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Amid the shady trees, both perennials and shrubs seem almost to cover the entire house. If you notice carefully, you will see that the back area is a hidden space of architectural sub-unit such as TYNW Garden House, which a team of designers has brought from the Design Identity Unit and a team of landscape architects from ON GROUND to renovate it and turn it into a contemporary house with a hint of Thai’s touch. In a natural green space, we almost forget that this house used to be a modern 4-story commercial building located in the heart of Bangkok, in the Huai Khwang area.
‘Garden’ is the essence of the house.
The original Exiting of the house used to be one of the few units of commercial buildings in the shape of a modern square facing each other, so the shared pool and the terrace were accessible for common uses at the back of the house. Then the owner decided to buy more vacant land in front of the current home for expansion, but only a parking lot with a small garden behind the house was added. Over time, they began to settle as well as the growing demand. Thus, it’s time for an extensive renovation to the house with the primary need for the house to support the living of the 4 family members, comprising of a nature-loving businessman father, a mother, a son and another young child. In addition, there must be a vast open garden where children can run and play with the increased use of some spaces for nature.
“We, the architects and landscape teams, started designing together from the beginning. We first laid out a rough layout first as to how the garden should be or how to connect the garden with the house which we wanted to make the back garden the highlight of this house, so every space is designed to face the garden.”, said the architect.
To meet the needs and let nature plays the primary role, the first concept presented by the architects was the ‘House in Garden,’ where the ‘Garden’ would be used as the primary raw material for the layout and design of the space. We started by thinking of how to make the space in front of the building connect to the garden as much as possible. This led to the design of the living room area, the dining area and the kitchen area, and all merged with large sliding doors that can be fully opened throughout. This makes the space both outside and inside become a single space that flows continuously together.
Connecting the whole function space with a connecting garden area supports the activities and habits of the homeowners, who often have a group of friends over or even a group of parents who regularly come together to do activities. The living room, dining area and kitchen area naturally became the center living area for people of all ages. There is a children’s sitting area and a dining table corner where you can socialize or a pantry for adults to cook or organize a get-together. At the same time, all can be visually linked together, and the view of the front yard is visible instead of a road with traffic.
The next challenge is to adjust the original parking space that used to be ineffective and move it to the front of the house on the roadside to divide the zone into proportions. The previous parking space became a multipurpose room with garden views that could be used for work or leisure. We took this opportunity to face this room to the existing fishpond that flows continuously into the green area in front of the house. The essence of this room is its different atmosphere, which resembles Japanese aesthetics with the tatami floor and onsen bathroom, which was a special request from the homeowner.
Optimize the functionality to suit all 4 family members.
Because it was previously a commercial building, the expansion to increase the house’s function expanded vertically, making the use of some areas difficult from generic houses and did not meet the needs of current and future use. For example, it became difficult to walk to the master bedroom that was initially at the top of the house on the 4th floor and raising a small child became difficult. The plan was to renovate the structure so that the master bedroom would be relocated to the 2nd floor, the same floor as the family’s private living room. The 3rd floor was demolished to make an open space for the Double Space Hall. This reduced the suffocating feeling of the original building and increased visual interaction between functions such as the father’s work area on the 3rd floor, the son’s fitness area or the living room area, which is now a space that is sometimes used for childcare.
Garden – still infiltrated throughout to create a cozy atmosphere. A boundary fence now blocks the original opening to the view of the shared pool and terrace for more privacy. Trees are also planted alongside the wall, contributing to a better atmosphere. Then we tried to put a lot of openings to the garden view instead with a rhythmic design at every point. This promotes a joyful atmosphere for a living space with different green scenery in each area.
“Starting from the entrance of the house to the Foyer, we made a design with a glass wall that opens up a view to the garden and the fishpond. As well as the stairs on the other side of the house, there are window openings where large royal poinciana is visible and in blooming season, the entire tree will turn orange…utterly beautiful. Looking down from the 2nd floor, we can also see the corner of the ivy which we want it to cover the whole roof, crawling down toward the entrance of the house. This will give a very shady atmosphere that hides the house to make the garden look more prominent. Looking from the balcony area, you will also see another corner of the garden as well.” said the landscape architect.
Thai Contemporary house with a touch of Japanese simplicity.
As for the appearance of the renovated house, it was a total change. To make the new house look shady and lively and have a different atmosphere from the old frowsty building, the architects chose to reduce the scale of the house to make it appear more welcoming by adding a touch of tropical Thai designs through details of columns, roofs, eaves or woodwork with traditional Thai style. The upper floor is also designed to have a balcony supplemented by a low ceiling that becomes the transition space between the interior and exterior.
As for the green area in front that plays the main role in the house design, Miss เปี้ยว elaborated on the design idea, which was intended to reflect the owner’s preferences for the Japanese atmosphere through the garden with a touch of tropical atmosphere that blends smoothly with the overall appearance of the house. We chose trees according to their prominent characteristics, the textures of the leaves and a mixture between large leaves trees and trees with smaller leaves. The large leaves of trees create a shady and tropical atmosphere. Furthermore, the small light-colored foliage complements the rock garden, and the walkway gives off a Japanese atmosphere and makes it easier to walk and wheelchair-friendly, which may be required in the future.
With the opportunity to experience the concept of this house up close, what surprised us was the fact that this house used to be a commercial building with an average square shape. The drastic transformation of this house is mesmerizing, and the interior space is also perfect for future use. For a house to be perfect, not only is it a space that meets the needs of living, but also the little details that contribute to the overall atmosphere of the house that arises from the collaboration and brainstorming between architecture and landscape that became one with each other. This led to the results of comfortable living space in a shady environment that meets the needs of living from both inside and outside.
Location : RATCHADAPHISEK ROAD, BANGKOK, THAILAND
Area : 300 SQM.
Owner : Sitthisak Monrudee Tayanuwat
Architect : DIU Architect Co., Ltd. Patcharin Chadavadh, Phutthaphol Simmanee
Interior Designer : WVS Co.,Ltd.
Landscape Architect : ON GROUND Co.,Ltd.
Photographer : Tanatip Chawang