Location: Chiang Mai Town, Chiang Mai
Owner: Navin Lawalchaikul
Architect 1: Plankrich Co., Ltd.
Architect 2: Sumeth Klaharn from Materior Studio
Photographer: Jinnawat Boriharnkijanan
For the first time we stepped into this greenery-surrounded place, it couldn’t help asking how the inside would be. That’s because if we carefully look into details of the house, we would notice architectural differences behind, ranging from the colors, the materials used, and the feelings of work. They are completely contrast. What we’re talking about right now is “StudioK.” A studio that produces contemporary workpieces of art in Chiang Mai owned by “Navin Lawalchaikul,” a Silpatorn-awarded artist who has created several famous paintings. Apart from being a studio, this place also serves as his residence and art gallery.
Initially, this place was just a plain L-shaped concrete building. The inside was designed to be a space in which Navin and his team can create their works, as well as being a residence and an art gallery. Designed by Plankrich, the work studio and art gallery are situated at the left of the building, while the residential area was designed by Sumeth Klaharn from Materior Studio. It was built additionally to the existing building, not long before the construction of the black building situated on the right that is meant to be another gallery to accommodate artworks.
(Additional residential area. The ground floor is an esplanade to facilitate outdoor work operations.)
“Working with Navin, it was not like working with a customer, it was actually like we were helping each other for the designs, because Navin had his own ideas to some extent,” Sumeth told us about when he started designing the residential space located in this naked concreate building. He prioritized preferences of the owner, which are “simplicity and easy on the eyes” by using light-colored plywood furniture. There are wide openings to allow natural light from outside. Boasting the ceiling, this area is totally different from the existing one, which features naked structure of the building.
The residence comes with a living room, a kitchen, and two bedrooms that are connected to Navin’s existing office for convenient use.
As the house owner is an artist, the walls are fitted with the paintings created by himself like in a gallery. You can find his work everywhere, behind the sofa, over the television, in the bedrooms, and in the kitchen. Most of his works are mainly about families, expressing love, fondness, and bonding everyone who lives in the house.
(Samples of the drawings found in the residential area.)
Although the exterior of naked concrete offers quite a heavy feeling in terms of a building, the inside space actually looks airy with the designs of openings in the living room that connect to the garden, both from the front and the back, allowing natural light into the inside and the ambience is embracing and warm with the surrounding greenery.
“I tried to go with less partitions and different materials on the lower floor to make all the space look smooth and not too heavy,” Sumeth told the reason why this new building chose to go with black metal sheets instead of naked concreate like the old one. Like a cellar, the lower floor comes with a workshop studio and parking lots. The second floor boasts the gallery exhibiting artworks of the StudioK.
The walls of the second floor are covered with metal sheets due to the new structural design that features steel. This fulfills the requirements of easiness because of its light weight, and the black color taking parts is different, but still aligns with the former existing building, well blended and seamlessly connected to the surrounding contexts.
The interior walls are all white, with the purpose to make it look like the background of artworks that helps each painting become more outstanding. There are openings on each side and skylight on the ceiling to allow natural sunlight to thoroughly shower the inside.
(Connecting space between the new and the existing building.)
Though the spaces within StudioK are different in terms of materials and building architecture, the architect has tried to match the overall appearance and make the perfect combination. To make the new building align with the existing one, first is to design the pattern of the windows, making it looks like those existing and connecting the patterns with the use of TOSTEM windows to meet the preferences of the house owner in terms of water-resistant and soundproofing qualities.
For the residential area, the window frames are black, while the gallery comes with gray frames to go along with the white walls inside to support the artworks exhibited.
At the front of the building, awning windows were installed to suit the functional needs as they could be opened to ventilate the air. With requirements to have an opening that is as wide as the wall, TOSTEM could help making a perfect design according to the style and size required with locking system that ensure the security.
This perfect combination of differences within this space is another way to present something new, incorporating differences to feature a well combination by considering the overall image and surrounding contexts. Every single space effectively offers useful functions and even more completely fulfill the needs of the living.
Sumeth Klaharn from Materior Studio
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