Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse are the main characters of an American animated series of short films named ‘Tom and Jerry’. The plot centers on the rivalry between the two little cartoon animals and Tom’s numerous attempts to capture Jerry. Based on these animated series, Bangkok-based architecture firm Onion designed Jerry House : a holiday home for a family with four sons.
Located in Cha-Am Beach, Thailand, Jerry House fulfils the requirement of Mr. and Mrs. Sahawat, who wanted a playful space instead of a typical holiday house.
With five layers of netting with different slopes, heights and sizes suspended across a void that can be used to travel from the top floor to the bottom, Jerry House encourages the family to have a different way of living from their main residence in Bangkok. Running, climbing, hiding, hanging and even falling are the proposed physical activities which exceed the boundary of common lifestyle. The horizontal planes made of net act almost like an extension of each floor, linked by a staircase located along one side of the atrium providing a conventional route between the three storeys. An extra set of metal ladders and intentionally misaligned holes in the nets offer a more fun way to ascend or descend.
At the top of the void known as the ‘main living hall’, a mirrored film attached to the ceiling is intended to create the illusion that the space is higher than it is. It also makes those suspended by the various layers of netting feel as if they were floating.
‘If the house of Jerry the mouse were built, it might appear as a big piece of cheese in which the möbius strip would be a desirable route for him to run away from Tom the cat’. Said the architects when talking about Jerry House.
On the third floor of Jerry House are located the children bedrooms. A hidden sliding door connects the fifth level of the nets with one of the beds. This bed is contained within a wooden structure that also houses another bed on the opposite side of a larger tunnel that leads to the main staircase. Further bedrooms at the other end of the top floor are linked by another tunnel that offers two of the children the option of swapping beds.
The master bedroom and guest bedroom can be found on the second floor. A dining space on the ground floor next to the play area and main hall looks out onto a swimming pool. In addition to the dining area, the ground floor houses a kitchen island, services, storage space and parking.
To increase the visual experience of Jerry House, colour was used to differentiate each area. All of the main rooms were painted white. The bedrooms on the second floor were painted in mustard yellow and light purple, while the sons’ tunnels and sleeping areas were painted blue and light green respectively.
Photography is by Wison Tungthunya.