Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Via 31 in Bangkok, Thailand by Somdoon Architects Ltd
September 15th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Somdoon Architects Ltd
Via 31 is a housing project that takes place in Sukhumvit, the most prime residential area of Bangkok. The site is located within a quiet lane surrounded by low-rise residential buildings and away from the bustling main road. The building is intended to cosy like a birds nest; introvert in design, where residents can live privately and peacefully. The building has 8 floors with a basement and consists of 88 units ranging from a single bedroom unit (47 sq.m.) to a three bedroom unit (145 sq.m.)
The local building regulation allows for a maximum building height of 23m, bringing the conception of a sunken first floor and allowing a higher floor to ceiling height. The green slope on the north side leads to the entrance of the building. Along with the lobby, these two elements act as a buffer from the entrance road. The 950mm slope helps to distinguish between public and private space. While on the South the landscape level is raised by 1.2m to match the second floor. This allows allowing the gym on the second floor to continue out to the swimming pool and landscape space.
The exterior of building is composed of straw like aluminium fins of various warm colours. They are installed from the RC ledge to ledge and act as a sun shading device. The density of the fins is strategically controlled to create privacy and also in relation to the internal living space and the exterior. The lowest density is at the living room window, where a clear view is required, to the densest covering air-condensing units.
The continuous aluminium ‘screen’ is interrupted at random internals by white box balconies. These 25 extra cantilevered balconies create variation within the design language and are seen as the only extrovert element of the design. They provide a comfortable space for owners to enjoy the vast views over the low-rise neighbourhood and the surroundings.
From the second floor onwards, the units are organized by two connected corridors revolving around the three atriums. The base of these atriums is common seating area. They open up to the roof skylight and louvers allowing natural sun light to come down and disperse into the building. The atrium spaces also connect to swimming pool deck on second floor allowing the air to get in and create stack effect ventilation. It helps to reduce the use of artificial light and mechanical ventilation for most of the common areas.
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