LOOKING IN BUT ALSO OUT – THE COMBINATION OF A RIGID, SYSTEMATIC INTERNAL LAYOUT WITH A MORE FRAGILE AND FLEXIBLE EXTERNAL SURFACE ENABLES US TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF SPACE ITSELF…
Residence T, designed by Boon Design, is a private residence located in Lad Phrao, Bangkok. The shape of the building itself is rectangular, covering the entire depth of the land and entertaining an open space concept that works in tandem with the structure of the metal house.
The characteristics of the structure and window openings allow for the profile of the building to realize a continuous surface; the outermost of which, with its adjacent window openings, functions as an important component contributing to the overall shape and appearance of the design. These surfaces used to cause the external walls of the house to have an airy quality about them, empty and transparent and differing from areas that used bricks where a denser surface was required. The architects’ design additionally incorporates bamboo blinds that, hung from a floor above the window openings, can be controlled by the residents, closing or opening and providing means to connect or not connect with the external world. Framing the surrounding nature, the blinds can further be adjusted to change with the direction of the sun’s rays or wind currents depending on the time of day.
On some days, the entire length of these bamboo blinds are let down – the characteristics of the color and the closeness of the knitting of the bamboo strips appearing as if one connecting surface when looking from the outside, and creating an illusion of heaviness through their deep color and rough texture that, in reality, isn’t really even there, but nonetheless becomes one with the structure, like a rock and its surface that cannot be viewed separately from one another. At night, when the activity lights are switched on, they unveil the airiness and openness that has been created through assembly of the various materials, acting as an element that envelops the external structure in a manner similar to clothes that wrap or cover a body while at the same time reflecting the true character of the person wearing them as well.
The most interesting thing about this architectural work therefore comes not only from looking in but also out – at the combination of the workings of the rigid, systematic internal layout with the more fragile and flexible external surfaces that create a continuous surface area with the open space and the architectural structure itself. And, if we use our imagination to remove these external flexible surfaces away and view this house once again, the change that occurs may enable us to better understand the meaning of space and the relationship it holds with all those small components that we originally neglected to consider as a part of the architectural structure itself.
TEXT: ADISORN SRISAOWANUNT