House AT
A straightforward home that communicates through functions
and vertical arrangement of Thai house elements

What can turn a home into a perfect place to live in is probably not just about sizes or vibrant decorations. If you really look deeper into the core of a true design, a perfect home needs to actually be complete with functions that suit one’s living preferences, straightforwardly. This concept also works with House AT, a white house of the Tonmaniwattana family, designed by Research Studio Panin to convey the essence of functionality. The house facilitates air flows and can suit all weather conditions with Thai house elements arranged in a vertical direction to shape a perfect design.

With a requirement to create a house that can accommodate 5 family members and ensures pleasant ventilation, whether on a rainy or sunny day, and comfortability in all weather conditions to lessen the use of air conditioning, together with their preference of Thai-style loft spaces and patios, the architects then start by designing the ground floor as a basement. This space is versatile. It can be a reception area, sitting area, or even a dining space. There is also an open area that connects to the outdoor garden, adjacent to the Thai kitchen and other service sites of the house.

Then, the functions are gradually and simply sorted based on privacy needs. The second floor consists of areas where everyone can spend time together. For example, the living and dining zone which come in an open plan. It allows every member to find a place for their furniture freely. There are Grandma’s private bedroom and a multipurpose studio for the mother, in which she can sit and work while her children do their homework by her side. Moreover, there are bedrooms for the parents and the two children on the same floor.

Plans of the three floors

Vertical arrangement of Thai house spaces

As the original space isn’t that big, it isn’t easy to design a Thai-style patio to connect all the functions as initially required by the owners. Thus, the architects choose to arrange the entire space vertically and create interactions between them through a multipurpose hall that serves like a patio on each floor, before leading the occupants to other functions within the house.

The multipurpose hall becomes a transitional space between interior and exterior of which the layout can be adjusted by the residents to meet their needs. By just opening up the sliding partition between the hall and the common area of the second floor, the hall will then be seamlessly connected with the internal space. On the other hand, if they close the sliding glass partition, the hall will become an external space instead.

Relationship on the resilience of space

The relationships that are formed here are not only about connecting all the spaces within the house together, as flexibility of the functions is also important to the architects. With the spaciousness of the hall area, the owners can freely leverage the space, placing furniture as needed for multiple purposes. Moreover, they can rearrange the layouts as they see it appropriate any time and no matter how the weather is.

From a façade to a unique identity that reflects oneself

“Everything we have designed does meet the function needs. In addition to providing good ventilation, the façade also needs to protect the house from sun rays and rains. And that’s why it is created as a double wall with the inner part enclosing the rooms and the outer part serving as a white façade to enhance privacy and security at the same time.” The architects said.

The façade mentioned is made of perforated aluminum sheets which are also used at many other parts of the house, including its front in the east and on one side in the north, which is the direction that natural light can pass through but never brings heat. The owners can choose to open it up or close it as needed. For example, open it on a sunny day to fully allow natural breezes, or close it whenever they need privacy, but still want to get a little bit of wind and light. Therefore, the facade is one of the tools that underscore straightforward design and can be modified at any time, which creates a unique identity that reflects the identity of the house.

Connect all levels smoothly and transparently

Another key part in connecting the internal space of the entire house is the stairs. Apart from being designed to be semi-outdoor, it also comes with no riser and the rail is made of white steel grating with round holes. Thus, it is a reason why the stairs of this house boast airiness and seamless connection at every floor.

The exterior walls of the stairs are encased with small square brick wall vents. They are arranged from the ground floor to the upper floors to create a beautiful pattern. At the same time, natural light and wind can penetrate through this space and enhance the air ventilation.

Straightforward communications

“Actually, this house is not decorated. We don’t want to use the word decoration, because we didn’t decorate anything. It is how it is built. Everything arises from functions. We didn’t try to create much detail because everything has its own functions,” the architects say. This is the reason why this house comes with lines and patterns that are most straightforwardly designed to suit the preferences of the owners, be they utility areas, openings, or materials used.

We can see that the ceiling and floor of the multipurpose hall reveal the essence of the materials. Also, every wall in the house emphasizes the use of white, similar to the outside. That’s because of the need to keep the home as straightforward as possible and to create an airy atmosphere as well as comfortability by using furniture of simple tones. It is the way it is in a way that the owners want it to be. Everything is communicated through functions and space interactions with no decorations.

When considering the core needs of the residents and the environment within the house, the essence conveyed through design, of course, is obviously the straightforwardness and functionality. Even in the end, the house does not have flashy lines or decorations that are meant to specifically create beauty. House AT has shown that what is even more important is how the house communicates and allows the residents to use it as they want, whether it is the airiness or suitability to all weather conditions. Combining Thai-style space functions in a way that suits the given context or by not putting too much effort in creating flashy things can also shape a simply extraordinary and charming house in its own way.

Janjitra Horwongsakul

Janjitra Horwongsakul