Architects: Openbox Architects
Area : 1000 m²
Year : 2017
Photographs :Wison Tungthunya
Manufacturers : Boonthavorn, Hafele, LifeStyle Furniture, Porcelanosa Grupo
Lighting Designer : FOS lighting studio
Openbox Architects were founded in 2004, and ‘Marble House’ was constructed in Bangkok under the lead of architect Ratiwat Suwannatrai. Following the studio’s architectural ethos, the team have created a sculptural marble facade that respects and complements the landscape. The white marble piece appears elevated above the black first floor facade, in a manner that welcomes and protects the courtyard beneath it, presenting innovative possibilities for the solid, substantial material. ‘Marble House’ follows an overall cubic form over two storeys and a basement area. The contrast of linear and nonlinear line detailing sits harmoniously with the rectangular land plot, maintaining natural features including a large, untouched rain tree. Further relationships between the architecture and landscape are founded through the inclusion of a balcony, skylight windows and a reflection of the surroundings in the surface of the swimming pool that wraps around the pavilion. Intricate patterns are visible in the exterior marble surface and mixed wood grains characterise the interior styling, with Openbox Architects presenting ‘Marble House’ as an intricate integration of manmade and natural forms.
The initial idea is to allow habitant’s behavior to carve a dwelling space into a monolithic piece of marble sculpture. The main piece appears so solid, yet so light it floats to defy the gravity, while external landscape space flows underneath through the center courtyard. Residual marble pieces fell onto the ground to become part of the landscape features, isolated, yet visually related so boldly, as they use to be part of the marble boulder.
The excavation of unique shape, form and space is created by shifting the building inear and non-linear planes. The Marble House is placed on one end of a rectangular land plot with a large, magnificent Rain tree on the opposite end. The visual impression of the Rain tree is enhanced by a modern architecture style pavilion. A contrast of the simplest structure and a fully grown, natural-formed Rain tree, over a reflective swimming pool surface create a memorable, signature scene for the house.
Marble finishes is, in fact, a large scale, light-weight, wall tiles with marble pattern print. As an external finishes applied over a layer of internal brick wall, it also acts as weather cladding, shielding the house from direct Sunlight, and external heat of Bangkok summer, and therefore help to cool down the interior during the day.
Relationship between architecture and landscape is subtly displayed everywhere. The overall square shaped form surrounds an open courtyard in the center, allowing natural light and ventilation to reach all remotest corners. Bamboo in the center courtyard moves and sways to create the presence of the wind.
The concept “private balconies” are very useful for an urban residence, surrounded by neighbors. Pockets of enclosed open terraces create privacy, but still welcome natural light and ventilation. The void above such area becomes a great feature, as the terms given by the architect, “the private sky”.
Some windows have to be placed on the neighboring side. The concept of tilting of windows towards more open corner of surroundings also contributes to the form of the house. After all, it all started by having the habitants behavior and view preference to naturally form this piece of sculpture. The play of materials, space and forms flows seamlessly inside-out, and outside-in making strong connections between architecture, landscape and interior.
Structured into two levels, the imposing building is constructed with a robust stone base on which a large volume rests as if it were a light sculpture that defies gravity.
This large monolithic piece, designed with the essence of white flamed marble, intertwines with the materials of the various indoor spaces to enhance the expressiveness of the whole; stones, wood, metal beams, and black profiles result in connections where the setting provided by the double-heights gains great prominence.
Two heights where the priority was to organize the living area connected with a large window to the garden on the ground floor, and private rooms on the top floor with balconies and windows that maintain the privacy of the residents thanks to the various angular volumes that, in turn, take advantage of the natural light.
With a solid and yet light look, one of the project’s main points of interest is the use of URBATEK – PORCELANOSA Grupo’s XLIGHT thin porcelain tiles as the material that organizes the covering of the whole.
It is a material that has allowed for the continuity of the facade in angled volumes that connect with the interior, adapting at all times to the shape’s needs in order to create an eco-efficient project that stands out due to its uniqueness and singularity.
El discurso del proyecto residencial “Marble House” realizado por “Openbox Architects” integra interiores y exteriores como un todo indivisible para entrelazar la arquitectura con el paisaje a partir de un gran cubo con la esencia del mármol.
After Nui graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, he started as a Full-time instructor for the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering at Naresuan University for 2 years.
Then he left the World of education to the World of professional practice, starting with the Master of Post Modernism, Mr. William Lim and mr. Mou Wei Wei of William Lim Associates PTE in Singapore, (later known as W Architect PTE).
After working intensely in Singapore for 3 years, Nui founded Openbox Architects in 2004. With 20 years of experience in Architecture Design Nui’s works with Openbox Architects’s were honored with awards and publications locally and internationally. Aside from his Practice, Nui guest lectures in many Universities,inspiring the next generation in the field of Architecture with passions through projects and works.
OPENBOX Architects (OPNBX) has been founded in 2004 by NUI Ratiwat Suwannatrai and PRANG Wannaporn Suwanntrai, architect and landscape architect. The design studio has been formed, based on the core belief that architecture and landscape should be designed and perceived as one. For the past 16 years, OPENBOX has been involved in numerous projects of various types, that illustrate the importance of unified concept, boldness and harmony between architectures and their surroundings.
He is one of a few Architect in Thailand who has acquired Asean Architect’s License. Only a few Certified and Experienced Architects in Asean country would receive the License.
OPENBOX Studio has currently expanded our service scope to cover architecture, landscape and interior to emphasize the power of unified design concept. Boundaries between each aspect blur into one another, allowing us to create unique Identity Design for our recent projects.
Vision beyond Legacy
Luxury in Simplicity
Identity and Nature Within
Awards : 2018 : German Design Award Winner, Germany
Category :Excellent Communication Design – Architecture
Project : Marble House, Bangkok, Thailand
the new project has a ‘private balcony’ concept, which is very useful for urban residences surrounded by neighbors. pockets of enclosed open terraces create privacy, but still welcome natural light and passive ventilation. the void above these areas become a great feature, providing a ‘private sky’ for the clients, a term attributed by the bangkok-based practice, openbox architects. the concept of tilting the windows towards a more open corner of the surroundings also contributes to the form of the house.
‘a marriage of architecture and landscape’ is subtly displayed everywhere, starting by taking into account the owner’s desire to naturally form this piece of sculpture. the use of materials, forms, and space flow seamlessly inside-out and outside-in, making strong connections between architecture, landscape, and the interior. the overall square shaped form surrounds an open courtyard in the center, where bamboo moves and sways creating the presence of the wind, allowing natural light and ventilation to reach all corners of the ‘marble house’.
the materials and finishes applied help protect the residence from direct sunlight and the external heat of bangkok. the marble finishes are, in fact, large scale and light-weight wall tiles with a marble pattern print. as an external finished material over a layer of internal brick wall, it also acts as a weather cladding, helping to cool down the interior during the day.
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