Interior and Exterior Blur Together in this Hollowed-Out House

Towering over the more dated and packed buildings in its Bangkok neighbourhood is the arresting white contemporary design of STU/D/O‘s Aperture House. It’s an innovative response to a tricky brief: design a private home with an attractive garden, in a densely urban area of Thailand and on a modest 205 sqm site. The resulting 350 sqm residence spreads itself across a lofty 4 stories, and is hollowed out into a compact network of interconnecting volumes that makes unique use of the space. It plays with the boundary between interior and exterior, and makes exciting use of light, urban landscaping, and traditional aesthetics. Important, when your client is both a photographer and a landscape designer.


Carving up a single volume allowed a significant amount of natural light into the house, whilst preserving the client’s privacy by reducing the size of the smaller puncture-style windows and running wooden louvres across sections of otherwise exposed space. The smaller punctures in the walls are tapered as they open onto the light colour-palette of the interior, and create a shifting pattern of shadows across the inside as the daylight passes. Creatively, plant life is woven into the spaces hollowed out of the structure, and a tree occupying the internal courtyard makes sure that nature isn’t far from view in any of the rooms.


STU/D/O was founded in 2010, and has focused since then on architecture, urbanism, and sustainable design. We speak with architect and studio co-founder Apichart Srirojanapinyo.

TP: Your client for Aperture House is a photographer – you included a darkroom in the design, but how else did this affect how you went about the design?
Apichart Srirojanapinyo:
Another intention we had was to design a house where every room can be used as a photography studio.  The square openings that can be seen throughout were selectively positioned to not only frame the desired view of the surroundings, while still providing privacy, but also to control the amount of light that enters into the various spaces.  


TP: What materials did you use, and why?
Straightforward materials like steel, glass, wood, and concrete were used to keep the construction simple, with the addition of the textured concrete used on the house facade which adds interest to the exterior.


TP: There is a lot of interesting furniture here – where did you source it?
Most of the furniture was bought locally from Thai producers, with an additional mixture of imported furniture. The intention was to use warm and cozy pieces to create a homey environment for the owners.


TP: The space is largely white, black, and brown – what informed this palette choice?
We wanted to stay true to the natural appearance of the material used. The colour white is used to create lightness in the home, so that it feels more open and spacious.


TP: The shape plays with interior and exterior – are you attracted to making experimental spaces?
Yes. The main goal was to bring in as much nature and light into the space without sacrificing privacy.  So the choice to incorporate a large internal courtyard and use tapered openings to control the view plays with maximizing the view from the inside looking out, and limiting the view from the outside looking in.


TP: It’s a house perfectly designed for a photographer/landscape designer; what would your perfect architect’s house look like?
It’s quite difficult to define what a perfect house for an architect would look like, since each house should be designed under the various circumstances of the site, context, environment, user, program, etc.  For us, what defines a ‘perfect house’ would be a house that where there is a perfect balance between aesthetics, and related criteria.    

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Photographs by Ketsiree Wongwan and Chaichoompol Vathakanon