From humble housing to artist studios, commercial galleries and cultural destinations, Thailand- and China-based HAS Design + Research is a studio that does it all; and now it’s also part of the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022, our annual list of exciting emerging practices from across the globe.

Who: HAS Design + Research

This China- and Thailand based studio was founded in 2019 by architects Jenchieh Hung and Kulthida Songkittipakdee, whose initials partly form its name, HAS (Hung And Songkittipakdee). The pair combine impressive accolades and experience, such as a stint at Kengo Kuma & Associates (Hung) and a scholarship from the Renzo Piano Foundation to work at Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) in Paris (Songkittipakdee). 

Focusing on the Asian context and identity, the two founders blend cultural buildings, religious architecture, installation art, exhibition design and experimental projects in their fast-growing portfolio. ‘HAS explores Asia’s architectural language through an approach that engages design and research in parallel,’ explain the duo. ‘It emphasises the relationship between nature and man-made environments, looking for another kind of natural architecture through the city’s own conditions. We call it “Improvised Architecture”.’

Hung And Songkittipakdee’s own home office in Bangkok, Phetkasem Artist Studio (pictured), is among the young practice’s first realised projects, alongside Casa de Zanotta, an exhibition space for Italian luxury brands in China. More buildings, such as the Museum of Modern Aluminium (MoMA), a 400 sq m cultural project in Thailand, are coming up soon. Teaching as well as practising, the duo have also just released their first architecture book together (flagging the importance of ‘research’ in their studio’s name). Titled The Improvised, it explores the HAS portfolio with a focus on site-specificity, the ad hoc nature of architecture, and local techniques and building methods in Thailand. 

View of Phetkasem Artist Studio in Bangkok, designed by HAS design + research architects

What: Phetkasem Artist Studio

Jenchieh Hung and Kulthida Songkittipakdee’s own home and studio space is a careful redesign of an existing structure in a residential suburb of Bangkok. Transforming a developer-built property on the site, part of a row of houses, the project works with existing volumes and vernacular features to update the whole through a series of simple contemporary forms and gestures. 

The frontage is redefined by a sculptural composition of vertically placed steel pipes. It makes for an architectural, geometric entry into the front yard, which discreetly delineates between public and private. The material is readily available and relatively inexpensive in Thailand, which plays an active role in steel pipe production. Inside, domestic areas and workspaces are clean and minimalist, mostly created in white tones and flat, crisp surfaces. HAS juxtaposes the industrial nature of steel with minimalist interiors. The latter offer cool surroundings, pared-down, bespoke joinery and sleek concrete floors. At the same time, perforations created through the steel element and their positioning ensure a gentle breeze runs through the fairly narrow but long site, naturally cooling the interiors. 

White interior of Phetkasem Artist Studio in Bangkok

Why: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022

Conceived in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual listing of promising practices from across the globe. While always championing the best and most promising young studios, over the years, the project has showcased inspiring work with an emphasis on the residential realm. Now including more than 500 alumni, the Architects’ Directory is back for its 22nd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – twenty young studios from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nigeria, Paraguay, Thailand, the UAE, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam with plenty of promise, ideas and exciting architecture. §

Minimalist interior of Phetkasem Artist Studio
Minimalist white bespoke interiors at Phetkasem Artist Studio in Bangkok
Minimalist white interiors at Phetkasem Artist Studio