ReGEN House (2017) by EKAR located in Khwaeng Bang Bumru, Thailand | The Hardt
ReGEN House (2017) by EKAR located in Khwaeng Bang Bumru, Thailand. After living with his parents until the time he has his own family, our client moved out to his own house located opposite his parents’. The very first intention of our client was to renovate the existing house to be suitable for his first-born daughter – Meena. However, after the completion of architectural drawing, our client changed his mind. From his experience, it is not pleasing when it comes to living apart from his parents. Being a new parent makes our client become truly thinking about his daughter and her future. Therefore, he bought another land opposite his house and next to his parent’s house, with an effort to create a place where he can live with his child Meena till the time when she has her own family.
Long before Bangkok established, Thai people live in a big family which consists of grandparents, father, mother, and children (and sometimes including uncle and aunt). The way of Thai’s life has influenced on the architectural design of Thailand. A traditional Thai house, in general, is composed of a variety of small detached-houses in which each small family lives, and a patio in a middle of the houses, where connects each family together. The house sits on poles which creates a high open space under the house, allowing good wind flow to pass through and lowering the temperature inside. In addition, protecting the dwellers from flood and wild animals. Therefore, this ground floor is mainly for parking and storage. While the residential area is on the first floor of the house where life starts. The attempt is to enhance living quality as well as the family relationship; meanwhile, individuals still have their own private space.
Nonetheless, the modern context is full of complexity creating complication in Thai people’s life. Land prices soar in capital forcing people to live apart from their family. Modern people tend to move into micro-apartments nearby their workplaces or too small detached-houses outside the city where the land prices are still affordable. The question is whether or not it is possible that we could create a house which brings back the comfort of traditional Thai houses to the modern context. The land is located on the corner of a road, and next to the house of client’s parents where he grew up. With an area of 640 square meters, the architect embraces the concept of traditional Thai architecture to the planning to maximize this limited area. By creating L-shape building and lifting all residential spaces to the upper floors; leaving ground floor free for storage and parking area of ten cars. The wall between the parents’ house and the new one is eliminated and filled with a big new garden along the existing garden of parents’ house to create consistency of space.
Regarding client’s wish, the architects divided the floor planning of four-story house. The second floor is meant for the client’s family, while the third floor is for his daughter’s future family. Hence, in order to gather everyone in the family (and his daughter’s future family) together, the first floor is a focal point. On this floor, there are an entertainment room and a grand patio which become the common area for the client’s family (and also the future family). Furthermore, this floor is inspired by a traditional ground level in which natural elements are closely surrounded. Ranging from the swimming pool on the same floor which reflects a riverside sensation to the elevated yard across the swimming pool. The gap between the swimming pool and the elevated yard allows a tree from the ground floor to grow through. Also, allowing sunlight to stream in a glass pavilion (gardening pavilion) underneath. On the grand patio, users’ eyesight will be led to the swimming pool, the elevated yard, the top of the tree (grew on the ground floor), the existing garden of parents’ house, and to the parents’ house, respectively.
The intention is to make our client feel close to their parents. As well as to lay down watching Meena running around on this grand patio, like on a real ground. East side of the land is opposite the eight-story economic apartment. Therefore, the architects conceal the house on this side, in order to block the unpleasant view as well as to protect the residents from prying eyes, by providing windows or voids at the minimum number. Back to the ground floor, there is a main entrance on the east side which is made of solid wood. While on the first floor, on the same side, there are floor-to-ceiling wooden-grill window pivots which can be opened to allows ventilation and can be closed when privacy is in need. In terms of material selection, each floor of the ReGEN House features different materials, such as wood, stone-texture coated wall, and stone-like tiles. This material combination creates a uniqueness to the facade which still fits into the surrounding context.
The Riparian House (2015) by Architecture BRIO located in Karjat, India | The Hardt
The Riparian House (2015) by Architecture BRIO located in Karjat, India. Not a long drive away from Mumbai, a mountainous landscape rises up, called the Western Ghats. From this UNESCO world heritage area, numerous rivers and streams find their way down through an undulating landscape eventually feeding into the Bombay bay. The Riparian House is placed just below the top of a hillock at the foothills of the Ghats. The top of a vegetated roof merges with the top of the hillock, hiding the house from the approach on the east side. Inside the house, one can nevertheless enjoy the views to the north of the Irshalgad hill fortress and towards the west the sunset while the river winds its way across the agricultural fields.
