Prior to building a house, a couple got married on this beautiful lot two years ago. Apart from their families and friends, surrounding nature has also witnessed when they exchanged their vows to care for each other through thick and thin until the end of their life. Their relationship has been continuously growing from the day before the house was built until today when they are expecting a new family member within the next couple of months.
Khun Nopharat Bidjantuek had worked as an Orthopedic and Physical Therapy Specialist in Bangkok for 6 years after graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Mahidol University, Division of Physiotherapy. He pursued his childhood dream to open his own clinic amidst nature as he believes that nature could help heal patients. When patients are comfortable and happy, their positive energy will help them overcome sickness. This is a huge inspiration to open a private clinic at Phu Tawan, Pak Chong and also to embark a family journey with Khun Pink, Kanyapak Silwattanawong.
With a plan to build a country home, Khun Pink’s family bought this piece of land many years ago. They got married here as well so this place is full of many cherishable and joyful memories of their new beginning as a family. More importantly, it is not too far from Bangkok, surrounded by spectacular nature, mountain and clean air. There is no other better place for them to start growing their family than this one.
“I had a chance to visit Samnak Song Khao Yai and noticed a monk’s residence. It was a decent size and very functional which shows simplicity and down-to-earth life of the Buddhist monks. So I applied the idea to build this house. I was very grateful to get an advice from Phra Somchai Thiraviriyo of Samnak Song Khao Yai, who was once an architect prior to his ordination.He told me that my work is pretty much involved with stress and sickness and I should build an open space house that looks comfortable. My wife somehow likes a warm and friendly atmosphere so we decide to choose a local-sourced material like bamboo to build this house. It is easy to find, inexpensive and environmental friendly as it is a rapidly growing grass that is easy to replenish.”
Both understand and fully aware of the problems with moths and termites which make a lot of friends and relatives disagreed with their idea when they first found out about the bamboo house project. They both spent almost 2 years to research its problems, benefits, and treatments. They found an amazing potential to use bamboo for home building and harmonizes a house with nature. They proved that bamboo is more than just a handcrafted material.
“My wife and I spent 2 years to learn about bamboo. We attended a workshop. We learned how to saw and clean it. We made furniture at the temple so a lot of our furniture in this house was done by us. We learned its structure and found that it is very functional and durable. It is similar to wickerwork for the fact that a single piece of bamboo may not look sturdy but it is very strong when being weaved. The same concept applied to people in a community. One person may not be as powerful but working together as one creates an incredible strength to drive our society.”
After they learned everything about bamboo, 3 different types of bamboo from across the country were delivered to build this house. Rough Giant Bamboo and Dendrocalamus Sericeus from Northern Thailand have large and straight woody culms which are appropriate for columns and main structure while the core of Hedge Bamboo from Northeastern Thailand have flexibility which is a good feature for walls. Khun Nop explains that using natural materials for home building can help balance the temperature. It reduces the heat inside the house which makes the temperature on the inside lower than the outside most of the time and whenever the outside temperature is getting low, it is warm on the inside. The design also helps with heat control. Using the local structural technique to elevate the house for about 30 inches above the ground promotes better heat and moisture transfer by allowing natural air to travel underneath the house.
They both spend a lot of time during the day in a living room. It features a double volume space allowing natural ventilation. The design of paralleled ventilators also promotes natural air flow in the house. Crystal clear glass panels harmonize the house and the greenery on the outside very perfectly.Some areas on the second floor demonstrate a semi-outdoor concept by using a covered roof with the walls open to give that open air feel during winter season to enjoy the beauty of Flamboyant when the summer is approaching.
“We need to adjust and understand both natural surroundings as well as ourselves when we live with nature. Season changes similar to the lows and the highs in our lives. We laugh and we may cry the next moment. Nature teaches us a precious life lesson and tests our strength. Both of us learned from that and would tell our child who is coming into this world to be prepared for the same life lesson.”
Knowledge forms confidence to creatively design a decent 1 ½-story bamboo-structured home situated between a Burma Padauk and a Flamboyant which already existed prior to building this home. The homeowners adopt sustainability by allowing themselves to live with existing nature rather than cutting down those trees in order to build their lovely home. This house is also considered as another member of their family as it will continue to grow together alongside their beautiful relationship.