Bamboo school, an earthquake relief school in chaingrai

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Baan Paa Kor Dum School

Location: Chaingrai, Thailand

Builder: Nawarat Pattanakarn

Sponsors: Nawarat Pattanakarn with the supporting fund raised by Design for Disaster

Coordinator: Design for Disaster

Organizer: The association of Siamese Architecture

Design team: Pitupong Chaowakul with Sujinda Khawkum and Kasidis Puaktes

Landscape: Conceptual idea by T.R.O.P.

Photograph: Wison tungthunya


Following an 6.4 Richter earthquake in Chiangrai in early 2014, a group of volunteer architects coordinated by Design for Disaster joined forces by each team designing one classroom building to provide spaces in schools in which part of the classrooms were critically damaged by the disaster. Supermachine Studio was one of the teams agreed to join the rebuilding effort. The school assigned for our team was Baan Pa Kor Dum school located in Mae Loaw, Chaingrai where the 2 story building was badly damaged and meant to be dismantled. The new site appointed was the vacant corner in the school right adjacent to the old building.

Our design approach was simple; we would like to use bamboo as a main structure having heard about the wooden tribal house that damaged but survived the same quake. We would like to build a bamboo architecture much stronger typical bamboo structures in our country to prepare for unforeseen circumstance. Students should have more time to evacuate the building. In case the building is deformed, bamboo members are much easier to replaced than concrete ones used to build typical schools.

Another goal is to be able to keep the 3 existing trees standing in the center of the site. The new classroom building is therefore bend 90 degree to avoid the trees which splits the mass in the 2 groups. In between the 2 masses is a common area covered by the curved roof. It is our belief that education today happens outside of the class as much as inside therefore we think that this common area is needed. Moreover it is a connection between the peaceful back garden to the rest of the school. We also fill the walls facing the garden with windows as we think the class condition shall be as open as possible.

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