Libraries of the World: Safe Haven Library in Thailand

Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue
Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue

In January 2009, TYIN invited 15 Norwegian architecture students to participate in a workshop at the Safe Haven Orphanage, in Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand. TYIN Tegnestue is a non-profit organization focused on humanitarian projects designed to provide real solutions through architecture.

Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue
Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue

 

The goal of the project was two-fold: the orphanage needed new sanitation facilities and a library. Using local materials and labor, the students erected a building that provided both a bathing house and a library. All the money spent on construction materials remained in the community.

Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue
Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue

 

The entrance creates a comfortable buffer zone between a small computer area on one side and a larger library room on the other. This new library allows the children of the Safe Haven Orphanage to have a space to do homework, use a computer with internet and read books.

Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue
Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue

  

Large rocks gathered on-site form the foundation for the cast concrete base of the structure. Walls built of concrete blocks help the library remain cool during the day. Open bamboo facades make the most of prevailing breezes, while local iron wood makes-up the sturdy frame and comfortable floor.

Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue
Photo: Pasi Aalto / Tyin Tegnestue

 

Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves run the full length of the concrete wall. Unfurnished rooms allow for a multiplicity of uses. Since its completion, the library has become an important gathering space, and frequently used for crafts and games. 

 Safe Haven Library

Location: Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand

Client: Safe Haven Orphanage

Project: Library

Cost: 29.000 NOK / 4.800 USD

Building period: 12.–29. January 2009

Built by: Students and Tutors from NTNU

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