Revived House
Revitalize an old house, creating a new and contemporary vibe in a Post-Modern style

During the renovation, many people always want to reserve their old home elements as much as possible or preserve the house’s original structure to keep their memories alive. However, for the Revived House, a team of architects from Gooseberry Design decided to resurrect this new house and preserve the old memories differently. Their challenge is how to bring freshness to living as much as possible while best maintaining the original structure of the house.

A new home that defines itself

“The homeowner is quite open-minded. So, we interpreted his identity. One is that he owns a hotel business and enjoys travelling, so we believe we should add something unique to the house, focus on the scene, and a perspective for both interior and exterior, to reflect the owner’s identity as much as possible. The house also consists of some space created to give fresh feelings and forget what the old house was like. It’s about reviving the old house to be as new as possible,”  Nattapong Pianchalangek, the founding architect of Gooseberry Design recalled.

The reason behind the desire to make a new house different from the original stems from the fact that the original house was designed ten years ago with its vintage characteristics, and old-fashioned resort style, combining colonial and tropical Balinese vibes. Although it was a universal design that was popular at that time, Mr. Ake and the owner agreed that the function of the house did not suit Thailand or the location context as it should, resulting in an intention to renovate the house to better meet the necessities of living.

Initially, Architects began by sorting out the layout to determine the owner’s exact space usage requirements. This brings up two issues. One is that only two owners are living together. The common area on both the first and second floors must therefore be important to allow interactions within the house, which has a relatively large living area compared to the number of residents. The second issue is the owners are homebodies who do not host many visitors. Apart from their travelling period, the owners will mostly reside and do all the activities in the house. Mr. Ake, therefore, determined that the house should contain a peaceful space as well as a perspective or an ambience that doesn’t grow monotonous easily.

RE-Layout, reorganize the layout to meet their needs

“The original house structure contains lots of nooks and crannies. The connection between the first and second floors is almost invisible because it’s completely partitioned into rooms. We won’t know whether activities are happening on the first or second floor as we can’t connect the spaces.”

Apart from the major challenge based purely on the owners’ personality, the rest is the modification of the space to meet the needs. The unnecessary rooms will be merged into one space. The designer then re-layouts the whole plan and adds new functions, such as adding missing rooms which also require a new structural design to be added from the original house.

1st Floor Plan
2nd Floor Plan

Starting with the Foyer or the main hall, the architects believe there should be some space to create a sense of airiness so that the house does not appear stuffy and uncomfortable. The team removed partial flooring, created a Double Ceiling, and connected the two floors. They also added a skylight that draws natural light into the house, turning the area into a Welcome Scene that creates a new feeling from the first step into the house, while also revealing the balcony on the second floor.

Or even in a newly re-layout bedroom zone, the architects’ team partially change the direction to allow better circulation of natural wind and sunlight.

The scene, perspective and atmosphere that complements the living situation

Another notable feature is the original Reflecting pool, which is unused and abandoned as well as wooden patios that deteriorated over time. This turned out to be a poor view of the house. The architects transformed it into a real swimming pool, generating an atmosphere and scene in the house from the view, the sound of running water, or even the garden with the surrounding walkways that connect to external areas.

For the pool area, the architect removed the entire original structure. Then, they constructed piles and a new structure separately from the house, with a similar form but with a larger size. It can be called a construction from scratch, only remaining in the same position because it is on the north side which is ideal for both sunlight and the view. The architect aims to emphasize the viewpoints of the pool and the garden for them to interact with each other in this renovated house.

Before Renovation

“Next to the swimming pool on the ground level is a fitness facility. We built the structure with access to the swimming pool. We demolished the roof when building a new structure here since the existing house was fairly low with low beam ceilings, as well as the second floor features a low beam ceiling and a hipped roof that appears substantial and hefty. So, while we’re changing the shape of the house, we might as well modify the shape of the roof. We designed a flat roof but enlarges the roof wings to solve the water leakage problem.”

“About Scene, we intended to establish a continuum of perspective at each point of the house.” Another prominent feature is the L-shaped balcony zone, where the architects attempted to place trees to create a visual focus and to refer to the original house in a more modern way. They then designed a roofless outdoor patio with circular voids to make it look more intriguing, as well as using rounded edges to make them more appealing.

Post–Modern, a new era vibe derived from the identity of the homeowner.

“In recent years, we define our works as post-modern. We are trying to make the identity of the owner or the context matter. We won’t be working in a very modern way where people will just use the space, but instead will try to use the skins of some buildings to create their characters.”

Those characters were passed on through a façade where the architect attempted to reinterpret the story of the original tropical house to make it look modern and fulfil the owner’s needs. The team created a pattern for the façade using a cubic made of pine wood cut into dice and mounted to painted steel plates to create a distinctive look for the house. The next piece is a glass block that is partially perforated to allow natural wind to flow through as the area is a bedroom.

On the other side of the pool is the vertical slat Double Skin Façade that can be opened or closed at the appropriate moment. During the owners’ vacation, it can be closed tightly for safety reasons.

“I think the most difficult aspect of this project is probably about combining old and new structures and making them coexist. It is challenging to construct a building façade with all the old structures while adding only the new surface to it because we need to make certain alterations on site. But what’s impressive is that the house satisfied the owners’ needs.”

Architecture & Interior: Gooseberry design
Lighting design: 475 Lighting Design and Supply

Rangsima Arunthanavut

Rangsima Arunthanavut