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Min Buri Old Market Community by TYIN Tegnestue

November 24, 2009

Some days ago we featured one project of TYIN Tegnestue, the  Soe Ker Tie House and today we want to keep publishing their projects, as we think the work they’re doing is what we really need for a sustainable world.

TYIN tegnestue is a non-profit organisation working humanitarian through architecture. TYIN is run by five architect students from NTNU and the projects are financed by more than 60 Norwegian companies, as well as private contributions. Through the course of the last year TYIN has worked with planning and constructing small scale projects in Thailand, and here is one more of these projects.

After the projects in northern Thailand TYIN wanted to engage a more urban situation and decided to cooperate with a local architect office in Bangkok. CASE (Community Architects for Shelter and Environment) have been working with community projects in the Min Buri district for several years and have done one of their playground projects in Min Buri Old Market Community. This was to be the location for TYINs next project, a library by the Old Market site.

The Old Market Library is built in a 100 years old market building. The section for the library is 3×9 meter, with a back yard facing a small canal. The roof and walls were in poor condition and it was
important that new elements in the building supported themselves, without attaching to the old structures.

Above: Before and after

After an initial process where the locals were included in a series of community meetings, it was concluded that the best solution in this case was not to build something completely new. The old marked buildings have a lot of vacated spaces that could be renovated for common use. By doing this it could prove that investing in these old buildings was a risk worth the effort, despite the uncertain aspects of the future. The community council attained a house for this purpose within hours after agreeing on this course of action.

The high ceiling in the main room introduced the building a loft that creates a more intimate situation both below and above. The library is divided into two zones along its length; one side lets you pass through the building along the book wall, while the other is for reading and other calm activities.

Beyond the main room is a smaller space, the study. An old toilet in the corner serves as a bed for a small tree, that hopefully will have good fertilization in the years to come. In the back yard a pergola is constructed to protect against the blazing sun. Jasmine and climbing plants are placed in some large ceramic pots.

One of the main challenges for the community is the annually flooding during the rainy season. In this period the water can rise 50 cm above floor level. To retain the water would be very challenging, and the solution was rather to elevate the calmer zones to ensure that the library is usable throughout the flooded periods. Concrete sidewalls and aired connections prevents humidity and rot in the wooden constructions.

A very important principle in this project is the use of local and reused materials. The bookshelves are made of wooden boxes from one of CASEs earlier projects, while the cladding is put together using old and decayed wooden pieces, found in the immediate surroundings. The constructive materials had higher quality requirements and was bought at a local secondhand wood shop.

location: Min Buri, Bangkok
client: Old Market Community
project: Community house
cost: 27.000 NOK
time: March 2009 – May 2009
team: Pasi Aalto, Andreas Grøntvedt Gjertsen, Yashar Hanstad, Magnus Henriksen and Erlend Bauck Sole
collaborator: CASE Studio Architects

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