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.
Casa S (2010) by João Cassiano located in Aldeia Nova de São Bento, Portugal | The Hardt
Casa S (2010) by João Cassian located in Aldeia Nova de São Bento, Portugal. The surrounding atmosphere is not the gentle countryside, but the bush, dense of rockroses and sparse cork trees. The white house on top of the hill is an opposition to such harsh atmosphere, on a dominating attitude, just like the traditional archetypal “monte alentejano”. The living room exposes North and South glass transparency hidden in the shadow, sheltered East and West by two volumes, opaque white buttresses that enclose the kitchen to the sunrise and rooms to the sunset. To synthetically define the action on this territory, and the concept of the project, we would speak of the “void” between the two massive wings (East, West), the living room on central axis, a comfortable square space with two opposed fireplaces, where the landscape comes in, framed by the white walls.
The room’s wing is the dominating prism opposed to the aridity of the ground and the vastness of the landscape. On the first floor, only one room, the absolute refuge inside the shelter is the bedroom with a view over Spanish hills. The H shape plan reflects day and night uses, with the square living as “go-between”. The whole composition is based on the dialectics of pairs; two buttressed wings, two chimneys, two patios (North and South), two windows. The volume of white massive expression is hardened by the window openings, used recessed or outwards projected off, to guarantee throughout the day, evolving black shadows on white surfaces, the metaphor of the Mediterranean.
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
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.
Located in Karuizawa, Japan Yokouchi Residence (2016) by Kidosaki Architects Studio| The Hardt
Located in Karuizawa, Japan Yokouchi Residence (2016) by Kidosaki Architects Studio The site surrounded by the leafy woods close to the golf course in Minamigaoka Karuizawa, was planned to have its building lower than treetops of the woods to coexist with neighboring buildings. The owner lives a busy life as a doctor, and he requested for a quiet environment where he could get away from daily life for a moment and feel refreshed in nature. His wife also wanted a relaxing house from a visual point of view as well, where a large living space is unified with the green of the woods.
The owner lives a busy life as a doctor, and he requested for a quiet environment where he could get away from daily life for a moment and feel refreshed in nature. His wife also wanted a relaxing house from a visual point of view as well, where a large living space is unified with the green of the woods. The delicate details we continuously pursue provide dignity to buildings. This is a building where harmony with the woods green was realized without the feeling of incongruity.
Situated in Tepoztlán, Mexico, Mozoquila House by Vieyra Architects | The Hardt
Situated in Tepoztlán, Mexico, Mozoquila House by Vieyra Architects. The project consists of a single-family house of two different volumes connected by a bridge, located at the foot of Cerro del Tepozteco. The endemic vegetation recovered from the land integrates the construction to its surroundings, additionally, local materials were used for the execution and finishing of the house as the stone that seems to have been born naturally from its surroundings. The existence of two volumes built in this house responds to the architectural program. The volume built in stone is where the public areas are: living room, laundry, patio and a half bathroom. It is physically separated from the other adobe volume, where there are three full bedrooms with bathroom and dressing room. Unifying this set is the bridge-terrace that unites them with a visual and geometric relationship to a pool of the same material. This material and its placement at 50cm above ground level make this platform something intentional and exceptional, embracing the volumes that “belong” to the earth.
Located in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, México, Teotitlán del Valle Community Cultural Center by PRODUCTORA | The Hardt
Located in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, México, Teotitlán del Valle Community Cultural Center by PRODUCTORA. This Community Cultural Center exhibits the archeological and textile wealth of Teotitlán del Valle, a village in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The principal volume, facing the village square, houses the Museum which will host the collections and activities of the present Teotitlán Museum of History. In formal terms, the project is governed by the aesthetics of the immediate context, which determine the height, color, and materials used. The secondary volume contains the Municipal Library and a service zone. The area occupied by both buildings on the site represents just 18% of the whole surface area, leaving a large public space of plaza and gardens. This helps to improve the pedestrian routes passing across the site and connecting with the main square, inserting the new public spaces created by the Cultural Center into the circuit of existing plazas that define the urban structure of the village.
The architectural volumes present austere, neutral façades. The form and material character of the building, including double-slab sloping roofs, 30 cm-thick concrete walls, and controlled openings, create a passive system that responds to the adverse climatic conditions. This basic strategy helps to regulate the temperature inside the building and provides users with a comfortable space to read a book, work or visit the museum, and at the same time eliminates the need to install air conditioning systems. The interiors present a diverse range of lighting conditions and spatial qualities (double and triple-height spaces), generating different atmospheres for exhibitions and activities. The Cultural Center uses a minimal palette of locally made materials (pigmented concrete, timber, clay tiles and bricks) in order to blend into its context.
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