Nakornsawan Superbowl

When it comes to flood…Stop blaming nature… We are the one responsible. Supermachine studio expresses our view towards different future with Superbowl Project.

Design team: Pitupong Chaowakul, Nuntawat Tassanasangsoon, Wattikon Kosolkit, Yupadee Suthvisith, Suchart Ouypornchaisakul, Peechaya Mekasuvanroj, Sthapat Soichampa and Supanna Chanpensri

Thailand is a country at risk of water disaster both draught and flood. Considering its size, the country has a great length of rivers in its water network, specially the central delta. Together with monsoon behavior around the region, Thailand has always been worried about more than less water to use. But delirious sprawl of cities and irresponsible agriculture lands trigger huge imbalance of water flow; insufficient to use during dry season and larger scale flood during rainy season.

New tools
We have to change the way we live with WATER, but more than that, we need far larger and more efficient tools to manage it. We need network of hydraulic device big enough to manage 6,000-10,000 million cubic meter of water that spill out of the rivers every year. “Dams won’t work.. They are managed by politics.” We need new tools that are more human related. The PEOPLE’s tools. The tools that make us more responsible and enable us to live with WATER in the new way all together.

In this proposal, we use Nakornsawan as a location to implement our vision of a giant hydraulic tool in the network. The city is a typical Thailand’s city locating by 2 rivers Ping and Nan. It is usually flood every year but in 2011 the water broke the protecting levee into the city’s center. The whole town of Nakornsawan sank into one meter plus deep water. Our vision is to place the new WATER city in between the two rivers and slowly generate new way of living for Nakornsawan’s people.

Super Bowl; Half a million city

Can we build a massive hydraulic tool that is populatable as an extension of our own city or as a new city itself that all of people in the old city can move into? We propose to build a 20 km. long soil hill in closed shape in between 2 rivers in the East of the city of Nakornsawan. The 150 meter high hill will form a giant water reservoir capable of managing 1,500 million m3 (15% of Bhumipol dam) water. The massive water device will work together with other devices in the network sucking in water from the rivers during monsoon season with 3 giant pumps at 180million m3/day. It will slowly release the water out during dry season keeping the part of the water for 5.85 million m2 agriculture on the inner surface of the reservoir itself.

The outer surface of the bowl will be 40% covered with forest of diverse species. In time, people will populate and urbanize the outer surface of the hill in specific area without harming the fully grown forest. The new city will be thin but continuous one running up and down the surface of the hill allowing the residents to be close to the forest. In our vision, the city is one continuous architecture netting on the giant water device. Its structure will be standing on the soil to strengthen the reservoir as a whole. The new architecture is a vast 28.3 million m2 of mix-use programs (from house to school, cinema, market to government facilities) able to inhabit half a million people, the size of downtown Nakornsawan itself.

Super bowl is a sustainable city of its own as it has power sources from wind turbine, water, hydro-generator, bio-gas and dye-synthesized solar cell installed on all of its surface. Hydroponic planting system is also a built-in element on the whole building skin. People will plant their own consuming vegetable while traditional terrace rice planting will be allowed one crop a year inside the reservoir. In this city, agriculture still exist but in much more responsible and water-efficient way.

Less cars are allowed in the new city, parkings are distributed along the band in nodes. The residents use cars just to travel to other cities. In Project kingkong, they will use 3 lines of in ground Metros. 3 levels of public transportation connect people in the city via 3 interchange stations on each side of the peripheries. On top level, which is the water level, people will travel with boats. Public facilities like parks or sport stadiums are floating elements on water including airport.


Project Kingkong

Today marks the beginning of Project Kingkong, a research and design project on Thai future settlement on Living with water. From now we will go through 5 months of rigorous working session on the issues. The project will includes Photo documentation, Diagrams, Analysis and Visionary proposal on specific sites in Thailand.

No Red, No Yellow


Designed for Art4D’s Minimart’09 at Architect Expo at Chalenger hall, Bangkok, “No red No Yellow” is a functional bottle openner. It is around 10cm by 6 cm and made of 6mm. thick laser cut metal in the shape of geo-political “Thailand.” There are 4 provinces that you can use to open the bottle caps, precisely Taak, Nongkaai, Ubonratchathani and Phuket. (No hidden meaning why we choose those 4 to function)

In one of the most messy social conflict in Thailand’s history, we think, as a designer, that our designed product can become the protesting tool. What can we designer do, but design? So the beer bottle openner is the protest to the protesters of all kinds out there that what they have been doing for the last 2 years is against our right to live in freedom.



It is our tradition to reveal the process and different reasons why we choose to do this. In this case, it’s very personal; dated back in 2005 while we doing Cheeze Studio, a photography studio in downtown Bangkok, we design a perforated steel railing using the similar pattern. The main intention was actually to question the identity of the 2D symbol in Thailand.

