Bangkok-based architect Wat Kuptawatin has designed a house for a family of five. The design firm was tasked with a new build as the old wooden house was no longer suitable for the modern needs of the family. The challenge was optimising the narrow strip-shaped site, which is sandwiched between two neighbours. The design team maximised the footprint in adherence with the building regulation, making the inside area as large as possible for the family to live in. Blind walls (without windows) on both sides of the house have been used, resulting in a 350m² house. The blind walls also provide privacy for the house from neighbours.
The dark-grey geometric monolithic shape of the house is punctuated by folded perforated sheet facade which provides a sense of privacy to the residents. The architects also used a handcrafted wooden gate to accentuate the house’s colour, shape, and facade. The layout highlights the maximum infusion of natural light through windows and featured skylights at designed spaces.
Social spaces, such as double volume living area and dining area, are designed to be filled with natural light. The dining area and pantry area are also adjustable by hidden sliding doors, allowing the residents to be connected or disconnected from the domestic staff’s work area.
Bedrooms are located around the double-height social area and are connected by a bridge that continues from the main staircase. Cross ventilation is an effective natural method to reduce heat from building in the high temperature and high humidity region of Thailand. By designing two side windows for each room, architects have provided daily airflow and natural light for the residence.
The perforated sheet on the facade and staircase also play important roles in providing ascending airflow and descending natural light. Since the old wooden house had to be torn down, the wooden parts from the old house, such as floor finishing, stair treads and column, have been collected and combined with new materials and reused the house.