Since the most of the site is steeply sloping with a 1:4 gradient, the vegetated roof gives the house an additional usable area. From the top it seems to be an extension of the natural landscape, enhancing the understatedness of the house. The green cover serves to keep the house below cool due to its insulative properties. Along the central axis of the house landscaped steps lead you along a coarse stone wall towards the pool deck. The second set of steps connects to the main level of the house where the axis culminates via the dining room and kitchen into a light-filled courtyard. The experience of being inside the earth is enhanced through the stone boulders which were discovered during the excavation process and retain the earth. The kitchen occupies a central position along with the open to sky courtyard and is flanked on either side by two bedrooms at the two far ends. These spaces are embedded in the earth with windows bringing in ample light from above and the riverside. A master bedroom, bathroom, dining, and living area sit along the front, a more open face of the house. Both the living room in the western corner of the house and the master bedroom in the northern corner enjoy panoramic views of the river.
Galvanized steel mullioned windows break down the scale of the front façade of the house. A rhythmic row of bamboo poles is placed at close intervals in front of the house to create a layer of privacy without obstructing the spectacular view of the river and the mountains beyond. The bamboo enclosure creates a dialogue between the interior and the dramatically changing landscape. The natural landscape changes from a dense brightly green colored jungle-like forest during the monsoon months to a pale brown shrubby wasteland during the dry and hot summer months. The building has to respond to these extreme conditions by allowing enough shade and breeze during the summer and providing a waterproof indoor environment during the stormy monsoons. The screen of columns creates an ever-changing pattern of light and shadow throughout the seasons and times of the day, making the building a ‘sensor’ of light. The walls are built in Indian limestone in a coarse pattern, which makes the house seem to rise out of the ground giving it a solid base. This is contrasted by the lightness of a suspended timber deck verandah which surrounds the house on three sides. The covered verandahs allow for comfortably ventilated and shaded semi-indoor spaces. Internally the timber floor continuous as a border around various patterned natural stone floors. In front of the living room, the deck extends to form a large outdoor deck with a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape
Plain Space Exhibition – John Pawson – Design Museum London 2010 | The Hardt
Plain Space Exhibition – John Pawson – Design Museum London 2010. The goal here was to communicate the thinking and give a sense of the body of work, whilst also engaging the widest possible audience. Since engagement is facilitated by first-hand experience, a site-specific, 1:1 installation was conceived as a key element — the first time anyone had constructed a building inside the Design Museum. As well as the more conventional curated content of an architectural show, the design incorporated subtle changes to the gallery space itself, on the basis that the success of the exhibition would not simply be a matter of the quality of the assembled material, but of the overall atmosphere, this spatial recalibration would generate.
The team at Studio Hardie, based in Lewes, East Sussex, has a wide range of specialist expertise from cutting-edge design to age-old craft skills. In this post, Hamish Boden describes the challenges they faced when creating the ultimate modern exhibition space using traditional skills. This project was a 1:1 scale architectural installation to host the Plain Space exhibition for British architect John Pawson , described by the New York Times as “the father of modern architectural minimalism”. The installation space was both a location for the exhibition and part of the event and was based at the Design Museum, London, in September 2010. Hamish writes “This was one of Studio Hardie’s first full-scale architectural installations, essentially a building inside a building. The difficulty with achieving a crisp minimal look is that exposed fixings are not allowed so all the mechanics go on behind the scenes. Another major hurdle of the project was the timescale, achieving the level of tolerance and perfection on a really tight installation turnaround. The beauty of having such a big workshop is that you can create entire structures, test them check everything fits and make fine adjustments before leaving the workshop, this can save days of site work.