41m7rpi7frl__ss500_(ref. image)

Taking the Union Jack as an example, I think it has different identity in the pass than what it does today. Thai people seem to think about such symbol differently (in a more sacred way) You can argue that the East and the West are living by such different backgrounds. From our fundamental education, we were taught to be proud of the shape of our country as the profile looks like a golden axe which used to be a bit bigger here and there back a hundred years ago. A lot of the people percieve “nation” as something can’t be smaller than this shape. We ,as Thai people, have to do whatever we can to maintain such a shape. Thus on another level , the geometry represent the ideology of the nation which can not be touched.

It is a challenge and fun for us to relate the design with our society’s taboo in which I think people are  more and more open about it. This should be the roll of architects or designers we believe.

The small detail of our project was to question that kind of thinking. We call the pattern “LAAY THAI” (translated; Thai pattern).


Harbormall (process)

fins_colorsHarbormall is revitalization project of the 50,000+sq.m. building heavily affected by the  great Asian Economy crisis in 1997. Located 100 km. east of Bangkok, the building was a local shopping mall mostly serving engineers and workers in Laemchabang harbor, the biggest harbor of Thailand. After being struck by the financial crisis, the building continuously fell apart customer disappearing, shops closing till it reached zombie state. The whole thing was half-dead for 6 years. (The same thing can happen to retail spaces in many countries in financial crisis right now)

Warning: This is a pretty long post. We would like to put a lot of Harbormall stuff in line. Therefore we decide not to split the post. Please be patient loading the images.diagram_progress
With that small sign of life, the next generation of owner took a few years to rebuild his business and decided to renovate the building in full-scale. New programs are implemented. The façade and front plaza are redesigned. The interior space is given a whole new concept. The revitalization has been completed in January 2009 right in time when it has to tackle its way through another economic recession, currently. Surely this time it is much more equipped and composed.



renders(Some of the option we tried during the design process)finaltive_day(The new shell, composed of 3,400 color film laminated glass panels)

angles(Facade pattern studies)

fin_model(Early stage glass fins model)color(Laminated glass samples)shadowfins

We continue our “Multiplication obsession” by wrapping the old facade with the new skin composed of 3,400 pieces of color film laminated glasses. There are 8 shades of blue, green and white fins mixing up. The fact that the building is stand by the big highway flooded with Sodium light (typical orange street light.) Our idea is create an  blue box that brightly iluminates at night to contrast with the existing environment. The new form of the facade is kept at its most simlplicity to differ itself from the existing postmodern buildings surround it.


As well, we take care of the interior renovation, a pretty straight forward proposal bringing in more natural light, creating architectural landmark in the existing space and add some attitudes into it. For us, sometimes big scale architectures like shopping malls, airports, stations etc. are built like numb giants. With the vast size they don’t establish conversation to people using their space. If possible, we would like the design a giant that start talking to people. We implement a lot of charactoristic details into the space and public furniture to convey the messages.


void_Aliftlift lobby(Space marking diagram, Elevator towers & Highrise lobby)

tive_in1tive_in2(Main Entrance spaces)

void_A_photoharbor037ele(2 elevator towers as landmarks)

toilet sign(hallway to WC compound)

Bangkok 2082


Bangkok 2082, the project from Supermachine Studio’s initiation to explore the visionary image of Bangkok in the future. We believe that our city is built from imagination as much as social, political & financial factors. As a architect, it’s our obligation to depict that kind of vision whether it is right or wrong. This project is also a criticism to Thai history of ill effort to publicly discuss Bangkok’s future which leads to tons of weak development policies. Our future shouldn’t be relied on stupid and corrupted Thai politicians.

It is done in colaboration with 3 other young architectural offices (Phd. Studio, S+PBA, Aposthropy’s). The project is part of the exhibition called Bangkok 226 (Bangkok is 226 years old this year) at Bangkok Art and Cultural Center (BACC.)

