“Sometimes, an ordinary brick wishes to be something beyond itself.”
These words truly portray the potential of an ordinary material, an understanding of a material as a small component capable of being composed as architecture. The project started with a primary concept that focused on the particularities of the most common material: a brick.
The architect had agreed with the owner that a certain amount of time was required in order to cooperate with the artisans, but that the architect would use brick as an inexpensive material in return. The trusted procedure, together with an interest in the technique used, was intended to create a harmonious construction. What the architect required from the contractor was a simple yet exotic result.
Jun Sekino wanted this building to look owned as soon as it was completed. In addition, this building needed to create a humble impression and present itself directly, without any adornment. The house owner claims that he spends most of his time with his parents in this house. Therefore the design of this house needed to meet his lifestyle requirements both during the daytime and at night. This building was built in the tropical area, so it needed to reflect the tropical lifestyle. Consequently, a double layer of brick walls was built, with each wall 30 centimetres thick and the space in between functioning as thermal insulation, since heat can only pass through the outer wall, but not the inner wall. Moreover, the soil also possesses thermal properties, making it easier to heat up and cool down. The exceptional thickness of the walls and the space between the two walls, the design of the two-storey house with three bedrooms and a multipurpose area on the first floor give this house a Thai flair, allowing family members to gather in the multipurpose area. The open courtyard at the centre of the house allows air to circulate easily, with a glass inner wall and the main building acting as a sunshade. The use of natural light to illuminate every part of the house, as well as visual axes, make the tenants feel like they are not living alone. This humble but striking architecture is thus able to adapt to the existing community without being incongruous.