Trop V House

The striking feature of the Trop V House is the double-skin roof that employs steel louvers to create a shaded, ventilated space above a lower tiled roof. Th e house has a number of features that are reminiscent of the architect’s own residence, Baan Tawanork that I featured in The New Thai House in 2003. The orthogonal form employs smooth, circular concrete columns that contrast with the traditional pitched Thai roof with wide projecting eaves over the living room. The spacious three-bedroom house, completed in 2009, is the home of landscape architect turned developer Surachai Utaobin and his wife Wannaputt.

Trop V The Modern Tropical Thai House

The designer of the house is Pirast Pacharaswate, an assistant professor in the School of Architecture at Chulalongkorn University. Pirast is inspired by traditional residential architecture recalled from his childhood, which he successfully synthesizes with modern forms and materials.

Trop V House

The plan of Trop V House takes the form of a linear open-plan progression of spaces stretching along the eastern boundary of a long, narrow site, with the principal rooms facing west. Entering via a vehicular forecourt at the northern end, a route can be traced past the living room and through the dining area that opens to a timber terrace and thereafter, via the family area, to an open court and a shaded lanai beneath the master bedroom. At the southern extremity of the house is a guestroom, which has direct access to the garden. Th e living room evokes memories of a traditional Thai house, with a high, 40-degree pitched soffit that is lined with timber. In sharp contrast, the structure of the roof has exposed steel ‘I’ beams.

Trop V House 1

The family room is a double-height space from which a broad timber staircase ascends to a bridge with a glass balustrade overlooking the room that has a large plasma screen TV. Th e bridge links the three bedrooms at the upper level and this is the heart of the plan. Yet, the coolest area of the house is the lanai beneath the master bedroom. It is a pleasant, breezy, external sitting space, with a view to the south over the extensive garden designed by the owner of the house. At 08.00, the lanai catches the soft morning sunlight, and again in the late afternoon the setting sun, but at midday when the heat is most intense this area is in deep shade.

Trop V House 2

As with his own house, the architect, who explores ideas in numerous sketches before producing CAD drawings, exhibits immense skill in fashioning the sequence of spaces and in determining the way in which light enters the house. The muted palette of materials includes white-painted plaster, concrete, dark timber and black aluminum window frames.

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