Multi-Place, Surat Thani, Thailand
Ekar Architects

Multi-Place: Residential and commercial space for the Limlanangkul and Aomsupsin families

Beginning
Two siblings with backgrounds in pharmacy and veterinarian, who once lived apart and had one clinic, decided to buy a narrow land in a heart of Surat Thani to live together with a commercialised purpose. The client led requirements were that Multi-Place was to be a place where you can live and work harmoniously.

The Complex Conditions
This project was developed under labyrinthine conditions. The architects maximised the limited space of the 480 sqm land to support the clients’ businesses which include: a pharmacy, veterinary clinic, pet shop, hostel, cafe and rental meeting rooms. The separated residential areas for the two families needed to portray a detached house feel to this mixed-use building. Due to its site located on a main road, other issues which needed to be addressed are the local legal restriction of buildings, along with dust and noise pollution.

Reveal, Conceal and Airy — The Multiple Patterned Concrete Screen Blocks
The architects worked on numerous potential solutions for the complex conditions, and then synthesised towards the best solutions. The local legal restriction required that the length of the building could not be over 20m, so the architects divided the design into two buildings; a front building and rear building. The split area was converted into a peaceful garden which brought in the natural light within the design and which also acted as a natural boundary between the public and private space.

The clients’ needs was to separate their residential space from one another and this garden achieved this while also being a relaxing link between the two residential spaces. The garden’s walls composed of easy-to-find glass blocks allowing light through, creating dynamic shadow effects as well as create an airy sensation.

In terms of concealing their own privacy, along with the dust and noise pollution, locally created concrete screen blocks became the best solution for the facade. Composing the multiple patterned concrete screen blocks together, screened the pollution yet allowed smooth air flow; while creating privacy for the residents without feeling cramped. This aligned with the garden design, the lighting from the interior passes through the concrete screen blocks playfully casting countless shadow effect details onto the surrounding architecture. 

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