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Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Thailand Architecture News - Oct 11, 2022 - 16:53   1877 views

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Thailand-based architecture practice Chiangmai Life Architects has built a circular school library which gives "a cathedral like feeling" with a sunken pod at the center and bamboo roof at Panyaden International School in Hangdong, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Named Secondary School Library At Panyaden, the 392-square-metre library building is designed in circular form covered by a bamboo roof with a smooth surface supported by arched-shaped bamboo columns in the exterior and interior. 

The library was designed to create an inspiring, peaceful and comfortable atmosphere for teenage students to read and study. 

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Markus Roselieb

The Secondary School Library is added as another key building at Panyaden International School. In 2017, Chiangmai Life Architects also designed a sports hall, made of newly-invented bamboo truss system, in the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.  

The library features traditional spaces with tables, while lounge-like spaces are added as extra elements to provide more relaxed setting decorated with bean bags and pillows.

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Alberto Cosi

Chiangmai Life Architects (CLA), known for its innovative use of modern bamboo and earth architecture, conceived the library as a concentric design with a central oculus, a sunken pod featuring an eye to the sky through the skylight above.

The interior space is surrounded in concentric circles first by built-in small working tables, and the the studio adds a bamboo archway that houses the main book shelve section. 

According to the studio, these bookshelves are radially oriented so that various kinds of study spaces can be created in between. 

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Alberto Cosi

The sunken pod is added to give the "feeling of cathedral-like space" which is also popular for group discussions and readings.

The library also houses two noise-insulated study rooms for group sessions and a small office for the librarian. For material choice, the studio used earthen adobe bricks to make up the walls and bamboo for the roof.

The studio designed the bamboo roof in two levels; the upper level is a reciprocal roof design with each structural bamboo culm supporting the next without need for supporting pillars. 

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Alberto Cosi

In the very top is a skylight cupola providing daylight to the whole library below.

The library is equipped with a state-of-the-art central cooling system that gently trickles cold air down without the uncomfortable feeling of a cold air current. 

The library is also fitted with a fresh air system, that during the burning season provides ultra clean air by blowing filtered air from the outside into the room thus creating a positive pressure that prevents polluted air from entering when the door is opened. 

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Alberto Cosi

"This system is also useful during other seasons as it continually provides fresh oxygen thus creating an optimal room climate for studying," said the studio.

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Alberto Cosi

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Alberto Cosi

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Markus Roselieb

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Markus Roselieb

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Image © Markus Roselieb

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Floor plan

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Roof plan

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Section

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Elevation

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Elevation

Circular school library gives a cathedral-like feeling with sunken pod and bamboo roof in Thailand

Roof detail 

CLA is one of the world’s most creative sustainable architect studios based in Thailand. CLA has an construction arm, called CLC (Chiangmai Life Construction), focusing on big bamboo structures such as big bamboo trusses for halls, eco-resorts, villas, houses, schools as well as office and factory spaces.

The studio is working on innovative organic design solutions with ecologically sound materials and sustainable construction practices. Bamboo, rammed earth, adobe bricks and wattle and daub walls are common elements in CLA's projects.

Project facts

Project name: Secondary School Library At Panyaden

Location: Hangdong, Chiang Mai 50230, Thailand

Client: Panyaden International School

Architect: Chiangmai Life Architects (CLA): Markus Roselieb, Tosapon Sittiwong

Contractor: Chiangmai Life Construction (CLC)

Completion Year: 2022

Built Area: 392sqm

Carbon Footprint: Minimal

Manufacturers/Products: Chiangmai Life Construction: treated bamboo, adobe bricks

Top image © Markus Roselieb 

All images © Alberto Cosi (Interior), Markus Roselieb (Drone)

All drawings © Chiangmai Life Architects 

> via Chiangmai Life Architects 

bamboo Chiangmai Life Architects earth architecture earthen adobe bricks library