Spending time meticulously planning the install is critical; the choreography of how everything comes together quickly, accurately and beautifully. We couldn’t rely on ‘off the shelf’ being totally straight so we designed a new system for making dead flat-straight walls out of MDF torsion boxes. You often hear carpenters complaining about using MDF but for us it was a rare treat. We are used to using solid timber that shrinks cracks and moves. MDF, in contrast, is a very predictable and versatile material. It was a real challenge to create the curved ceiling. We knew that constructing the sections on the floor would mean we could make a much better quality finish than working over-head. This is where modern technology meets classic old-fashioned carpentry knowledge. To get the perfect curve we had some roof fins cut with CNC and covered them with a thin sheet of MDF.
Photos: Gilbert McCarragher and Marco Zanta
Project Team Mark Treharne, Chris Masson, Nicholas Barba, Alison Morris
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Damushan Valley Teahouse (2015) by DnA located in Songyang Damushan Tea Valley, Lishui, Zhejiang, China | The Hardt
Damushan Valley Teahouse (2015) by DnA located in Songyang Damushan Tea Valley, Lishui, Zhejiang, China. The tea gardens in the Damushan area of Songyang are situated in a hilly landscape before the backdrop of imposing mountains. The tea plantations extend over the ridges of the hills in smooth sweeps and have shaped the landscape space with their linearly planted bushes for centuries. The Xujing pool was constructed between the tea plantations for irrigation purposes in 1968 and was later equipped with a circular path for pedestrians.
At the edge of the pool, Xu Tiantian designed a teahouse for visitors, from which the view over the pool stages the scenic charms. The new building is embedded linearly between the edge of the pool and the boundary of the site in such a way that it was possible to preserve five large sycamores, which provide the forecourt with shade thanks to their leafy canopy. The difference in the height of the terrain between the path and the edge of the pool is now filled with the new teahouse, which disappears between the trees and the natural topography. The tea pavilion, which was erected using black-dyed concrete, consists of a series of different spaces. The two-story, open main room has a skylight and a glass front towards the pool.
The owner here imparts aspects of tea culture and a contemporary form of the tradition that also attracts interest in urban centers. Connected to the main room are spaces for private tea ceremonies. At the periphery follows the meditation room, through whose round opening, the sunlight reflected by the surface of the water enlivens the interior space. Small courtyards and views, which raise awareness of both the landscape and aesthetic phenomena of nature, interrupt the sequence of spaces. The building itself is so well embedded in the landscape situation that the spectacular view first becomes apparent from the interior: the pool in the foreground serves as a mirror for the tea garden and the mountain scenery in the background.
House on Pali Hill by Studio Mumbai located in Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India | The Hardt
House on Pali Hill by Studio Mumbai located in Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. An existing house on a narrow site was stripped down, exposing its bare concrete frame to the surrounding trees. Re-programmed and built with an additional floor and terrace, the house sits protected inside layers of glass, wooden screens, planted trellises and curtains providing grades of privacy and enclosure within the urban environment. The entrance gallery leads to a double height living space that opens out onto a timber deck and a public garden. A polished limestone floor gently reflects the landscape while pigmented lime plaster walls softly absorb light. On the first floor, light is drawn through a clerestory volume into the family room, rendering a warm glow to this open, generous space. A corridor leading to the bedrooms culminates in an intimate window seat.
2Verandas by Gus Wüstemann located on a lake just outside Zurich, Switzerland | The Hardt
2Verandas by Gus Wüstemann located on a lake just outside Zurich, Switzerland. Completed in 2012, the 11,840 ft² (1,100 m²) is on park-like grounds. The clients asked there architects for a solution for a house that made most of the big plot, wanting a view, but not ends up with a house on top of the hill and a rest of a garden down below. This is a house for a young South African family in Erlenbach, just outside of Zurich along the lake. The plot is in a suburban context and therefore quite dense with family homes typical for the area. The site is on a slope, with beautiful views of the lake with the evening sun. The clients asked us for a solution for a house that made the most of the big plot, wanting a view, but not ending up with a house on top of the hill and the rest of the garden down below. Our solution was to occupy the periphery of the site, with the main house on top of the hill and the pool house at the bottom; and with both houses connected through a solid stony promenade: 2 verandas. In occupying the periphery there is one veranda at the top, with the promenade alongside the easborderarder of the plot leading to the south end. There is also a small ‘park’ in the middle of the site.
