Project 3 : 'Sociopetal collective habitat' by Poon Kulvanich

Sociopetal public housing at 22nd July Roundabout

'Sociopetal is the term used to describe a public space with a radial plan, embedded with circulation that converge paths together. As an effect, the space has more potential to encourage social gathering than a gridded-space.'

The public housing project takes on the issue of how individuals living in proximity become more and more distant from one another in Bangkok city context, being influenced by the surrounding social condition as well as spatial factor; questioning if we can create a 100 units living that encourages neighbors to interact, as well as improving the surrounding neighborhood of the habitat.

The Site
Choosing a roundabout means that it is already spatially suitable for the concept, yet further observation shows that this roundabout with its small garden at the center, that is also a memorial monument in itself, is barely accessible and interaction between the current inhabitants are rare. This causes by  the surrounding activities that are mainly automotive shops, which make the roundabout only a pass-by routes for worker or specific group of customer and has never been a venue for social gathering. 

However, further analysis shows that within 1 km radius, their are many important buddhist landmark circling the site, as well as fresh markets hidden in the small alley, where the local actually buy food, and the monks come for food offering ritual. 

This information becomes the concept of program organization, using a market potential in bringing people together to encourage the usage of the roundabout garden as venue for 'food offering', aiming to eventually create a new social condition to the roundabout neighborhood.

Program Flow

To convert the idea into a physical transformation, the habitat create a new program flow towards the site by cutting through the ground level of the habitat and provide spaces for commercial shop front and an open area for fresh market right before the arrival to the park. Providing a shortcut from the temple towards the roundabout, and emphasizing its potential as a venue for gathering.

The Habitat

As for the total arrangement of programs in layers, the habitat consist of parkings, one at ground level and another underneath. Same level as the parking and one above is the commercial space, and the actual habitat rest on top this two level stepping base, with openings down to the commercial zone for visibility of the activity below. The habitat level also connects to the ground and the elevated walkway that is established around the roundabout to facilitate road crossing with multiple entrances.

The arrangement of habitat is based on a cluster system, where 10 units are arranged together, alternating the leveling plain to blur the lines between private balcony and corridors, encouraging higher chance of meeting between inhabitants of different unit. The overall arrangement also concern that there are many common green space visible from all the units, aiming to encourage more participation in communal activities
Each cluster combines the 'BEAM' designed in phase1 which influences its angulated shape when arranged with other clusters. 


Taken from the Individual Unit design in phase2 and developed in to two types of different size, the interior focuses on dominating the communal space with activities that are the most accessible to all inhabitants as well as crossing circulation between paths of daily routine and rearranging program for higher versatility of all area.

From the scale of a single unit to the surrounding context, this public housing project aims be a prototype in creating a new social condition to the future living condition of Bangkok, experimenting on the influence of programs and spatial spatial arrangement that result in a community with stronger relationship between its member.