BU SAC (Bangkok University Student Activity Center)

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Architecture can be “RECYCLED”

Location: Bangkok University, Rangsit Campus

Area: 2,200 SQ.M.

Commission Type: Renovation

Completion: Q2 2013

Design Team: Pitupong Chaowakul with Jetsada Phongwasin, Theerayut Somtua, Suchart Ouypornchaisakul, Jirarat Pinyocheep, May Monthakarn, Mix Archawin and Nattapoom Sawettabhorn

Photograph: Wison Tungthunya

SAC (Student Activity Center) is one of the most challenging projects that Supermachine studio has to do for Bangkok University from quite a number that we have done for the campus. It is not only because of the complexity of the program but also the 2,200 sq.m. project has to be on the 20+ year old building that used to be a dormitory. It is the most drastic building transformation that we have done to date.

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SAC consists of diverse facility space, mainly for out-of-classroom ones, from photo studio, music rehearsal room, Thai dance club, 20+ faculty rooms, meeting rooms to POM POM cheer leader training hall. All of the students’ programs have to be accommodated into the existing structure of the building that was not designed for.

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The old building was a 32 compact room dormitory inserted with 12 compact courtyards. The 90 meter long building was low, dark and damaged from the great flood in Thailand in 2011. The main operation is to merge 2 gable roofs into a new single roof with new structure to make the space more livable for the increasing number of users. The outer skin of the building is re-clad though out with single material which is a cedar shingle. Half of the inner space are kept intact but repainted systematically the existing corridor is yellow while 4 of the voids are modified, made public and painted into 5 different colors; purple, green, pink and turquoise. Natural light is brought in through the void skylights to make sure that the new space is bright enough. At the rear end of the building is a completely new structure as it has to house the BU POM POM club. When completed the 16 meter high gym will be the new training ground for the famous cheer leader team of Bangkok University that has won a lot of competitions internationally.

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Given a nickname like a chocolate while being developed, “Toblerone”, SAC has been transformed from a simple program dorm into a complex programmed public building compressed into one long stick. Architecture also can be “Recycled.”

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BU SEM (*complete images)

BU_sem-5xAnother project showing our interpretation of new educational facility, BUSEM. Photo: Yupadee Suvisith & Jetsada Phongwasin

BU International Center (Complete images)

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Project: Bangkok University International Center

Location: Bangkok University, Rangsit Campus

Area: 480 m2

Design Team: Pitupong Chaowakul with Suchart Ouypornchaisakukul, Korakot Meesatien, Santi Sarasuphab and Yupadee Suvisith

Contructor: Task Interior

Photograph: Pitupong Chaowakul

In 2018, AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) agreement will be implemented. There have been changes and upgrades in many sectors in Thailand preparing for the new frontier. Educational sector has been as well adapting itself rapidly to be able to compete in the new condition. One of the the strategies of Bangkok University is to equip their students with more knowledge and skill that will allow them to understand cultures of different countries in AEC better so that the possibility to do business or cooperate in the future is more fluid.

The BU international Center is a 480 sq.m. space converted from a typical student hall situated in between an existing movie room and lecture hall. The programs consists of reading area, I.T. corner, Movie room and 2 workshops. The design is to increase interaction among students as much as possible as we think interaction between teachers and student and among students themselves is the most effective way of education. The majority of the programs are in one space without partitioning, except those for particular workshops.

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Old Main Entrance

wallThe front partition, nicked name: “SPUN WALL”, is a curved wall consists of 1,360 pieces of metal panels painted in 16 shades of colors. The gradient steel curtain is a see-through facade of BU International Center separating the facility from the public corridor. Walking along the Spun Wall, people will be able to see through the interior with different angle. It is a wall with thousand of windows.

In the facility, there are some elements derived from ready made objects in Thai culture including the 4-leg table made of the clothing mannequin and the reception counter in the shape of typical Thai fruit kart. These fun elements are important to us for the educational facility to drag it out from a typical institutional atmosphere.

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Dormitory Transformation Project

Once in a while, a super challenging project come around… From several educational facilities we have been designing for Bangkok university, the Student Union building has been taking 110% effort from our team. The goal is to transform a very old dormitory into multi-program building serving students’ out-of-class activities. The building is under construction and due to finish January 2013

Design team: Pitupong Chaowakul, Jetsada Phongwasin, Kasidis Puektes, Suchart Ouypornchaisakul, Theerayut Somtua with tons of help from our trainees.

The building accommodates spaces for extremely diverse activities from photographic studios, music rehearsal rooms, Thai dance club to POMPOM dance training hall.

Turning childcare house into Creative Office: Project BUBU

Design team: Pitupong Chaowakul, Suchart Ouypornchaisakul, Kasidis Puektes, Gorthong Thongtaem and Phongwasin

Client: Bangkok University
Location: Bangkok University, Klueynamthai Campus, Bangkok
Year of completion: 2012
Size: 400m2
Constructor: ST. Classic
System contractor: ST. Classic
Loose furniture: IKEA
Built-in furniture: ST. Classic

Photographs: Pitupong Chaowakul

Super limited budget project can be very challenging. We have finally finished BU Branding Unit office recently after series of budget cuts. Colors have been splashed all over. The end result has surprised us however. It’s been a great fun with hundred of tear-drops.