More About Bangkok Shophouse Transformation

More about a shophouse renovation in Bangkok from one of the designers, Rachaporn Choochuey of all(zone), in Domus magaine: "Bangkok's urban fabric today is full of underutilized shophouses in most of its prime areas.  The project is an attempt to experiment with and transform the shophouse typology.  Our transformation offers the new spatial arrangement where each floor can be accessed independently from the common stair (the key obstacle of the old shophouse typology is that each floor is accessed back stairs).  Every floor is transformed into a live-work unit, which is quite rare in Bangkok.  The division between commercial space and residential space is no longer needed.  We explored the possibilities of how to make the facade double as a security screen as well as sun shading panels. Stefano came up with the idea of using common and very cheap concrete blocks found in very DIY buildings as a main feature of the facades."  Full article here. Commentary by Urban Choreography: "The shophouse that we are familiar with from all over the East and other countries, which we search out when we walk through our favorite cities, is an integral form that stretches back centuries and can be seen in the petrified houses of Pompeii, but has been virtually eradicated by new developments which seek to implant the Western shopping culture of Malls and Shopping Centers.  The shophouse is, as Fabio Todeschini of the University of Cape Town’s Urban Design program has been pointing out, an ideal model for developing middle density urban areas in keeping with the local environments and familiar to most inhabitants."