‘Integrated Courtyards House’ is a home of a landscape architect, his wife and their young son. Because the owner is a landscape architect, his brief to the architect was that he needed ‘a house with a series of courtyards.
The architecture was created within basic design principles to deal with Thailand’s extreme climate. Series of white walls were proposed in the East+West axis. The solid walls create blockage to the strong afternoon sunlight from the South. Rooms are integrated between those walls. With full glass windows, every room has 2 garden views towards the East and the West.
The garden was designed not only to echo the architecture language, but also to compliment the local climate. Overall, the courtyards create a variety of connections between the house and the garden. Together, the house and the garden create pleasant micro climates for the residents and their guests.
Cultivation and construction indicate different attitudes towards terrain. More specifically the first often refer to landscape design while the second to architecture. Yet the difference is not always prominent. Sometimes a project demonstrates a close relationship rather than distinction between the two. Courtyards house sets its goal at such integral relationship. It is the rethink again about the similarities between topographical cultivation and construction.
Nested in a quiet residential neighborhood of Bangkok, the landscape of Courtyards house offers a sensitive solution for an urban home. Being a home for a young couple and their son, an important requirement predicated the design of its landscape. It should be able to grow along with the gradual transformation of lives that occupy it. These questions are translated into subtle but creative design solutions, for the designer simply considered such requirements as opportunities rather than problems. The two-storied house occupies the site while leaving enough open space for calming pool, large trees and inviting lawn to be planted. The relationship between the house and the landscape becomes crucial. By dividing the house into two closely interconnected volumes, it leaves rooms for the natural environment the family much wanted. The landscape becomes at once a protective buffer and a lively setting for lives inside the house.
Closely linked to the atmospheres of its interior, each and every interior space is visually connected to different types of view outside. This means that factors given in the location, quantities of sunlight and views are taken into account and translated into differing sections of its surrounding landscape. With such relationship with the different “rooms” within the house, the landscape becomes and place for activities and experiences, responding to the inhabitants’ actions and events that might occur from within rather than trying to express any stylistic or geometric characters from without.
To the owners, the landscape is cultivated and constructed “for them.” Activities could flow from one space onto the next with the sense of ease. Thus it is not difficult to imagine differing spaces within the landscape grown and transformed, merging and emerging as needs arise. Rather than a complete entity composed by the designer, the house’s landscape seems like a terrain waiting to be filled by the owners’ actions.
Working closely with its architecture, Courtyards house landscape suggests that each site is unique. Design sensitively engages the particularities of the place and not satisfy itself with the invention and variation of abstractions. Everything is tangible, provide a real platform for daily activities that may occur within. Yet this sense of realness is not without imaginative variety. It is a kind of variety that is at once familiar and inspiring. It is close to our prosaic activities yet offer an escape into a set of selective dreams.
Considering as a unified whole, the house and its landscape can be seen as an ensemble of flexible instruments that allows both the internal and external factors to come into play. It is understood from lived experience that always fluctuates. Seeing it this way will allow us to understand and imagine the real subject matter of the its articulation. This is where a cultivation of landscape and a construction of a building truly become one.
Project category: Private garden
Role of the entrant in the project: Leading Landscape Architect – T.R.O.P: terrains + open space
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Design Director: Pok Kobkongsanti
Project Design team: Pinmanee Lamor, Stang Lertsopaporn
Project location: Bangkok, Thailand
Design year: 2016
Year Built: 2017