The architecture of traditional Thai houses in a form of grouping pattern with a centered terrace is blended with a modern house design to fit for a lifestyle of a big family that reveals an essence of the old Thai way of life that family member with different generation live together. Though they have their own family, they do not separate themselves away. Like this house, the owner intends to build it to serve a big family of 3 generations to live in the same house.
The house has a huge concrete wall; its double rectangular gate attracts the eyes to the area inside the wall which lays in a land of 3 Rai in Nakhon Pathom Province. Khun Meechai Chareonporn, an architect of Backyard Architects, is the one who designs the house. To fit for a big family, the architect divided an area into 3 pieces for 3 different buildings which perfectly blend the architectural style with the way of life by adapting the function of specific spaces for wider purposes, like using the “Traditional Thai house terrace” to connect the family members and to let them get close to the nature as well.
Not only the Traditional Thai house design is adapted as a modern age by having the structure of the house combined with mix materials, namely; natural stones, precast concrete, steel, wood, and glasses, but also the façade is placed facing west and the architect designed the wall covered with natural stones to protect living zones from the sun. Glasses installed around the building bring natural lights in the space inside, so the owners do not have to turn on electric light. It also produces good ventilation, and no need to turn on air-conditioners. Plants and trees in multiple sizes are arranged around the house, not only these plants give cool shade for the house, but they also make the visitors feel fresh too.
One of the propositions of the owner is that he wants people outside to see only the front of the first house, so the architect designs the ground in descending orders to hide the inner houses. For privacy of residents, the ground was filled and adjusted to be higher. Additionally, to create more dimensions to the house, articulated battens as those found in the ancient Thai house are vertically put as another partition wall. Observing from the outside, people would not know that there are 2 more houses at the back.
The first building is designed as a private house for a son. Rawness of materials is softened down by the nature which is the centered court connecting all the area in the houses together. Additionally, the Buddha room placed inside the house is what Buddhist people are familiar with, and the purpose is to let all the house members pay respect to Buddha statue before going to their bedroom. As what we has seen, the Buddha statue position is at the center of a house on the top floor which can be seen from all bedrooms as well.
Before passing the common area of the second building to a large swimming pool arranged to serve all members of the big family, the last proposition of the owner is to have a fitness lounge. The most difficult thing is that the architect has already finished planting trees and Khun Mechai wants to put the building structures along the trees planted. The building is come out with a lean roof cutting corners for the trees to grow through and the wall covered with transparent glasses in order to get the view of nature and the pool and for an relaxing atmosphere.
The outside wall is built in a raw style which is similar to stress jobs outside the house. Getting into the house; it seems like being in another world that city lives are left behind. The first image that appears before eyes is the plants in various sizes that give shade and shadow, the next part is a pool behind the stone wall that makes the place cool, and then the last part, this traditional Thai house with a very happy and warm atmosphere.