boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

‘BACK OF THE HOUSE’ by BOONSERM PREMTHADA

 

In the midst of the fabric in Chon Buri, Thailand, Boonserm Premthada has designed a new building to house his studio and family residence, replacing his two old wooden houses that had undergone multiple renovations. Located right next to a traditional Thai house, the three-story building is made of recycled fly ash cement bricks and concrete that are left exposed and feature a striking façade texture that mimics a reverse seam. The mortar protruding between the bricks represents the translation of flaws into art.

 

‘A house of imperfections, flaws and rawness, unembellished nature, exposure, surprise, and simple materials is a pure expression of humanity.’  shares Premthada, lead architect of Bangkok Project Studio, and recipient of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021|22 in the category ‘Social Impact’.A question of ‘What’s the reason for having a house?’ is the essence of this house.’ 

boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade
all images courtesy of Spaceshift Studio

 

 

turning the house inside out

 

The new house of Boonserm Premthada is quite long and runs parallel to the front street of the property, while the backyard is adjacent to the lush garden of the neighboring house. The residence consists of a bedroom and a dining room on the first floor, a bedroom on the second floor and a studio and a bedroom on the third floor. The second and third floors are connected with a balcony.

 

Visual disturbance and noise from the outside prompted the architects of Bangkok Project Studio (find more here) to design a building that is covered on the front and sides. The result is a peaceful interior and a surprising contrast between the outside and the inside when one enters the wide and uninterrupted space. Behind the house, gentle wind and sunshine blow, and shade is kindly provided by the neighbor’s large trees. This unexpected design concept, alongside the ‘reverse seam’ texture of the brick exterior, express the architects’ idea to turn the house inside out.

boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

 

 

cement bricks and mortar as furniture

 

For some time, Boonserm Premthada has been developing cement bricks by mixing fly ash from a coal-fired power plant with cement in various proportions. In this way, he has been able to produce bricks with different density, color, texture, weight and strength. This building, made of four-sided brick walls, is gray thanks to the natural color of these bricks, which reflect the rawness of the building material and blend the house with its metropolitan surroundings.

 

‘Gradually, I experimented with new shapes, materials and weights to make bricks that suit a limited construction space.’ the architect shares. When placed on top of the mortar, small, long bricks can spread out at a distance which provides more flexibility and stability than a wall made of concrete blocks. Usually, the protruding mortar is hidden at the back of a wall or at the back of a house, where the builders cannot get in, to make the structure presentable. ‘In this work, I uncovered the beauty that we have overlooked: Mortar plays a role no less important than bricks. Bricks have reached a point where they can become a piece of furniture, like a wardrobe that does not need to have doors.’

This exposure makes it easier to use, maintain and keep neat the items inside. This is the advantage of using only a few materials like recycled bricks and concrete.

boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

 

 

‘For me, art is all about the handmade.’ mentions Boonserm Premthada. ‘The charm of the handmade is its uncertainty’. As the lead architect describes, bricks with uneven texture and color, when built as a wall for an entire house, can bring the structure to life. Errors, imperfections, rawness are no longer limited to artistic elements but have taken on a new role in architecture as practical elements. ‘This house is not at all a symbol of success in life, but a reminder of where we come from’.

 

Premthada and his family sleep on the floor with only a mattress and a few necessary pieces of furniture that can be moved when more space is needed for other activities. The central large window allows sunlight and wind to enter the rooms to minimize electricity consumption. Most importantly, the house brings back memories of the working-class home he lived in as a child, and reminds him that too much comfort can reduce motivation and the ability to maintain the quality of his work. ‘In my opinion, my home should be a place that inspires me to create my next works with ever greater depth and sharpness.’ he notes. 

boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

boonserm-premthada-recycled-brick-concrete-residence-bangkok-reverse-seam-facade-designboom-full-02
boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade
boonserm-premthada-recycled-brick-concrete-residence-bangkok-reverse-seam-facade-designboom-full-01

boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

boonserm-premthada-recycled-brick-concrete-residence-bangkok-reverse-seam-facade-designboom-full-03
 boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

  boonserm premthada's recycled brick residence in thailand features 'reverse seam' façade

 

 

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project info: 

 

name: Back of the House
architect: Boomserm Premthada
project team: Bangkok Project Studio
location: Chon Buri, Thailand

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