Note: This article was first published as an advertorial in the Krabi Property supplement of FLYER magazine. Although there is a clear bias towards the architect's employers, we feel that the interview is interesting enough to be reproduced here.
Paitoon Pechsoot (Jiept, pictured, right) was brought up in Trang and studied architecture in Songkhla, before moving to work in the dynamic world of construction in Phuket, contributing to both commercial (resorts) and private (housing) projects.
Now based in Krabi, working exclusively for Ton Company Ltd, Jiept is finally, he says, “doing what he wants”, with “the freedom to express myself creatively within the parameters set by the client.” Below, we put him on the spot.
Krabi Property: Many people in Krabi are happily building houses without the services of an architect. Why bother using one at all?
Paitoon Pechsoot: It’s like if someone is sick, they can go to the pharmacy and buy some medicine over the counter. They might feel better, they might not. Alternatively, they could see the doctor, who can diagnose the problem for them, prescribe the correct medicine and make suggestions to ensure that they don’t get sick again! For me, that’s the difference between a draughtsman, who will just draw up the plans you’ve asked for, and an architect, who can make modifications based on the weather, culture or available materials here, which a foreigner with no experience in building may not have thought of.
KP: What do you find are the most common ‘errors’ your clients make when thinking about building?
PP: Well, most foreigners have never built a house from scratch before, so it is often quite difficult for them to envisage how a place will look and work from paper, even using 3D modelling. I sometimes find people to have too extreme ideas. Maybe they want to be too ‘back to nature’ with an all-wood construction, which they do not realise will be impractical and very hot. Or they want something modern style and sleek with a flat roof, which again does not really work here because of the heavy rain during the monsoon.
KP: Moving from Phuket, what do you make of the housing scene in Krabi?
PP: I can see where Krabi is heading if something doesn’t change soon. I’ve seen it happen in so many places in Thailand. As soon as there is a market for real estate, people start building ‘shophouses’. It’s a shame because this type of housing is all the same. It’s high density, low imagination accommodation. People don’t want to think about doing something that looks better, or is more comfortable to live in than a long, narrow box.
KP: So what then is your preferred architectural style?
PP: I think it is very important to keep space for a garden, not to build as many units as possible. You may get quick returns on your money but in the long term keeping open land is actually a better investment, because space will eventually become a premium, as more and more houses are built.
Another concern of mine is that houses ‘work’. All space should be useable, so none is wasted. I work very closely with engineers to ensure that all plumbing, wiring, a/c etc. is both hidden from the eye and accessible in case of need to repair, upgrade or replace. I try to find ways to save energy. With regard to the position of the house on the land, I use basic principles of feng shui. Of course in Krabi it’s not always possible to have a sea view, but it is always possible to overlook something peaceful and beautiful.
In terms of style, it depends what the client wants, but I try to keep clean, simple lines, even in the most luxurious of projects.
To contact Paitoon Pechsoot, please call Ton Co., Ltd.
Office: 075-695633 Fax: 075-695634.
Above: Paitoon Pechsoot (Jiept), an architect with Ton Company Ltd
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UPDATE! Your new property rights as a company owner
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The price of land in Krabi
Krabi Property Clinic: your questions answered
SCAMS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
Common pitfalls when buying real estate in Krabi
Beware of bogus agents!
CHOOSING A PROPERTY
Where to buy your home: a guide to the different areas
The Krabi holiday home checklist
Self-build or off-plan?
Focus on Had Yao: Krabi's next big thing?
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Design tips from a Krabi architect
Creating a modern Thai-style interior
Planning a tropical garden
Should you install a swimming pool?
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Renting a house in Krabi: a guide to the different types of houses available, prices, and where to look
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Case study: retiring to Krabi
Expat life in Krabi
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