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This is 2022 and we believe many people no longer live in the house where they grew up, perhaps due to the job responsibilities that have forced them to live elsewhere. the architect from Destroy Dirty Things who designed the Zen Non Baan Home Stay & Gallery in Uthai Thani province is one of them. He defines Destroy Dirty Things as follows; “I put a lot of importance on aesthetics. The goal of architecture is to make people happy. While food nourishes our physical bodies, aesthetics is responsible for nurturing our spiritual selves. I believe your heart will flourish whenever we can get rid of the ugliness.”
“Zen” or Lines (Lines-Patterns)
“There are two implications to the art of lines. One is the drawing lines on architecture, such as drawing Uthai Thani portraits into architecture, houseboats, and the Uthai Thani lifestyle. Another meaning of “line” is the lines from the architecture such as structural lines, pillars, beams, joists, and bookshelves.” Professor Kawin discusses the origin of the term “line,” which serves as the project’s name.
“I suppose the charm of wood is that it is a line on its own. The use of Tectonic Quality timber in the creation of a frame is the beginning of Architecture. The line is its skeleton, and it only becomes a sheet when joined into a floor or a wall, both of which are built with lines. The structure must be constructed beforehand to form the space.
“There are a lot of lines in this house’s major language whether it’s the frame of a bookshelf, the frame of a window, the line of a column, or the running line of a beam. These lines are both functional and serve as a decoration without needing any other decorative objects. The lines could lessen their appearance on their own, creating a smooth look.
“Previously, this house consisted of a plain white ceiling. I removed the entire ceiling to reveal the floor slab, joist, lines, and wood as well as the roof structure, Stud Beam- Tie Beam- King Post on the above. Also, what was hidden above the ceiling was revealed, as well as the lines of the wood. It may not be neat because such items were never intended to be shown in the first place. I believe imperfection is a kind of craftsmanship. So, these lines are considered as an art form in Architecture through the wooden structure.”
“Non” or Sleep (on–Raw Materials)
“When we consume architecture, we do more than simply look at it; we listen to it, feel it, sit on it, put our feet on it, lay our bodies on it, sleep on it, smell it, and touch it. It’s a work of art in that humans perceive multisensory senses rather than seeing. I place a high priority on experiencing architecture. It can be regarded as a cost. Therefore, I perceive that architecture is more than just forms and beautiful appearance.
“As you can see, there are two substantial beds, while the other two rooms are furnished with futons on the floor. I want visitors to touch the adjacent hardwood floor, alternatively, sit on the floor. Even Japanese folks visit the jungle to bathe.
“Architecture which I believe in must allow people to experience, relax, delight, and flourish their hearts. Therefore, the thing that will be most intimate with human beings is texture and material, especially natural materials. We walk barefoot on the wooden floor, sit on it, stand on it, or touch the wooden walls or brick walls. All of these are the same story. It makes humans associate beauty, absorb deeper architectural beauty, get more emotionally engaged in it, and be touched by it. If we design well, our visitors will be calm, warm, and cool. That is, our “ Baan” (homestay) provides more than just a pleasant appearance.”
“Baan” or Home (Hometown)
Here — Uthai Thani is Professor Kawin’s hometown and it’s also the house where he grew up. The house is approximately 40 years old. It is half-cement and half-timbered, which was typical of rural houses in that era. Its proportions are straightforward.
“My father enjoys purchasing wooden furniture and buying some wood for my grandfather to make something. He was a carpenter who built both this house and the furniture. So, there was a vibe of simple handmade craftsmanship. Another thing is a terrazzo floor, which I think captures the character of that era and was charming. My grandfather’s craftsmanship on the stairs and handrails was also exquisite and can be considered as a cost.
“My father is a voracious reader. He enjoys purchasing books and collecting them all over the house. When renovating the house, I have the impression that even though the guests don’t read, the attractiveness lies in the difficult-to-discover charm of those antique books. The piles of books on the shelf, as if they were part of the building, would soothe guests even if they are not reading.”
Improvised Like a Jazz Song
Wood from the old house–The house at the back which is not shown in the picture is a wooden house. Professor Kavin bought it so that he could use the wood to create new parts for the house he is constructing. “Wood is the best material. You can use it for three generations,” he remarked of the connection and importance of old wood.
“I utilized the remaining woods which are charming in that they have a taste of craftsmanship in them whether it was a trace of a notch in a wood, a notch in beams and columns notch, or even the beauty of the window that was left unused. I repurposed the woods from the old house in a new language. Windows are not used to make windows but used to make screens to block the views and divide the area behind the house and the guest’s balcony so that they do not interfere with each other.
“I built a bench out of poles which revealed imperfections. It has two implications. One thing is to recognize beauty in perfection. I am not concerned about flawless beauty. It appears to be stressful and unnatural to me. I prefer to reveal scratches, notches, crooks, and imperfect masonry. Just like wabi-sabi, it’s life. Nothing is perfect. It is another way that detached people from their sense of belonging. No markings will be removed. It’s an incomparable beauty. It is an unestablished beauty. Sometimes an architect will write the perfect drawing. Unlike wood from an ancient house, wood purchased from a factory will be in pristine condition. However, my heart is softened by the uneven wood.
“When I repurposed those poles, I did not make the sketch nor design it from the beginning. Whenever we dictate everything on the drafting table or computer screen, our design will be lifeless. And I thought it was like jazz music that is an improvisational rhythm. I often visited the work site. I hired my student as a foreman. The process took some time. I would not have seen it and sketched it on the spot like a jazz musician would improvise. I think it is charming and brings architecture to life.”
DESTROY DIRTY THINGS
Wood and brick are the main materials in the building. It is believed that the architect himself must truly have a subtle philosophy hidden behind those bricks, which is true. The professor explained about natural materials that
“Some parts of the building cannot use wood. Therefore, it must be one of a few materials to choose from such as concrete or stone. Though, concrete is not the natural material I prefer as we must blow up mountains to make cement. The process creates too much negative impact on the earth. I don’t use stone because it is not a locally available material. However, there are brick kilns and masonry in Uthai Thani. Therefore, there are two primary materials: wood and brick. Wood is a material that conveys life. It is smooth and tender without the need for patterning.”
“I have a gray area (Semi-outdoor Space) where visitors may get close to nature. When I use wood and bricks, I brought soil for people to touch through the architecture. I use bricks because Uthai Thani has brick burning. It was also linked to the community and locality, like bringing the earth element to the wall of the house.
“If we consider the wood to be soft, bricks likewise have the fire element in them. It looks warm, a little erotic, and soft. I really like the bare brick walls. It looks delicate but powerful. I don’t know how to explain it. But in the end, it responds to multisensory perception.”
“While we don’t need to touch the brick wall, simply seeing the image gives ones an eye-touching feeling, not just seeing. Hence, it is impressive. It has a greater impact on us than seeing any other plain wall. This is the power of natural materials. I built the bare brick walls with about a 1.5 cm gap to create the Dept of Shade / Shadow. This adds dimensions and allows people to experience it rather than simply view it.
“Brick walls are more than simply a fence or a screen to me. Rather, I interpret it as the room’s walls. However, it’s the wall of the room in the landscape. As we don’t have ten acres of fields, we must develop an identity for the Landscape by constructing rooms for it. It is the management of a limited area to make people feel that nature is valuable,” he concluded with the answer to the first question we posed to highlight the true beauty of “DESTROY DIRTY THINGS,” which is to have as little impact on the world as he does.