In the district of Bang Krachao lies an oasis of nature, a bustling community and a seemingly rural way of life. It is a slow and perfect setting, healthy. The small scale development of the district marks a contrasting counterpoint to its brother across the Chao Phraya, Bangkok.

During our time there we came upon an unusual little building, a sala, small yet intimate, five metres by five metres in size. It sits along a street nestled into a setting of trees, people pass by on bicycles. The building was intended to be a shared space for all the community to use for learning. Today it sits empty.

The existing sala is underutilised and underloved. We found out it is only used one day a week for vocational learning. It looks more like a storage space than a community space. We found out what the problems were: ‘it is too small...’
‘it cannot be used for other functions...’‘it is open to mosquitos and termites are eating the books...’‘there is no toilet nearby...’ it is dark and unattractive...’

We see potential to revive this sala. At more than 25 years old, it needs to be renovated, extended and brought into the twenty-first century. Our concept is to remove the existing walls and insert additions that provide new spaces that are functional and inspiring. These new spaces will liberate the existing central space for new unimagined uses. The new building will be a space for everyone to use, 7 days a week - a hyper sala.

We think of the new building like a human: the BRAIN is a new library space dedicated to books & knowledge, the EYE is a lounge space to lie and relax, it acts like a window into the community, the EAR is a space for gathering and listening in the beautiful natural site at the rear,the TONGUE is a stage to bring the community together and inside.

From the outside the hyper sala has a new unique image. It has been transformed from a forgotten relic into something that is attractive, inviting those who are curious to come inside and explore its new potential.

existing sala interior

renovated and extended sala interior

existing plan

proposed plan

existing section

proposed section

steps of transformation

proposal of transformation

Proposal for a Community Project in Bang Krachao, Thailand

in collaboration with Kamonsin Chathurattaphol, Bangkok 1899, Creative Migration & Meinhardt Engineers Thailand.