set amid a lush forested area of northern thailand, TOUCH architect has built a private home to be completely self-sustainable. positioned approximately 1,200 meters above sea level, the rural location of ‘tree sukkasem villa’ has no electricity supply or running water. the project was therefore designed around the concept of creating a ‘green’ and self-reliant building.
all images © chalermwat wongchompoo
the one-story villa is organized by the architect around a clear design and simple functions. elevated above ground, residents enter via a set of wide concrete steps, passing through the surrounding greenery on their way. through the entrance foyer, they arrive into an open plan kitchen, dining and living area.
from the living space, large glazed panels extend the interior out onto a covered timber deck, which essentially provides more usable space while blurring the line between architecture and nature. three bedrooms are located at the other side of the floor plan, in addition to a separate unit that contains a shower room and a bathroom.
the structure of the villa is designed to consider the tropical environment and to afford a simple construction. a double-skin wall and concrete roof with wooden trellis help reduce heat gains, while a cantilevered roof provides adequate shelter during the rainy season. the windows allow natural ventilation with no need for air-conditioning. additionally, the reinforced concrete roof integrates a mini reservoir in order to collect rain water.
the house was also built using local materials, integrating the vernacular with a contemporary style, such as the wood and bamboo which can easily be found in the area. moreover, a diesel generator and solar panels were installed to produce electricity, while collected rain and water from the mountain is used to supply the villa with water.
project name: tree sukkasem villa
type: private residence
location: petchabun, thailand
architect: TOUCH architect
site area: 4843.76 ft2 (450 m2)
built area: 861,112.83 ft2 (80,000 m2)
status: built (2013)
photography: chalermwat wongchompoo