Slim House Project
S/H/P_01 is part of INchan atelier visionary project based on our interest in critical socioeconomic issues taking place broadly in Thailand.
This year, the issue we take is a problem of a great number of expiring row building units, commonly found along any city street. Those building units are “row houses”, “town houses”, or “town homes. Many of them, built during the economic boom in the 80’s, are over 40 years old. They cannot structurally function well enough and do not look appealing to the street view either. However, the asset price keeps on rising high due to the land cost. To renovate an old building like this is quite expensive if compared to the cost of making a new building. So, we are eager to find ways to come up with a good design solution in order to solve this issue by introducing a very slim building structure which provides smart planning and potentially fits into a piece of the thin land slot.
In details, we imagine that an old town house in an expensive city zone has been properly demolished. So a 5x20 meter piece of land (~22 sq.wa) is then given. The street front is the only access available, and the other three sides are enclosed by existing structures. We then have to offer a house design solution for a small family with a metropolitan lifestyle.
For the design part, we are determined that the design must allow the natural light and the natural cross ventilation to be able to penetrate into the interior of the building. As a result of the section, we offer an overlapping vertical shaft cutting from the front through the middle of the building. So that we can bring in two big trees to take part in the house atmosphere. Then in details, we translate such a schematic idea from sections to plans from level to level as follows:
For the first level at -0.80 meter, we suggest using a depressed floor below ground for the space of service functions; for example a garage area, a laundry area, a house storage. Then we stack up to three floors above ground. For the second level at +2.00 meter, common space is laid out sequentially from front to back; a chilling-out seating area with a big library and a dining plus kitchen area. For the third level at +5.00 meter, a live-and-work space is provided in a linear sequence from back to front; that is a studio surrounded by libraries and then a bedroom area for 2 kids with a big closet area. For the fourth level at +8.00 meter, it is nicely suitable for a full private space consisting of a king-size bedroom area including a private audio bar together with a big wardrobe and a compact bathroom including a bathtub. For the fifth level (the rooftop) at +11.00 meter, it is a refreshment space for the house; like a family garden with a yoga deck.
For the construction part, beginning from the substructure, we suggest combining the sanitary systems with the foundation systems. Then the superstructure (structures above ground), the major vertical structural elements are the parallel reinforced concrete walls running from front to back. Then horizontally the prefabricated steel floor structures are laid out, leaving some void here and there to create light & ventilation shafts for the house. Lastly, for the vertical circulation, a compact lift and a prefabricated steel staircase are installed at the rear area.
Obviously, the S/H/P_01 design does not follow all of the current building codes. That is because we intend to criticize some obsolete codes and question them if they can possibly be revised to match with new building technologies in order to suit the socio-economic realities, such as the opening codes, the fire stairs or the fire escape, every dimension codes, etc.
We do hope to take this design-forward to meet reality in the near future. That means we tend to look for visionary partners and interesting collaborators to help us fine-tune the S/H/P_01 design for better technical solutions.
Project: Slim House Project
Type: Competition Project
Architect: INchan atelier
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Area: 300 sq.m.
Principal architect: Intanon Chantip