Designed by Studio Locomotive, this two-story home in Phuket, Thailand combines contemporary and biophilic design. The young owner wanted to build a debt-free, low-maintenance home despite limited financial resources. The result is the Prim House.

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tall, two-story white home with a large balcony

The home was built to highlight basic needs on a plot of land about 1,000 square feet in size. While from the outside, the home may look like other common commercial buildings in the surrounding area, the Prim House enjoys plenty of natural light, cross-breezes and open-plan living spaces. Natural ventilation is supported by large openings, a vertical air well and skylights. This design eases maintenance and cost-of-living burdens, such as heating and cooling utilities, giving the homeowner more time and money to pursue other things.

Related: Off-grid bamboo bungalow embraces nature in Thailand

black chair and wood table in room near an indoor garden
large hanging plants near a wooden dining table and kitchen with wooden cabinets

Cross-ventilation is primarily achieved through a series of prefabricated air vents built into the home’s rear wall and large window openings in the front. Central skylights encourage vertical ventilation while also releasing daylight into the interior. These skylights are essential in maintaining the sunken indoor garden located in the middle of the first floor of Prim House.

small gray window seat
large bed across from a TV and a blue chair near a window seat

The home’s staircase and catwalk, located just next to the garden, are made of perforated metal to allow even more sunlight to shine through the living spaces. A tall, exposed steel structural beam connects the first and second floors with ornamental climbing foliage.

bright bathroom with white tiling and plants
stairs and elevated walkway made of metal mesh

Prim House has a small kitchen with wooden accents and a patio just outside of the front door. There are two bedrooms and one bathroom, with a ventilating skylight passing over the bathroom ceiling to help keep the room dry and free from odors. Studio Locomotive kept parts of the building and fixtures exposed and utilized materials such as polished concrete and raw steel to stay as sustainable and minimalist as possible.

+ Studio Locomotive

Images via Studio Locomotive