July 2010: We’re not quite facade engineering specialists, but we have been using our curiosity as motivation to investigate possibilities and materials in buildings. In the process, we hope to develop designs that are not strictly limited to functional or technical criteria. In this recent project, we have created a new 3-storey facade using hand-made woven plant fibers as its primary cladding material.
Team members Pailin Paijitsattaya and Kanin Amboon focused on a particular banana plant found in Thailand that exhibited relatively robust properties for a natural material when processed. The techniques used to fabricate the facade were based on the team’s research and Kanin’s visits to communities outside of Bangkok to learn traditional techniques of harvesting and processing of the plant materials for typical uses such as basket weaving, mats and other domestic functions.
The double twisting technique provides the necessary strength for the architectural application and the pattern was designed to allow for natural ventilation into the interior spaces of the townhouse while maintaining a level of privacy.
By using banana plant as a building facade material, the final outcome took what is considered a very ‘vernacular’ material and inserted it into a contemporary building context – the renovation of a townhouse for a typical suburban residential development.
Name: Happyland Townhouse
Scope: Facade, Interior Design
Building area: 200 square meters
Project team: Pailin Paijitsattaya, Kanin Amboon, Singh Intrachooto, Jariyawadee Lekawatana
Specialists in Natural Fibers: Kanin Amboon, Somboon Luechaiwattanasopho, Rueangrumpai Jewyan
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Project completition: 2008