The stony promenade connects the two verandas almost as a site of its own, where you walk or sit and enjoy the view to the lake or the park. The garden also moves up to the level of the living room and connects all levels of the house with the garden. This is a house for a young South African family in Erlenbach, just outside of Zurich along the lake. The plot is in a suburban context and therefore quite dense with family homes typical for the area. The site is on a slope, with beautiful views of the lake with the evening sun. The clients asked us for a solution for a house that made the most of the big plot, wanting a view, but not ending up with a house on top of the hill and the rest of the garden down below. Our solution was to occupy the periphery of the site, with the main house on top of the hill and the pool house at the bottom; and with both houses connected through a solid stony promenade: 2 verandas. In occupying the periphery there is one veranda at the top, with the promenade alongside the eastern boarder of the plot leading to the south end. There is also a small ‘park’ in the middle of the site.
The stony promenade connects the two verandas almost as a site of its own, where you walk or sit and enjoy the view to the lake or the park. The garden also moves up to the level of the living room and connects all levels of the house with the garden. The main house is a stony, concrete, hammer-shaped volume over two levels that contains the living rooms. In the upper part is the public living room for dining and guests, with a beautiful view over the lake of Zurich. On the ground level is the family lounge with an exterior patio that can be joined as one room with the living room. All the windows disappear and the inside and outside patio become one. That patio also connects all bedrooms and is a lounge to sit together privately and watch a movie.
The circulations in and out of the patio space are controlled by concrete volumes at the ceiling that condense the space through mass and light and slow the circulation. The two rooms are crossed above each other, and at the ground floor level, we pulled a wooden curtain around the concrete volume to create the private sleeping quarters. The upper living room has a shark fin-like shape, so the space is very high in the back and lower at the front to frame the view.
17BR-House by ONG&ONG located in Singapore | The Hardt
17BR-House by ONG&ONG located in Singapore. The 17BR-House is a Peranakan shophouse originally built between 1900 and 1940. The homeowners wanted to build a warm family home that would preserve the shophouse’s historical character and reverse the drastic alterations done during its previous incarnation as an office space. In reinstating 17BR-House as a residence, an inner courtyard was created on the first floor, allowing sunlight and air to flow freely into and throughout the house. The installation of a green wall, as well as the covering of the floor entirely in carpet grass, transforms the courtyard into a quaint indoor garden. This space forms the visual focus for the first floor; with the absence of partition walls, there is a seamless visual transition from the kitchen at the back of the building to the living area at the front, allowing the family-oriented homeowner to interact with his children while indulging in culinary exploits in the kitchen.
A dramatic spiral staircase spanning all three levels maximizes vertical circulation while skylights in the jack roof directly above the staircase provide natural illumination. Timber beams installed in the ceiling of the first floor and the roof adds an old world charm to the home. The second floor holds two bedrooms; both share a bathroom, a long corridor lined with bookshelves and storage space, as well as equally enjoyable views, one of the traditional façade and the other of the green wall in the courtyard. The top floor houses the master bedroom and a separate bathroom visually connected to the bedroom via a long slab of limestone that serves as the top counter of the bathroom’s vanity and continues onward into the corridor, forming a functional desk area amidst a bookshelf-lined wall. The skylight in the master bathroom illuminates both the bathroom and the balcony on the second floor with natural daylight.
The shophouse’s rear comprises a kitchen, the service quarters as well as a 23 foot (7-meter) long swimming pool, with traditional glazed floor tiles and a replica spiral staircase at the back reminiscent of the shophouse’s early days. The façade’s restoration, with the reversion to a single point Pagar door, the reinstatement of the traditional, taller windows on the second floor, and the use of shiny enamel-finished dado tiles, completes the project that goes beyond the creation of a perfect, modern family home to a preservation of an invaluable cultural heritage. The shophouse had been in a bad state, having been stripped of its historical characteristics and renovated for office use. With much support from the client, the architects made a conscious effort to bring these traditional elements back while also reinstating the shophouse to residential use. Considering the scale of the restorative work required the final product is both a perfect home for the modern family as well as a fitting tribute to the shophouse’s history.
Photography by Aaron Pocock
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
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