Landscape Design

3dMax + Vray

Mae Sai

May - Jul. 2010

During the design and construction process of the community gathering spaces, students gain hands-on construction experience while working with and sharing information with the local population on site issues such as techniques for erosion/stormwater management, termite prevention and affordable solar lighting options.

Project Mission/Goal:

To increase awareness of the environment and/or address climate change respond to our growing need for clean water, power, shelter, healthcare, education.

Project Description:

Students and Faculty from INDA, the department of Public Works in Chiang Rai and Akha villagers come together to create a flexible covered space or ‘sala’ connected to plaza and landscaped spaces. The Akha village that INDA worked with over the summer 2010 is a self-sufficient agricultural community at foot of Doi Nang Non mountain range in Northern Thailand. Twenty years ago, the Akha and many of the hill tribes in the area were involved in the planting, trade and abuse of opium. The government of Thailand started a development program to promote farming of environmentally and socially sustainable crops such as rice, pineapple, corn and coffee.

Building materials for the project combine bamboo, local hardwoods that are naturally resistance to pest and rot with modern materials such as concrete and metal. Floor deck and roof follow the natural contours of the site and provide views of the mountains and agricultural fields. Given that the village lacks access to electrical power, solar-powered lights were added along the stair connecting the road and homes and the southern facing facade of the pavilion for safety and security. Soil erosion was a ongoing issue for the Akha tribe so new plantings around the site are chosen for their root properties to strength soil and performance in local conditions. Water drainage channels were created along the stair and roof line of the pavilion.

Construction took place over the month of July 2010, the middle of Thailand's rainy season, as part of an undergraduate architecture course, Design and Construction Projects for Community. The class offered the INDA, the International Program in Design and Architecture at Chulalongkorn University, focuses on underprivileged communities; paying attention to the design process with community participation; cooperation between communities and public and government sectors.

Project Lead / Architect: Kerrie Butts and Nilay Mistry

Design Team: INDA Chulalongkorn University

Project Type: Public Space / Gathering Space

Cost: $3000 USD

Area: 50 sq meters

Client: Local Department of Rural Works

User Client: Akha Village

Number of Beneficiaries / Users: 300

Beneficiaries: Hill tribe/ Agricultural Community

Major Funding: Chulalongkorn University and Chiang Rai Department of Public Works

Nominated by INDA International Program in Design and Architecture