A Tale of Earth and Wood

Chiangmai Life Architects as Architects

The client was looking for a modern interpretation of using natural materials. Adobe brick walls combined with wooden roof structures were designed in a way to make this earth and wood residence both functional as a modern family home as well as in harmony with its environment and surroundings. This meant a design and finish fit for the needs and requirements of a 21st century family.

The property is uniquely situated between Lamyai tree orchards and rice fields with a view of the mountains of northern Thailand. The residence has a private wing comprising 4 bedrooms - 3 for the children and the master bedroom with a view of the adjacent rice fields. In the central position are the common rooms - the living room, dining space, kitchen, a swimming pool and an entertainment space with a pool table and table tennis. A second-floor mezzanine gallery provides a grand view of the surrounding landscape and is designated as home office and reading space. On the other side of the common area is a free-standing guest cottage with its own sunset veranda.

All bedrooms are air-conditioned whilst the living areas rely on natural ventilation and the natural materials’ inherent thermal insulation capabilities for cooling. The roof structure is designed according to traditional Thai architecture with ventilation openings under the top part to induce air circulation as the hot air rises up.

All wood elements are exposed and kept as natural as possible to show off the structural and decorative features of the design. The wood was sealed and treated with clear wood oil to bring out the characteristics and imperfections in the timber as a celebration of nature’s own design.

The walls were built with adobe bricks self-made from local clay, sand and bamboo shavings. Texture, small irregularities and round corners give clues to the underlying material, but the finishing is so smooth that it is difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish the earthen walls from conventional walls. Lime is mixed with fine earth powder to achieve a strong and water-resistant outer coating.

The floors all around the house are made from natural stone tiles rounding up the use of natural materials that provide great cooling and are comfortable to touch.

To keep the carbon footprint even lower and add a local touch, the car port, barn and entrance gate were made of bamboo.

Project Credits
Project management, Construction
Product Spec Sheet

Wooden roof structure, doors, windows, furnitureThaweephan Wood Products
wooden roof shinglesHomebuilders
Product Spec Sheet
Wooden roof structure, doors, windows, furniture
by Anmar
wooden roof shingles
Nashville Public Library
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Nashville Public Library

225 Polk Avenue, Nashville, TN, USA - Build completed in 2020
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