curtain to glimpse the grassy courtyard. As a result, I base my design on steel, concrete, and the black color black, and and set the building on the legal land site boundary.”

In the living room, there are areas for watching TV and having meals.  For the kitchen, it is elevated into a separated area, of which the highlight is that the architect has lifted up the roof in this area to be double spaces and installed a patterned square mirror to let the light shed in the building from the east.  Moreover, the airplane can also be seen from this window slit befoe entering the hallway which leads to the bedroom and the bathroom.  

“We lift the roof up since it’s faces the east.  We also attemped orienting the roof towards the airport as we thought we’d see the passing airplanes right here.  We can walk to see such scenery with the thin folded metal steps at the garage’s roof, which we can walk on every part of it.  We can observe the wider area as if it were the house’s mezzanine.  Everything is visible from here, including Doi Suthep in the west and also the rising airplanes in the east.  There’s not much noise as it’s considerably far away from us.”

“The exterior of the house is designed to be entirely opaque and enclosed. Because the doctor enjoys privacy. Therefore, we decided to build the front fence entirely with folded steel sheet to make the fence opaque. However, we want more space to flow in, so we raised the fence by 60-70 cm off the ground and made some slits in the bottom to allow wind and light to ventilate, but people on the outside cannot see what is inside the house.”

For the courtyard, the architected introduced Japanese-style garden, or stone garden, to the doctor because the doctor does not have sufficient time to look after it.  In a nutshell, Japanese-style garden simply fills in this gap because it requires little maintenance, but looks neat and refreshing all the time. 

A design that doesn’t finish only in the paper

The architect chose to work on this house from designing commencement to construction completion because it would be possible for the architect to detect the problems and details which needed additional correction.  Works in many points cannot be finished in the paper alone because the actual size and perspective can reflect the beauty of the house the most apparently. 

“It can be considered that we are the part of construction because the doctor rather trusts us in terms of architecture and interior designing.  He gives us considerable freedom in designing and construction.  When we worked in the studio, we may not see the entire detail.  But when we were in the actual fieldwork, we could adjust the details and some of the ideas to make everything in harmony.  We presented our work to the doctor and he approved it because we didn’t add up the budget to our price charged.  We didn’t consider this project a piece of work, but we considered it our enjoyment to work with the generous owner who gave such a great opportunity to us and to our teammates.”

Fulfill all lifestyle and need

“In designing this house, we focused mainly on the doctor’s need as the main function.  Next, we made the outlook of the building become as simple as possible.  We dug deep into details.  Like the roof and the wall, we added grooving lines to make it look neat.  Or the folded metal sheets, we didn’t simply paste the entire piece of metal.  Instead, we ordered that the metal sheets be folded from the factory so that they can fit in the corners more sharply.  Because we want to see the doctor’s smile, we must make sure that everything we finished fits in his lifestyle.  We kind of had fun from the designing process to the construction completion because there was not much obstacles to concern since the concept has been based on simplicity.  When this house gets older, we believe that it will still remain cool and classy like this forever because the lifestyle of Doctor..   

Type :       House Design, Residential
Location : Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Site Area :     428 sq.m.
Built Area :    290 sq.m.
Design :     2020-2021
Construction Cost : 4.5 M.
Architect :     Mitr architects
Interior Designer :   SS : Studio Sifah
Structure Engineer : Jar Pilawan
Photographer :        Bo Thodsaporn

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