A three-story building is transformed into a flexible residence that can serve as a single home or a duplex.
When Sirichai Baimongkol approached Pantang Studio with a housing project in Bangkok, he enticed the Chiang Mai–based practice with an atypical renovation brief. Sirichai challenged the firm to transform a three-story residence in the Thai capital’s Ekamai neighborhood into a flexible home that could be used as a single house or as a duplex with two independent rental units.
"His idea for this house made it much more interesting than a simple renovation," say the architects, who had worked on renovation projects before, but relished the opportunity to flex their creative muscles. "The question then was ‘how to fit two houses in one?’ In order to solve this problem, we analyzed the plans of the existing building and defined the stairwell as the central element of our new project."
The 2 in 1 House is centered around an existing central stairwell that divides the building into two housing units—a two-bedroom, one-bath ground floor unit and a three-bedroom, two-bath upper floor unit. The stairwell also provides much-needed daylighting and natural ventilation.
To bring light deep into the tall and narrow building, the architects replaced wall sections around the stairwell with perforated concrete blocks and glass walls with wooden screens for privacy.
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Pantang Studio selected white for the home’s primary color to brighten the interior and meet the client’s desire for a modern and minimalist aesthetic. Natural materials, such as timber and stone, lend a sense of warmth to the simple decor, while an abundance of tropical greenery adds vibrant color both indoors and out.
"Our favorite part of the project is the staircase, as it really represent the home’s concept," note the architects. "Through the stairwell, we can read the design principle that gives its identity to the whole project."
"Natural and rough materials, such as tropical wood steps and screens, concrete blocks, and stone surfaces are emphasized by the predominance of white surfaces and minimal lines," states Pantang Studio.