December 9, 2022

Blog @ Munaf Sheikh

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This home and studio in Thailand is energy efficient


Every piece of architecture has its own goal. Inasmuch, the design plan speaks to the look and function of the space. In the case of the Khiankhai Home and Studio in Chiangmai, Thailand it also highlights traditional construction techniques.

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Built as a home and studio for composing music, this residential project by architect Sher Maker is a two-story home situated into a hillside for minimal site impact and material efficiency. The home is positioned with the length of the house facing a rural village road in the front and meeting up to existing trees and rice fields in the back. Terraces link the home together in an open-air design that provides passive cooling and a connection to the outside world. 

Related: Reclaimed timber makes up this tranquil nature retreat in Vietnam

The outside of the home and studio has white walls and plenty of windows

Additionally, a concrete wall secures the home to the hillside and creates a daylight basement by design. While the structure houses the typical bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, dining, living and working spaces, each room is separate, yet connected through a web of wood terraces. 

A wood living room that opens up into the scenery outside

The use of wood throughout the house serves multiple purposes. The first is to create a visual connection between the home and surrounding trees, including a distinctive White Meranti tree at the center of the house. 

A dining area that is opened with wooden panels

The wood element was also chosen because it resonates with the owner as a source of contact with nature. The wood used for the project was locally sourced — found, treated and recycled in the local area. Beyond the terraces, wood was incorporated into elements throughout the house to create a feeling of home. 

White accents covering wooden frames

Architects also relied on another natural material that is traditional and easily found in northern Thailand: Lanna tile. Choosing to rely on simple construction methods helped the project be completed at the local level with minimal supply chain impact. 

A music studio with a laptop sitting on a stand and a score of music

“In some parts of the process, the [builders] also had the power to make decisions together with the owner. That is why we can say that the home and people grow together,” according to a press release by the architects.

+ Sher Maker

Photography by Rungkit Charoenwat



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