Total Floor Area
: House PT
: 2015 - 2018
: Mueang, Chiang Mai
: 400 sq.m. (100 sq.wa)
: 360 sq.m.
: Research Studio Panin
: Yongyot Rojchaya
: KM. Construction Limited Partnership
: de&co design and consult
: Beer Singnoi
Being in Chiang Mai simply means the house is located in a place known for its strong historical, cultural as well as architectural heritages. Design by Research Studio Panin, House PT is a home for a young family of three who seek a quiet sanctuary within the heart of the bustling city.
Upon arrival, the house’s frontal facade defeats of both authorship and ownership, and from outside, little of the settings within is disclosed. Simple geometric shapes give the house a mute or rather quiet expression, receding into the neighborhood.
As for the outward appearance of the house, it is simply quiet, as if being shaped and reshaped by specific circumstances and situations. We never felt that the house is being “designed,” to have its own distinct identity; rather, it is being built as a framework or background of daily lives. It is the presence that however contrasts to the architectural heritages of the place, it is formlessly quiet. Because it contains specific activities whose relationship is transformative, were the house been so different from the architectural culture in which it sat, it could not have been re-joined to both the place and the inhabitants so closely. In this case the building, the place and the activities can be joined only if they are distinct, interlocked only if separate, for only when they are different can they perform their roles respectively and only then that the energies of the daily activities animate the house.
Managing his own publishing business, the owner works at home, thus the house is both his domestic and professional domain. In order for the design of a single house to accommodate diverse domestic needs and professional activities as well as personal and aesthetic preferences, both the individual and collective dwelling criteria need to be established before the design begins. The first task of the architect is thus to understand not only the physical requirements but also socio-cultural specificities within the micro scale of the family. Only when such understanding is established, can the design begin to translate both the individual and collective needs into unique spatial and formal configuration.
Once “inside,” diverse types of apertures give an accent of openness that easily neglects the fact that there is much spatial separation in the house, and some parts of its interior are decisively walled in to accommodate diverse and simultaneous usages. The diversity and strategic positions of openings create a close relationship between interior activities and exterior spaces, making the all walls less of an imprisonment. It is as if the living box is pierced and penetrated allowing space to come in and go out. Yet, the openings are not necessarily there to be gazed through. In the house, one is aware of the landscape not because one sees it at all times but because one knows it exists simply through light and air. And through such architectural tools, the house is both detached and attached to its location, becoming a personal space defined by both inner demands and outer relationship with its surroundings.