We devide downtown area of Bangkok into 4 parts each of which is 1.5km.x1.5km. The different part of the map is given to different group of designer to be given their vision upon by making physical model on top of it. There is no other rules about the making of the model but time retriction that it will be Bangkok in the year 2082 to garantee that each group can express their future view of Bangkok freely. The 4 physical models are juxtaposingly connected in the exhibition to illustrate different scenarios of the futurist Bangkok. side

Within the modern movement of Bangkok as a city, visionary discussion over the future image of the city itself barely exist. With 10 million inhabitants, Bangkok can be considered as a metropolis, the Asian metropolis that has unique beauty, lives and problems of its own. A metropolis without fantasy dream of its’ future, Bangkok has only vague images described by politicians. That’s it!!! We believe that the discussion over the future of our living environment should be done seriously, and in broad scale including many practices such as writers, architects, movie makers, politicians, artists etc.

greys01Reference image: image of future London by Grey’s cigarete company (beginning of last Century)




In our version; in 2082 Bangkok will be a metropolis of 40 million population (4 times of what it is at the moment.) Fossil fuel has been vanished. All automotives are Hydrogen based so Bangkokian are using cars still. The 30th phase of express way is under construction (4th phase at the moment). It is 7 storey stacking on each other, the tallaest in the world. The governvent build social housing towers for the residents. They are 250 storey, 800 meters high. The tallest building in Bangkok is 1,500 meters high, the 3rd tallest in the world.

The entertainment business reaches its top level; the drive-in cineplex shows 50 movies in the same time stacking 200 meters from the ground. Casino and massage palours have been legalized. There are intertwined with the highway system. The city finally found the great idea, expanding the existing public park 20 times bigger than it is. No one can build on it. (The idea is taken from Central park in New York City) However, the luxury big and small projects are protuding, overhanging, overlapping with the city’s man made nature. 7-Eleven spread like virus over everything.

In 2082, Bangkok is still a city in super congestion condition. Bangkokian are still happy people like who they are.

PHD Studio’s version of Bangkok

The making or Ubon house, Stuff you can’t find on the magazine


Singlehouse: The perception of a single house in a modern Thai society has been heavily influenced by the property development started in the 80’s. Certain groups of developpers planted the idea of typology, functionality and the way they are put together in the gated community into people’s brains until those picture has become the default idea of a “house” for Thai people. The schools of architecture in Thailand, as well, play an uncritically big role in educate us to be familiar with that kind of “house” concept in order that those student, when graduated, can be part of those house producing machine.

5553(ref image of typical Thai catalog houses)

Of course in different countries, the stereotype of a single house is vastly different. But in my opinion, some countries are doing much better than others in term of architectural qualities. I think Japan is one of the forefront in constnantly rethinking the single house. Maybe because of the land size and expensive construction and living cost there are plenty of attemps to come up with interligent re-definitions of single house in design practises.

Achitect as psychiatrist: I have been refrained from doing a single house for a period of time because, to me, doing such a project is more than being an architect. A lot of times, we have to be in the complex conversations with the “family”, between husband and wife, mother and son etc. We ,architects, are drawn into the line of fire or in the verge of war among someone elses’ familiies. Funnily, we have to wear other hats; being a referee, a friend or a psychiatrist in the process of transforming the clients’ need into architecture.

Ubon house is a very special project for us in many ways. As said, this is the first villa we designed since the office was founded. It will chalenge my house designing resistant. The other thing is the shear pace of the process; the house was meant to completed in 6 months counting one from the date the owner talked to us. He was getting married. The couple wanted to move into the villa right after the wedding. The site is a few kilometres outside of Ubonratchathani overlooking a strangly beautiful swamp on the southside of Moon river.


(Ref image: Yves Klien’s photograph, Leap into the void, 1960, one of my favorite image when trying to explain the house to other people)

In such a pace, architecture takes its form strongly out of will and trust between owner and architect, I feel. It almost came out of our dialogues on mobile phones. “What about pulling your working room over swimming pool so that you can jump right into the water any time you are stressful working?”, I joked with him. “Will it be finished in time?” he answered. I went back to my computer and worked. The core of the design follows that brief conversation.


We would like to build a very brutal modernist architecture in the center of the highland. We picture it like a black spaceship hovering in the middle of nowhere. The working room on the 2nd floor, which is the focus of the house, will protude into the air above the swimming pool. The openning of the room will frame the emptiness nature of the swamp to the north.


While on the first floor we want to create a small living island. All programs are contracted in rectangle shape surrounded by water. The small reading terrace cantiliver out to the waterfall in the black long wall in the east. The north side is always the highlight. It is covered by the openable wooden fins on giant steel framesm when slided open, the living room is extended outward to the terrace and swimming pool outside. This is expected to be the common area of the client’s family (which has a lot of members.) Moreover we intended to design bedrooms on the 2nd floor to be rather small. This is to force people to spend their time together more (downstair where it is very well ventilated)

ubon_con06ubon_con07The photo I like best, cheap typical outdoor table set on wooden terrace for Australian Wine party next to the pool, overlooking Ubon at night.

Within 8 months, the house is completed. (At the wedding it was only 70% done) It is considered super quick for Thai standard. Everyone is very happy including me. We try not to resist to do a single house anymore. It just need some nice dialogues to begin with and carry out with trustful conversation between client and architet. We will just move on.

Ubon House on Room#75