HUAN YAI BUPPA
The “Buppa House” name comes from Mrs.Buppa, meaning flower, the former owner of 80-year-old Mekong riverside wooden house (built in 1925). It was once a wooden shophouse with 2 stories. The 1st floor was facing the street, opening the folding doors wide open. It was used as a grocery shop called “Jeng Haud”, selling fish sauce, garlics, dry food, the eight requisites for Buddhist ordination and a drugstore for Thai people and Lao people coming from across the river.
Since the location of the shop is near the Customs’ port, trading business is greatly advanced.
The riverside area of the house was a living room and kitchen on the 1st floor while the 2nd floor was a resting area. The location on the steep riverbank gave basement to the house, acting as storage. Then the family bought an adjacent shophouse to use as a warehouse and sometimes letting people rent to stay. Two houses have been connected together through a terrace, which also gave access to the dock.
In 2011 The Buppa House has been renovated into a homestay. A warehouse has been demolished and a new 2-story shophouse has been built. The 1st floor has been a coffee shop called “Lanta Latte” while the 2nd floor has been a multi-purposed space.
In 2012 Sook Architects were assigned to renovate and expand both Buppa House and Lanta Latte coffee shop to support the guesthouse with more visitors, and also retain and restore historical value of the house.
At the first floor (coffee shop), wooden folding doors were used on both sides, the street and the river. During daytime, the doors will be opened and the space become like Thai house’s basement, not only promote permeability, create visual connection and connect Chai Kong Road to the river walkway but also increase ventilation as well.
(The houses in this area were built close or attached to each other, similar to row houses)
The second floor was designed as duplexes with original architectural character, to retain city’s roofscape. This vernacular gable roof can cope with climate better than lean-to roof. Besides, it can contain mezzanine to increase functional space, without destroying the original scale and architectural appearance.
Chiang Khan, Loei, Thailand