Project: Flat Scape House
Architects: EKAR Architects
Location: Bang Bai Mai, Thailand
Area: 1,872 sq ft
Photographs by: Chalermwat Wongchompoo
Flat Scape House by EKAR Architects
Located on a west-facing plot at the meander of the Tapi River in southern Thailand, the Flat Scape House doesn’t get a shortage of panoramic views of the 540 feet wide river.
It was designed by EKAR Architects for a client who had gotten tired of living in his own aluminium manufacturing factory in Surat Thani. The goal was to provide the client with a beautiful modern home on a spacious site, surrounded by nature. And they did that, very impressively so. The 1,900 square foot vacation home is surrounded by the ever so beautiful Palmyra palms just next to the longest river in southern Thailand.
The house was placed in a way to follow the flow of the river. The surrounding landscape was designed to be flat in order to create an extensive sensation of space.
Due to its west-facing, flat site at the meander of the Tapi River which gives the site an expansive panoramic view of 165-meter-wide of the river, the architects enhanced the uniqueness of the surroundings as well as designed this one-storey vacation house. For master planning, the Baan Nai Bang was placed parallel to the flow of the river. While, the landscape architecture was designed to be exceedingly flat to the horizontal line. Both were meant to create an extensive sensation of the space and consistency between the river, the land and the house, as well as to bring the atmosphere of the surroundings into the house.
Moreover, the landscape architecture was designed as layering, yet based on horizontal line, to divide different areas, started from the first layer of the land to the last layer – the river. Began with the living layer, the wooden layer, the stone layer, the artificial water layer, to natural water layer – the Tapi River. These different layers were defined by particular materials and plants, no vertical boundaries like walls or fences. Similarly, the house’s plan was an open-plan, which all services were located at the back of the house, to creating spacious interior for the front of the house and to increase the connection to the river.
However, the architects concerned about the local context. Since boats were main transportation for Thai people, especially those living along the rivers, it meant people could paddle a boat along the river and looked through the borderless house. Consequently, creating privacy to the house became one of the priorities.
Instead of placing a fence at the end of the land which would block the panoramic view, the architects designed huge sliding grilled panels, made from various sizes of leftover teak, which allowed the client to slide the panels when he needs privacy. Besides, these panels could block the strong sunlight from the west to penetrate the house.