Driven by technology and social media, people in different ages in our society are changing the ways they spend time. Daily activities and sports can be tracked and shared to friends at ease by just clicking devices. Activities seem to be more diverse, active and outdoor as people start to follow what friends are enjoying. We are slowly moving out from a sitting-back and work or going to shopping mall society to a more active one.
Supermachine Studio is questioning the way people will live in the near future taking a project that we have done for SCG (The Labyrinth) as a starting point. In the project, we reinterpret the role of “a playground” by define it as a meeting place among adults and kids rather than just playing facility seen in traditional play ports. Fun is created by just running up-down the concrete structure. Hiding and seeking in the Labyrinth enable people to meet physically rather than chatting with them virtually on computer or smart phone screens. To complete the loop one will have to spend 10 kilo calories, the Labyrinth is an architecture for active movements as well as a social enhancing device, a meeting place.
Calorie tower is a structure for a future society where architecture is not built based on the most efficient and quickest-access philosophy but on a detour and more possibility basis. It is a tower for those in the community to come in, meet and spend time together more actively.
Design: Supermachine studio team
Design team: Pitupong Chaowakul with Sujinda Khawkam, Kasidis Peuktes and Mint Mintly
Client: Siam Cement Group
Location: Bangsaen, Cholburi, Thailand
Completion: Q3 2014
The project is part of the celebration of Siam Cement Group (SCG), the biggest construction materials producer in Thailand, for the company’s 100 year anniversary. Supermachine Studio and 2 other renowned Thai architects are invited to propose a public facility which will be realized dedicating for a community in Thailand. All 3 projects are fully sponsored by SCG. The site chosen is a seaside public park built many years ago in Bangsaen, a coastal town 100 km. east of Bangkok. 3 structures are to be built in the same area; a library by DBALP, a multi-purpose pavilion by DEPT. and a playground by Supermachine Studio.
The project was started by questioning performances of generic playgrounds today which are facilities for the youngsters to spend time on actively and the adult left aside being passive. Parents and their children are in the same space but their relationships are somewhat awkward. Can we redefine it into a meeting place where they spend time together and relationships in the family are reinforced?
Our proposal for a community playground is a stacking concrete labyrinth that offers many possibilities for children and adults to climb around. The structure offers some tens combinations of routes for families to redefine their relationships. Playing hide and seek in the labyrinth is, for us, an activity that allow parents to spend more time with their kids. The tower is name after the energy one will use to travel up the structure. Walking with normal speed from bottom to top of the tower will consume 10 Calories.
Being placed in the tree line beside existing public park, the spiral staircase will perform as observation tower overlooking the sport activities happening in the park as well as the sea slightly further. The tower also allows existing and new plantation to penetrate to its voids. Through time it will be camouflage into crowns of trees letting people travel up and down to explore their relationships with green.