RIVER KWAI RESIDENCE, KANCHANABURI, THAILAND

Shalimarr Garden Residence in Kanchanaburi, East of Thailand, is located on a river peninsula with prime views up and down the River Kwai. The site is in a secluded location surrounded by river jungle, a stream and the Burmese mountains to the far west. The design considers relationship to climate and environment, Balinese style building, natural materials, hierarchy of spaces, movement through these spaces and tropical garden design.

Kanchanaburi is one of the hottest provinces in Thailand. March and April are the hottest months; temperatures can get as high as 40 degrees Celsius. This was considered the beginning point of design. Seasonal wind directions blow from the southwest (southwest monsoon) usually starting in mid-May and ending in mid-October (summer-late summer). Northeast wind (northeast monsoon) normally starts in mid-October and ends in mid-February (late summer- winter).

Maximised airflow and solar control are optimised as key environmental strategies, timber comes from plantation forests, materials are selected based on environmental stewardship certifications, and solar power will provide the energy supply. Large Balinese style roofs float above the site, Merbau and Bangkira timbers have been used internally and externally, insulated glass timber joinery has been used throughout, all these combined give a distinct tropical feeling. Point of arrival has governed the sequence of spaces and how these are experienced. A small compact courtyard is the entry point to the residence, which leads into a bigger internal volume (villa), followed by a large green lush courtyard. This is then followed by an inevitable release and rewarding insight of the River Kwai. The series of main courtyards followed by sub-courtyard gardens give a private unique experience, whether experienced from within the villas or by walking through the gardens.

The design objective is to achieve a residence that will have a distinct oriental flavour. Shade, diffused light and nature are optimised at every opportunity to give the feeling of a sanctuary in tune with its local environment.

+ Location: Kanchanaburi, Thailand
+ Programme: Residence
+ Client: Private Owner
+ Site area: 1.5acres
+ Built area: 950sqm
+ Status: 1 x Villa Built
+ Credit: Duncan Firth, Jutharat Thatprakob, Dario Balboni

ANALYSIS


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