Architecture Masterprize honors AUN Design Studio for their exceptional work in Bangkok residential project.
AUN Design Studio was tasked with building a new residence in a nondescript neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand, for a client who was returning home to the Asian metropolis after having spent much of his adult life elsewhere. The new residence, intended for both the client and his elderly mother, would be constructed on the same narrow strip of land formerly occupied by their family home.
Completed last year, the design of Reflection House is as practical as it is poetic, combining the lives of two generations in the here and now while connecting with memories of a shared past. The mother lives on the ground floor while her son takes up the second story of the structure, in a design that respects their privacy but also remains open to social contexts both within the home and in the surrounding neighborhood.
The project was named “Best of the Best” in the Houses Interior category at the 2022 Architecture Masterprize gala held at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, in November. Considered one of the most prestigious design awards in the world, the Architecture Masterprize annually recognizes global excellence in architecture, interior design, and landscape design.
Much has been written about Reflection House over the past couple of months, with AUN Design Studio also supplying some of their own insights on Instagram as well as discussing the project with others, such as writer Jerry Elengical for an article in Stir World. Asked by Elengical to specify some design highlights, AUN identified five areas of focus they thought were of particular interest:
1. Positioning the structure in the middle of the area to create open space
2. Separating two lives on two levels
3. Design of the perforated steel origami staircase
4. Overall interior style
5. Small project was budget-conscious without sacrificing innovative design.
Location: Latphrao-Wanghin, Bangkok, Thailand
Customer: Faosup family
Completion Year: 2022
Gross Built Area (m²): 182 sq.m
Creative Concept: AUN Design Studio
Architectural Design: AUN Design Studio
Interior Design: AUN Design Studio
Landscape Architect: AUN Design Studio
Lighting Design: Assoc. Phanchalath Suriyothin, Verapong Eawpanich and AUN Design Studio
Structural Engineer: Sitichoke Sirivivat
Mechanical Engineer: Ronnachai Sirithanarattanakul
Electrical Engineer: Ekkasit Ruksakulkiatti
Photo Credits: Wison Tungthunya & W Workspace
Press Distribution: v2com
More insight on Reflection House from AUN Design Studio:
“Visualizing a boy playing with his friends in the neighborhood. They run into this house and walk in and out of those houses. Picturing adults leaning against the fence chatting and watching their children run and play.
These fond memories ‘reflect’ the homeowner’s childhood living experience and the relationship with his mother.
After decades of being apart, growing up, living, studying, and working abroad alone, the owner wanted to come back to a home that facilitates his elderly mother and himself, different ages living together in harmony. A home that suits two people and coexists for their ages and needs.
The house is built on the original ground of the existing house. While the location is closely surrounded by adjacent houses, the design intentionally reflects the memories they both had created over the years within the neighborhood, with connections both inside and outside the house.
The designer decided to separate the entrance layout due to the different activities and lifestyles of the owners, and chose to lay the house in the middle to create an open space. There is a garden on both sides that receives natural light and wind.
The space is curated by separating two lives into two levels. The ground floor primarily serves as the mother’s own living compound, including a common area, a kitchen, and a dining room. The upstairs is planned as a private space for the son.
The overall design, with selected materials and colors, makes it a simple house. The designer chose to retain the bare concrete surface of the building without painting it, and opted for a dark gray color for the door frames.
To complete the form of the house, the roof of the carport and the fence at the front of the house were shaped, forming a continuation that harmonizes without alienating the surroundings.
Additionally, steel laths chosen for the fence help make the area airy and add a stark contrast to the solid body of the house. When open, the dining room doors on both sides of the adjacent gardens invite in natural light and gentle breezes, creating an ideal atmosphere for relaxing, resting, and socializing.
The staircase leading to the second floor was positioned in the center of the house as a sculpture. Inspired by “origami”, the Japanese art of transforming a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, the functional staircase also addresses the owner’s love of art within the limited spaces of the Reflection House.
Well-curated, perforated steel renders the staircase semi-transparent, with each thin sheet of steel geometrically folded to reinforce its strength. The staircase thus becomes self-structured, without the need for any additional support.
All of the perforated steel sheets are suspended from the second floor, floating above the first three concrete steps, each designed in different forms and materials as if transforming from the ground up. The treads of the three concrete steps are covered with perforated steel to prevent slipping.
The second floor serves as the owner’s compound, designed for a young man who loves entertaining his childhood friends. The private space was thus designed to facilitate socializing (with food and beverage service), including the tradition of watching football on holidays without disturbing the mother.
A living room is set adjacent to the bar, with a small balcony to extending it into a larger space for entertaining. A full guest bathroom with shower is concealed behind the bar, helping to maintain the privacy of the area when a guest stays over.
The bedroom is located on the opposite side of the working room, positioned to offer a variety of external views, while maintaining connections through the dressing room and bathroom. Above the dressing room and bathroom, a relaxation area for yoga or meditation completes the layout.
The interior style focuses on a few pieces of furniture, not only for flexibility, but also to accommodate the owner’s need to control the construction budget.
The designer ensured the continuity of the architecture and interiors by exposing surfaces, walls, and ceilings, with bare mortar and only white painted walls applied up to the height range of the occupants to create a sense of visual comfort.
To add an interesting dimension, the owners can hang decorations from the homeowner’s personal collection: paintings, chairs, lamps, hooks, clocks, works of art, etc. These items can be adjusted and moved, increasing and decreasing in presence at any time.”
About AUN Design Studio
AUN Design Studio is a design company focused on the identity and context of each project, while simultaneously infusing the identity of the designer into the work.
AUN Design Studio believes that each work tells a complex story, and that the designer is a storyteller through analytical thinking and design processes.
No formula, just strong methodology.
AUN Design Studio has never established boundaries around a particular form of work. The firm prefers to engage in diversity, with variations in program, function, site locations, types, and sizes.