Design Diary

A personal review of design creations.

The Skyscape Rooftop House

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In Thailand, above a 5-storey apartment, a small home is now replacing the usual water tanks.


WARchitect’s client was the owner of a 5-storey apartment in Khet Chatuchak. After getting rid of the traditional water tanks, he asked the studio to build him a 150-sqm home for his own use.

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The rooftop location has a concrete courtyard. Trees are replaced with vertical lines of tall buildings in the Lat Phrao district. The house would have only the front façade and could not be seen from the side and the back. To avoid creating a stark contrast between this house and the apartment below, the architects designed the rooftop house so that no one could see it from public roads.

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The idea was not to make the apartment feel like a building, but to free it from form, making it a borderless box that emerges out of nowhere in the sky. Just as if the thickness of the wall and roof were non-existent, but still able to make holes in the ceiling to install curtains, air conditioners, and embed lights.

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WARchitect’s intention was to give an illusion that the entire ceiling was in the same straight line even though they featured a drop ceiling and a slope that was intentionally used to make the wall and ceiling look thin. These techniques may not be new in architecture but with this rooftop house, it is more special since a short distance between the main structure and the exterior helps disguise the techniques they used.

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The owner wanted the house to be simple for his private use as he did not frequently receive guests. Taking this into account, a “naked” approached was designed. The boundary between each room is linked by a courtyard. The functional area is divided according to the grid of the apartment’s pillars underneath, resulting in a six-grid layout. 

 

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The front section consists of three grids that are used as a dining area, a living room and a bedroom where the owner can see a panoramic view through a large sliding glass door, which when slid close, the door frame will be precisely behind a small pillar, giving an impression that this building does not have a pillar.

The back section consists of the remaining three grids that are used as bathroom, a courtyard that can be seen from anywhere in the house and a kitchen.

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Since the owner already had a large number of Balau wood planks, they were used as the covering material. Although some planks had defects such as cracks, gnarls, marks from saws, and uneven colours, they were used giving a natural charm of real wood. When the construction was finished, the final result is a “space” completed with the warm colour of wood and the cool tone of the sky, just exactly as we wanted it to be.

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Pictures by Rungkit Charoenwat

Révélations 2019: The World of Fine Craft in Paris

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Révélations is set to open from May 23rd until 26th at the Grand Palais in Paris. 450 artists from 30 countries will be showcased with new sections and Luxembourg as Guest of Honour.


The fourth edition of the international fine crafts and contemporary creation biennial Révélations is returning to Paris, hosting over 40,000 visitors with an even greater focus on showcasing its international dimension and cultural programme both inside the venue and out, Révélations 2019 is pushing its boundaries and aspirations a little further afield.

Nathalie Massenet Dollfus: 2 Butterflies, handblown glass © Nathalie Massenet Dollfus

Nathalie Massenet Dollfus: 2 Butterflies, handblown glass © Nathalie Massenet Dollfus

Révélations has been run by Ateliers d’Art de France since its inception in 2013, and is attended by an illustrious steadily-growing audience. The scenography by Adrien Gardère offers an equal staging to the 450 creators, removing any hierarchy or gimmicks allowing these exceptional works forge a strong connection between creator and visitor.

L. Andrighetto & J-C MIOT - BUOYS (glass & hemp)

L. Andrighetto & J-C MIOT - BUOYS (glass & hemp)

The Biennal welcomes 33 countries represented, doubling the total of the previous edition. Following on from Chile, Luxembourg is this year’s featured country: a combination of tradition and innovation, the Grand Duchy is home to a myriad of crafts and will be showcasing them in all their glory. The selection of 15 artists has been curated by Jean-Marc Dimanche and the staging is made by Gilles Gardula under the patronage of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Guillaume, the crown Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Princess Stéphanie, the crown Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

The artists are Ellen van der Woude (ceramic), Camille Jacobs (master stained glass), Jeitz & Calliste, Sarah Meyers & Laura Fügmann (textile and ceramic), Pascale Seil (master glass-blower), Doris Becker (ceramic), Marie-Isabelle Callier (encaustic painter), Tom Flick (sculpture), Sandy Kahlich (milliner), Ezri Kahn (artisan couturier), Carine Mertes (felt designer), Claude Schmitz (jewellery), Léa Schroeder and Marianne Steinmetzer (ceramic), and Kim-Jung Vu (jewellery).

Artists below are Wouter van der Vlugt & Roxanne Flick + Michael Nätscher.

As for the backbone of the event, the ‘Le Banquet' international exhibition will continue its world tour, inviting nine other countries (Thailand, Romania, India, Iran, Cameroon, South Africa, Spain, Chile, Luxembourg,  to stand alongside France and the featured country. In doing so, the biennial puts its international dimension firmly in the spotlight, supported even further by the number of European and international visitors in attendance. Here are some creations from:

South Africa: Artists featured below: Marisa Fick Jordan (Ukhamba Zulu basket; 2018; Telephone wire) & Chuma Maweni (Painted Ceramic; 2018)

Cameroon: Artists featured below: Beya Gille Gacha (Orant; 2017; pearls embellisched sculpture) & Edith Tialeu (Nubie: 2018; Ceramic)

Iran: Artists featured below: Kourosh Arish (Threshold; 2018; Ceramic, earthenware, alkaline glaze, hand painting) & Behzad Ajdari (Passing; 2018; Ceramic & metal)

India: Artists featured below: Om Prakash Galav (Kagzi pottery; 2018) & Prithviraj Singh Deo (Kangan; 2013; Ceramic)

Finally, the Norwegian designer, Hanne Friis created a piece that embodies the identity of Révélations 2019. ‘Nuances in Blue and Black’ (pictures courtesy of Oystein Thorvaldsen) is a huge sculpture made from blue and black jeans, and is the result of tremendous sewing effort transforming loose fabrics into a compact mass.

Hero picture: Somdulyawat Chalermkiat (Thailand) Bua; 2016; Metal flower pot