award-winning firm walllasia has completed a four-story residence nestled in the natural surroundings of wat pa wachirabanpot in chon buri, thailand. the building, which is difficult to spot from afar, ensures its practicality to get to. inside it hosts a meditation center for women that includes a residence for those who go there, serving as their second home. with a striking white design, each of the 100 rooms feature breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and woodlands. made of concrete, the structure is humble enough to let the magnificent setting be the protagonist.
all images by spaceshift studio / pirak anurakyawachon
designed by walllasia, the women’s dormitory and meditating building boasts a multifunctional man-made pond in front of the residence. it is not only pleasing to the eye but also a reservoir for the clean water that descends from the hills, useful for drinking and other domestic uses. it also keeps prying eyes at a distance so that no one is disturbed while they’re meditating. the soil excavated for the pond was used to establish the foundation of the residence.
the interiors have been thought to be airy and well-ventilated, with ventilation tubes installed above and below the long corridor. the balconies vary in size, commenting on the rhythms of the sermons and the breathing of the meditating participants as they strive to achieve mindfulness. the spacious rooftop is surrounding by water, almost as if to keep the practitioners from falling off. the placidity of this scene can’t be seen from the outside, though – it can only be appreciated from within.
the symmetric open-air corridor is paved with bricks in a pattern borrowed from a venerable temple, in a tribute to ancient thai architecture. the working team tapped its members’ expertise and kept watch on the budget. these were priorities, but so too was the existence of things. all these factors are reflected in the rough exterior surface and the meticulous interior design of the rooms.
from a distance, the building is like a white box inserted into the mountain. it was in fact designed so that the rocks stayed in their original places surrounded by the pond – in the middle of the structure – to keep the temperature inside mild and enhances the rocks’ stoic presence where they can be viewed from every level through the skylight box.
client: wat pa watchira banpot
location: wat pa watchira banpot, chonburi province, thailand
project area: 12,000 sqm.
architect: suriya umpansiriratana walllasia,.ltd
advisor (architecture): kyai nuichan walllasia,.ltd
project teams: panomporn prompang, charlotte matias, kunakorn wangkanai, phuris kanjana
on-site manager: nuttapon nimlamai, worawit saikaew
structural engineer: soontorn kietkongsak, pacharathorn kampimol
manufacturers: pongpan ngamwongnoi
photographer: spaceshift studio / pirak anurakyawachon
juliana neira I designboom
aug 13, 2019
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