Everyday Architect & Design Studio is an architectural laboratory inspired by the vernacular and vibrant city of Bangkok. Founded by Chatchavan Suwansawat in 2020, the studio is located on the 2nd floor of a ordinary shophouse in the Old Town community.
In parallel to architectural design, Chatchavan has extensively written about his encounters with diverse architectural and design elements found in different parts of Bangkok. His collection of essays titled “Architect-ure” (literally translated: Architect found) invites the readers to relook key features of contemporary Thai architecture, presented all around yet often overlooked.
Since the urban life in Bangkok is swamped by crime rate, overcrowding, and broken pedestrian ways, everyday solutions have manifested in architectural elements, such as the steel door stretch, the steel grille cage, canvas awnings, etc. This evidence serves as references for interpretive design, and also raises fundamental questions: How to integrate everyday materials into the modern design that suits the urban lifestyle?
The renovation of Everyday Architect & Design Studio has thus tried to demonstrate its missions: 1. Being an economical design and working with a limited construction budget. Our design method is to apply maximal practicality to existing components of the building while also preserving its identity. 2. Since the space is designed by its utilizer, possibilities exist for architectural design experimentation. Attempts corresponding to the interest in urban vernacular will be made to answer problems of modern Thai architecture.
The blue door stretch is placed in front of a window in a newly built wall to shield from sunlight and obscure line of sight into the 1st floor laundry hanging area. A pot garden is added to the front of the house, adding charm with the neighborhood.
The old wooden staircase has chosen to use that goes above a neighbor’s 1st floor living space from entrance up to the 2nd floor. Here, we find an open balcony for guests walled by the steel grille panels, painted bright green to blend in with the neighbors. Also set aside a corner of this balcony for a small restroom and sink. An ordinary-looking rollup canvas awning under the eaves shields the area from splashing rain.
For the 2nd floor workspace, the architect retained the old set of the steel grille room partitions, adding clear glass panelling for interior air conditioning. A simple open plan design was chosen: a meeting table in the middle, a desk flush against the wall, and lighting design tricks such as track lighting rails running hidden into the room from the balcony outside to add to the mood and atmosphere.
For choice of furniture, the architect applied existing pieces to appropriate studio functions. For example, the old wooden dining table now serves as the meeting table, illumed by old lamps; or the wooden shelves cut from old bed parts. This innovation includes the use of PVC pipes for DIY decorations - such as chairs, shelves, or sample material storages - in reference to DIY designs by Bangkok natives commonly seen on sidewalks.