Total Floor Area
: House OP
: 2011 - 2012
: Paholyothin, Bangkhen,
: 750 sq.m.
: 200 sq.m.
: Tonkao Panin
: Peerapong Jaiputsa
: Vijak Numnim
: Spaceshift Studio
Severely affected by the flood that inundated Bangkok in 2011, Panin family decided on a fresh start. They would dismantle their 40 year old house and build their lives anew.
With five old banyan trees scattered around the site, the planning decision was simple. The house would be spaced along with the trees. And as its owner consists of two generations needing their own spaces that could be simultaneously separated and joined, the house is configured as two buildings enclosing a courtyard dominated by a giant banyan tree.
The buildings are rejoined by the ground platform. Both buildings may fully appear at certain moments, and then slowly recede into the shades of the trees. By dividing the house into two parts, each can be considered personal sanctuary. But the proximity of all spaces and their interconnectedness makes one feels at once joined as a part of a family and detached as an individual dweller. The decision to raised the house on stilts was also simple. It allows the family to spend more time outdoors, with the trees as an essential part of their daily activities.
The decision on the size and scale was also simple. How small can their lives be? Having rid of most extraneous belongings after the flood, the family simply find delightfulness in feeling light and free, without having to worry about the things they never actually needed in the first place. Thus came the unit of 3 meters by 3 meters space, connected by an open air “corridor” that also acts as living space. Whether private or public, all activities would be interconnected and accommodated in these settings. All spatial units are to be cross-ventilated and accessible through this living corridor, which can never closed off, gently introducing its inhabitants to come into contact with the natural settings around them. Going in and out, up and down, simply become one continuous actions that are never clearly divided or distinguished.
As for its appearance, the house is not stylized in a sense that signifies authorship but intended to define and redefine prosaic affairs into distinct and unique settings, which means the house also anticipates changes. It is a place that is framed for each and every particular needs, yet leave ample rooms for freedom of transformation. Simply looking familiar, the house is not an architectural revolution that offers a radical language. It simply acts as a background for habits and rituals. In other words, it does not come alive by the way it looks, but by the way it operates within the surrounding landscape. Everything reminds us of the geographic and the climatic conditions of Bangkok. Space, light and air, three elements that seem so readily familiar that we often forget, do work together to create a setting that rightly belong to both the inhabitants and the place it is located.