Nordic House in Thai context and environment

On an empty plot of land in Lamphun Province, an extended family is searching for a new home that accommodates the needs of living and the changing number of family members, side by side with the mother’s old house and the relatives’ houses in the neighbourhoods. This led to the design challenge of BAAN LAMPHUN, where the common area shared by a large family member serves as the home’s focal point, combined with the owner’s taste in Nordic architecture that is redesigned to match the weather conditions and the Thai environment by a team of northern local architects like blankstudio.

Planning through the context of directions and perspectives

The 260 square meters two-storey house is designed with the common area such as the living area as the focal point. The architects designed this area to be in the centre of the house in the north, facing the swimming pool and connecting to the patio with large trees, gardens, and a small walkway leading to the mother’s house. So that the two families can visit each other, relax, and dine together occasionally.

The Living area also includes a large Open Plan living room that connects the living room, the pantry, the dining area, and the hallway into a single space. Also, it comes with a high ceiling as Double Volume Space for airiness and openness, while fostering connections between horizontal and vertical space. As you ascend the upstairs, it is still possible to see and communicate with the members downstairs.

Not far behind the living area, the architects positioned a Thai kitchen behind the Pantry consisting of the house’s service areas such as a laundry room and a shoe storage room to the west and the south since it is directly exposed to the sunlight and the heat. The front of the house next to the main road adjacent to the fence becomes a parking area and a small green garden that brought a lively vibe to the house. A storage room is built with a solid wall, with no voids to create a boundary. The architect aims to create a buffer between the area and the main living space in terms of both perspective and sound to provide the most tranquillity and privacy.

Nordic architecture in the Thai context

Regarding the exterior of the house, the architect remarks that the owner had a reference image in their mind from the very beginning which is a picture of a simple Nordic-style house that exhibits materials and structures that stand out on their own. The architect team, therefore, interpreted the challenge by redesigning it to fit the Thai context and optimally enhancing the function of the interior by choosing a steel structure due to its ability to design a span of up to 7.6 meters long.  It makes the Living area, which is the focal point of the house, airy and neat without large columns and beams to obscure the view.

While the ground floor is a concrete structure that can support the weight and create a distinctive contrast between the two floors. The architects added that experimenting with materials with the owner was one of the more difficult but enjoyable aspects of designing this house. Every step is preceded by consultation. The homeowner also has a connection with a local builder who can help complete the story and make the house look exactly how he wants it.

The Nordic style has been simplified and reinterpreted with the design of a gable-shaped house that shortens the eaves into the interior. This allows for more outdoor balcony space and increases the distance for light and heat to reach the bedroom area. Wood will be utilized in this area to increase softness and reduce the hardness of the architecture.

This house is nothing fancy but conceals intriguing elements inside its straightforward design. That is the architects’ interpretation of Nordic architecture. We can see that the vertical lines of the fence, the transom, the lines of the columns, or even a metal sheet are lined up seamlessly through the control of the construction design. It also shows the personality of the owner, who pays attention to details while being straightforward and uncomplicated, underneath those basic details.

Photo: PanoramicStudio
Owner: Mr Panich Polmanee
Area : 260 sq.m.
Architects : blankstudio Ukrit Borwornsin, Taksaporn Sripradit
Structural Design : Pilawan Piriyaphokai
Photo: PanoramicStudio

Rangsima Arunthanavut

Rangsima Arunthanavut