The authentic vernacular and classical
creations of Ong-ard Satrabhandhu stand as vigorous,
if lone, way signs to a civilized future.
“HOUSE OR VILLAGE?” A VISITOR MIGHT ASK when approaching this family compound north of Chiang Mai. The house becomes sanctuary as each courtyard is reached through layers of enclosing walls and hedges. The courtyards, in the generous landscape, are like the breath marks in a musical score that give shape to the experience of moving through space and time. Rooms are tall and well proportioned; geometric ratios are employed, giving them the character of a Palladian villa.
And there is the sense of play. Proportions are contrasted, low and high, narrow and broad, and the passages from one room to another sometime disappear behind a wall only to reappear on a small balcony — a little private theatricality in the daily ritual of inhabitation. Tall openings with French doors turn walls into screens that define the space but connect to other rooms or sun-filled gardens. At the main villa, the entry portico resembles typical Sri Lankan tropical colonial architecture.
As at Tamarind Village and Rachamankha, there is a suspension of the surrounding busy city. Enter here to find a world of balance and quiet. Like an ancient work, the past is present, but time is paused and suspended.