Learning Center By Vin Varavarn Architects Features Folded Bamboo Roof In Thailand
Bangkok-based architecture studio Vin Varavarn Architects has designed a learning center that features a folded bamboo roof to help internal climate of the structure in an agriculture field of Nai Mueang, Thailand.
The project, named PANNAR Sufficiency Economic & Agriculture Learning Center, is comprised of an orange-colored elongated volume and a main square box on the upper level to contain offices and meeting spaces for staff.
"Over the past decades, the world has encountered increasing challenges resulting from unprecedented rapid rates of technological advancements, increasing social and economic disparities, dangers from natural disasters, conflicting values and cultures, and more recently, life-threatening pandemics," said Vin Varavarn Architects.
"Amidst such national and global crisis, "Sufficiency Economic Philosophy" elaborated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1974 has gained recognition as the beacon of hope guiding the nation towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Growth Model."
"The philosophy is based on the conviction that sufficiency thinking will strengthen human capabilities with wisdom, morality, and immunities to cope with the unforeseeable changes and threats," added the firm.
According to the studio, the project was developed with the aim to inspire and disseminate the King's Sufficiency Economic Philosophy to the Thai people.
The project is situated in Nakhon-Ratchasima on 14 acres of land which had been transformed through the New Agriculture Model from arid and rocky deserted areas to rice fields, reservoirs, vegetable gardens, groves of fruit, and general usage trees, and areas for animal farming.
Drawn with a simple layout, the key design component of the project is its roof. The roof's folded structure provides a strong balance in between indoor and outdoor while supporting the internal climate.
The two-storey building includes The Activity Center accommodating up to 100 people in a variety of functions.
In the first floor, there are lobby (reception), rooms for seminars and workshops, a large canteen, and a kitchen. While the second floor contains offices and meeting spaces for staff, a control room, and facilities for invited trainers and resource persons.
In designing the buildings for the project, the architects were challenged to explore the essence of Sufficiency Economic Philosophy as related to architecture, especially whether the buildings must conform to traditional concepts of rural dwellings of bamboo huts or temporary shacks.
After discussions with various stakeholders, the architects were able to demonstrate that local craftsmanship and local materials can become involved and transformed to create modern designs which are attractive, well suited for present-day ways of life, durable as well as achieving harmony with the environment.
The building's activity center acts as a landmark among the vast agriculture fields. It is designed as a large and open pavilion to facilitate flexible usage of functions with natural lights and natural ventilation.
For the expansive and prominent roof, the architects used locally grown bamboos to help collect and drain rainwater towards small canals surrounding the building, and in turn, it redirects the water to feed other areas of the land before reaching the natural reservoirs for usage during the drought season.
For the outer skin of the structure, the studio preferred to use a natural color made of earthen walls. This approach resulted from an experiment with local craftsmen's skills and local soil further enhance "sufficiency thinking and mindset" in adapting locally available materials and capabilities for modern usage.
"The activity center reflects the belief that architecture is a living science that must transform and grow with the new development of technology in response to evolving human needs and behaviours," according to the studio.
First floor plan
Second floor plan
Project name: PANNAR Sufficiency Economic & Agriculture Learning Center
Architects: Vin Varavarn Architects
Location: Nai Mueang, Thailand.
All images © Ketsiree Wongwan
All drawings © Vin Varavarn Architects
> via Vin Varavarn Architects