Project 3: "Collective Cultures" by Pin Laohasurayotin

In the beginning of the semester, we started with the most basic elements of architecture: the column, beam, and wall. I have experimented with the idea of the intersection of walls, and the different spaces that are created resulting from that. This is then developed into a system, which became part of the next phase in the project, the Individual Habitat.

What will the world be like in ten years or so?

The world today is globalising. There are not boundaries and everyone could travel far away from home, especially with the economic communities that combine countries into a larger community in each region. 

People of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds are coming together: a homogenous society is slowly evolving into a mixed society. What is to be Thai or American? How do we define the different groups, then? Despite the relocation of these people, they would still hold on to their values and the different lifestyles. 

 The Client is a family of 4 members including a father, mother, mother-in-law, and a son – all of different cultural backgrounds. What we will need in the future is a public housing that will be able to provide flexibility for such diverse groups of people.

The site is located on Paholyotin Road, between Sois 5 and 7. It is an rapidly developing area of a high residential density with a diverse community that is able to cater to the new lifestyle of this group of people. It is easily accessed by many methods of transportation making it easy to commute to places. 

The Collective Habitat is modular - the form of the building is quite simple.  It is based on the 3 by 3 meter grid of the structure, with a central atrium that goes through the whole building. 

The main circulation is a ramp along the atrium. The inhabitants that walk through the building becomes a 'display' and we will be able to see the diversity of people as they move through the building.

 Despite the simple exterior, the interior is a system of complex relationship of the inhabitants of different lifestyles that requires negotiation between the parties. 

These differences are also expressed through the facade system. It is a sliding screen system, which is based on the grid as well, at 1.50 meters wide. 

It is a steel structure that is allowed to be able to be clad with different materials. It is a movable screen, so it is transformable throughout the day, reflecting the different tastes of the inhabitants that are able to coexist. 

The important spaces in the Collective Habitat are the shared common spaces. The whole ground floor of the building is open. There is no clear interior or exterior, and it is also open to the public as well. Along the side, there is a 'landscape park' that is able to be used as a meeting space, leading to a cafe in the back. 

This creates unity by creating interaction between the outside and the inside world. There are also meeting spaces on each floor, around the cores. The rooftop is a shared space, with a roof garden and a swimming pool. 

These spaces are important, as they encourage communication between the inhabitants.