360modern is a community of modernists including architects, Modern furniture and art experts, non-profits, state historical organizations, county historical groups, and contractors. Today, we’re continuing our showcase of the people and businesses that make up the Seattle Modern community.
What is Baan Design, and what led you to start it?
BAAN design is a small full-service boutique design practice. We are devoted to our clients and dedicated to our projects from conception to completion. We believe all parties bring a diverse and valuable perspective to the project, and careful coordination and clear lines of communication between all team members is critical to a successful project. We constantly strive to define new spatial experiences and explore new and innovative ways of putting materials together. We look for creative and thoughtful ways to solve structural challenges and strive to express these solutions as character defining elements in the design. Our buildings are often experienced as an expression of structure, materials and light.
I have worked on a variety of residential, commercial and public sector projects both in Bangkok and in Seattle, and currently reside in the Magnolia neighborhood with my wife and three daughters. Born in Bangkok, Thailand, I moved with my family to Rome where I grew up. I came to the United States in 1982 to study fine arts at Syracuse University. After completing my undergraduate studies in 1987, I returned to Thailand to pursue my interest in architecture, working with leading architecture firms in Bangkok. In 1989, I returned to the States to attend the University of Washington’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where I received a Masters of Architecture in 1994.
I started BAAN design in 2007 right before the recession hit, from the desire to stay small and keep it simple, work in my neighborhood close to my kids school, and focus on thoughtful residential projects.
How did you originally discover modern design, architecture, and real estate?
I learned about modernism in school. Modern architecture is about letting the site, (climate, topography and light) the owners program, materials and technology inform the design. I believe any thoughtful design strikes a balance between art and science. It requires not only an acute intuitive sense of scale, form and spatial relationships, but also a particular understanding of the program, building systems, materials, and costs. I learned about real estate from Rick, and living and working in Seattle for the past 25 years.
You’ve been working with Rick and Next Century Modern for awhile. How’d that relationship start, and what collaborations have you created together?
I met Rick and Heidi through our neighborhood school auction. For three years, we offered a “Mad-Men” formal cocktail and dinner party at our house, raising money for Catharine Blaine K-8 through the school auction (see Seattle Times article). If I remember correctly, Rick and Heidi, bought the auction item for 4K! We were all passionate about Mid-Century modern architecture and quickly hit it off. I was working exclusively on custom homes, the low-end of the high-end — which also happened to be where Rick was focused with Next Century Modern.
Which homes of yours are you most proud of, and why?
My two favorite projects are the Boston House at 2920 W Boston St (first project I did with Rick) and the Lake Washington House that I did in 2008 with Ainslie-Davis Construction, both speculative custom homes.
I like these projects because we kept it simple and modest in terms of square footage (3,000 sf) and the use of materials. Both are not overbearing in scale and we didn’t try too hard to make a design statement. It seems like it fits into the neighborhood well. I feel the designs respond well to the NW climate — large overhangs and lots natural light, both very important to have in Seattle, and have great indoor/outdoor spaces.
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