Nakhonnayok Riverside House
An enclosed vacation home that opens for a deeper immersion in the natural context.

Escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to the retirement home of a husband and wife in Mueang Nakhon Nayok district, Nakhon Nayok province on a 12-rai waterfront plot of land designed by architects from  SaTa Na  with the intention of ‘rejecting all-round context for deeper access to context’.

Nature is the key element.

Despite of the 12-Rai land area, there is only a short part of the land that adjacent to the waterfront. One of the design team’s challenges was to design a plane of the house open to flank with views of the river and greenery as much as possible. Additionally, the highlights of the site are two groups of large old trees on the left and right. The natural backdrop thus serves as a framework for the layout and location of the building, which humbly blends among nature. The building is at the highest point of the site with the view along the river line.

As for the housing function, this house is simple, nothing complicated just like any typical home. The owner would like to build a practical waterfront house, where the master bedroom is on the first floor for ease of usage when they grew older and the guest bedroom and the daughter ‘s bedroom are on the second floor. The main highlight that the owner especially wants is the Open-Air area, which is designed to resemble the basement of a traditional Thai house, for relaxing and totally immersing themselves in the fresh air.

Enclosed to Open

Since the house is a vacation house amidst of the nature, the essence of the design is to bring relaxation and nature to the residents as much as possible. The architect’s concept is to isolate the homeowners from the chaos of the city, or the outside world. He then designs a building that was divided by a brick-blocked wall plane to obscure the view from the entrance area and to conceal the river so that it become a climax awaited to surprise visitors.

“Instead of being clearly present all elements upon entering the house, we attempted to construct a Transition Space to gradually relax and soften the stiffness from the city using the garden, the Living space, and the river respectively. This would allow the owners to completely unwind.” The architect explains.

Conceptual diagrams
1st Floor plan
2nd floor plan

A comfortable terrace in the basement of a local Thai house

Next to the parking area, which is blocked by a solid walled plane, is the open Double Space area in the house that connects the dining area and pantry together. This area is then connected to the semi-outdoor terrace which the architect intended to make it resemble the basement of a local Thai house by designing a second-floor bedroom mass as a shader for the waterfront terrace, located in a sunny direction as in the west.

“The upper bedroom helps to shade the terrace and the Living room as it is layered inside while the patio is outside, which perfectly covered with the roof making it comfortable all day. The small pantry here will be the center of the house. When open the door, it connects the waterfront balcony to the kitchen area, Also, the kitchen can still be connected to the Living room area when fully closed.”

On the second floor, the architect focused on the perspective by designing all the bedrooms to be in the corner of the building, since on the opposite side is a waterfront area with large trees. The master bedroom on the 1st floor is on the lower right in the north side which is not hot and opens to the nature view and the small suspension bridges where the villagers use to roam around. The view also opens to a wide river bend.

Bedroom on the 1st floor
Guest bedroom
Daughter's bedroom

Make the most of the natural scenery.

The upper bedroom is a daughters’ bedroom, with a view of the far river bend and the mountains, while on the other side is the guest bedroom with a very beautiful river bend view. However, it is in the west which is quite hot. The architect then arranged this room for a guest bedroom for temporary stays. Also, in each bedroom, the architect designed the windows on the corner and tried to use a 10×10 steel box to maximize the proportion of window to get the widest view. Similarly, every bathroom also consists of windows to compliment the atmosphere and take advantage of all the natural views.

Something More:  This house is designed according to the modern tropical vibe according to the customers’ preference. The architect focused on using materials that are inexpensive and simple to maintain, such as ceramic tiles and wood-like artificial materials in dark tones.

“It’s wonderful because when we come up with any concepts, the owners are receptive and let us perform the job freely. It was a meeting in the halfway between the owners and the architect. As a result, I believe the design turned out rather well. Customers of a different generation open and let the younger generation to exercise their creativity and try out their ideas in real life, allowing the owner to see a different viewpoint from what he has experienced. I believe it is the ideal blend of this house, and I am impressed…”

Location: Nakhonnayok,Thailand 
Gross Built Area : 446 m2
Owner : Suttichai Panitnarakul, Suphannee Panitnarakul
Lead Architect: Chalermchai Asayote
Architect’s Team : Watcharapong Wongjak,Nathapon Phakpoomkamonloest
Interior Team : Watcharapong Wongjak,Werawong Wirojwattananon
Structure Engineer: Narin Yotha
Photographer: Rungkit Charoenwat

Rangsima Arunthanavut

Rangsima Arunthanavut