Y/A/O Residence stands on a 1,300-square metre site in a sparse suburban area. The owners wanted a house that accommodates friends and relatives who will come to visit and stay over. As long as this function was considered, they would not limit the form expression and experimentation. The architect took this opportunity to design a house with their personal taste. The letter Y refers to the word why; the letter A means architects; and the letter O refers to the word oblique. The project name is the architects’ cryptic reference on the design that plays with oblique lines and angles.
The architecture has no contextual limitation because the house is located in a new residential area with little historical or cultural context. The house is divided into three buildings that surround a swimming pool—the main residence, the guest house and the garage. The overall living space takes up half of the site area. The guest house and the main residence, whose façade is made of framed glass, face west and northeast respectively so they are not subject to solar heat gain.
THE OBLIQUE ANGLES
The architects observed that the use of oblique angles was increasingly popular, but this was mostly applied on exterior decorative elements. They wanted to translate this architecture language into the configuration of the structure so that it shows in both exterior and interior. To achieve the desired angularity, the courtyard became a central feature of the house. The frames of the courtyard were made lower than the frames of the building so that the sloping roof allows the rain to flow into the courtyard like a waterfall. At the front, the walls were drawn diagonally, connecting each of the building’s corner with its adjacent courtyard’s corner, subtracting the mass at an oblique angle. This and the ceiling planes, which were made parallel to the sloping roof, create the oblique impression on the façade.
The angles appear not only on the façade, but also in many other parts of the buildings. As soon as visitors enter the garage, they can see the tilted angles of the walls that create a tapering look. The second floor of the main residential building was also designed in a similar approach.
THE OPEN PLAN
The main residence’s bedrooms and fitness room face north, overlooking the swimming pool and the main garden. The restroom, dressing room and shower are situated in the south to block the afternoon sun. Next to the swimming pool are the living room, dining room and the pantry, configured in an open plan, separated from the outdoor by an accordion door. Because the building faces the direction of the north winds, the breeze will flow in unobstructed and this should reduce the use of air-conditioning.
The second floor was designed with the courtyard as the central point, which is why it reflects the idea to the largest extent, with tapering walls and sloping ceiling. The dry bathroom facing the courtyard is also open, with a rolling door that can be drawn for more privacy.
THE MATERIAL TOUCH
Floors were covered with wood and artificial wood slats in most of the areas. Fibre cement was used as the main material for the walls. The exterior walls were covered with aluminium cladding, with a glossy surface to enhance the finished look. Some of the interior walls were made of wood pieces arranged vertically with unequal spacing. In other parts, the walls were made of plastered cement with a matte black finish.
Project Name: Y/A/O Residence
Location: Sukhaphiban5 Road, Soi70, Sup-District Ao Ngoen, District Sai Mai, Bangkok 10220, Thailand
Completion Date: 2019
Site Area: 1,300 square metres
Building Height: 2 storeys
Clients: Nongyao Nevilai; Somchai Nevila
Architecture Firm: Octane Architect & Design
Principal Architects: Kittichon Phukiatkong; Thawin Harnboonseth; Photsawat Apariman
Images: Rungkit Charoenwat