bamboo library in thailand by chiangmai life architects
Chiangmai Life Architects fuses natural, modern bamboo architecture with state-of-the art engineering to integrate the new Panyaden Secondary School Library in Chiang Mai, Thailand, into its natural context. The low-lying structure features an organic design typology centered on concentric circles. With earthen adobe walls, the school is topped by a reciprocal, two-tiered bamboo roof with an oculus skylight at its core, and supported by bamboo truss archways throughout the interior and exterior.
bamboo truss archway | all images courtesy of Chiangmai Living Architects
an organic, concentric design language
Having previously designed the Panyaden International School’s science labs and music center, and sports hall, Chiangmai Living Architects now unveils their new design for the school’s library. The facility fosters a serene and inspiring atmosphere, combining traditional study spaces with tables and desks, with relaxed lounge-like spaces for reading and studying. At the center of the rounded plan is a sunken pod with raised amphitheatre seating, equipped with cushions and beanbags for comfortable reading and group discussions.
In line with the architects’ concentric approach, directly above is an oculus skylight, streaming natural light and fresh air into the library. Further reinforcing this design language, the central pod is first flanked by small, built-in working tables, and then by the bamboo archway that houses the main bookshelf section which is radially oriented with various of study spaces integrated within. The library also includes two noise-insulated study rooms for group sessions and a small office for the librarian.
circular bamboo archways flank the central pod
a natural earth structure topped by a bamboo roof
Integrating the building into its environment, Chiangmai Life Architects makes use of natural materials such as earthen adobe bricks for the walls, and bamboo for the roof, trusses, and archways. The upper level of the double-layered roof with a skylight cupola is a reciprocal design, with each structural bamboo culm supporting the next without need for pillars.
The architects further equip the Panyaden Secondary School Library with a state-of-the-art central cooling system that gently emits cool air, without the uncomfortable feeling of a cold air current. The structure is also fitted with a fresh air system, that during the burning season provides filtered, ultra clean air from the outside into the space, creating a positive pressure that prevents polluted air from entering when the door is opened. During other seasons, the system also continually provides fresh oxygen and creates an optimal internal climate for studying and learning.
sunken pod with eye image with amphitheater raised seating