The Collective Habitat: "Your Own Piece" by Mathilde Kirkegaard


100 apartments are arranged in these circular buildings with flexible rooms, in that term that the inhabitant can choose size, balcony and different windows and sun protection according to a catalogue program. 
The buildings are built on an empty lot, where a part of the site will work as a public park. Both I’m Park and Chulalongkorn University (two of the sites neighbours), are trying to integrate green in form of trees and grass. This is continued into the sites design. The site is very open and inviting and there is easy access from Chulalongkorn University to the park and I’m Park. The paths lead under the buildings and also create visual lines to the different destinations. Only the inhabitants will be accessing the staircase in the centre of the buildings, which is protected with a fence. The fence will still provide the natural ventilation and a visual to the other side of the building. The site is located between two main roads and two main transportation lines, the BTS and the MRT. 


The diagram to the right, shows the technical factors that have contributed in defining the shape of the building.  
The building is round which creates one whole fa├žade - and not a less attractive back side of the building. In Thailand it is more advantageous to live in apartments facing the north, because of radiation from the sun. To prevent radiation in the apartments facing the south, it is possible to place a plant grid outside the window. This will still give the apartment the natural daylight, but less heat. This plant grid will also create privacy for the inhabitant. 
The building is lifted 250 cm above the ground, on columns. The whole structural system is based on a loadbearing steal structure of columns and beams. This allows the building to have lightweight walls and large horizontal window spans. 
In the centre of the building there is a hallow cylinder with 500 cm in diameter. This cylinder works as an entrance with a spiral staircase leading to the apartments. 
The free space under the building and the hallow cylinder, creates a natural ventilation shaft. The cooler air blows in under the building and hot air rises up. This air circulation can also be led into the apartments, resolving in the stack effect, a natural way to cool down the room. 


The high education rate has since 1980 increased from around 400.000 students to 2.500.000 students. The increasing of students also resolves in more institutes, and most of them is located near the big cities and especially Bangkok. 
This resolves in a great immigration of students to Bangkok. Here they live with relatives or their parents pays for an apartment or dorm room, often shared with one or several friends. 
Chulalongkorn University has build CUiHouse for exchange students in order to create a great environment and to attract more international students. This is an intervention that also should be made for Thai students. During interviews with students from Chulalongkorn University they lived either in apartments, at the Ucenter or at CUterrase. The Ucenter and CUterrase was criticised for being either to expensive or to dirty, and both places appeared as a practical impersonal base for the student.

Your Own Piece will create a home, not only with a great study environment, but also as a tool to develop an individual character. Here the students can retreat from the hectic city and the university life. 

In order to create a home, it needs to be personal and therefore also flexible so it can adapt to the different needs and requirements. Every student comes from a different area in Thailand, from different economic situations, different faculties and has different routines. 
In order to accomplishment the differences in the students, the catalogue will present different designs and additions to the apartments. 

This choice of size also makes it possible to get other inhabitants than students. The apartments can contain three separate rooms and will therefore be suitable for a small family or a couple. 
This will create a more diverse living area and the buildings will connect with both the exciting housing in the area and the increasing student life near and on Chulalongkorn Campus. 


This catalogue contains four parts of the apartment that can be selected by the inhabitant. The four parts is as follows; entrance, separating walls, exterior walls and bathrooms.
These four elements create a possibility for the inhabitant to get an apartment that suits the individual. The size of the apartment is the first choice; hereafter it is possible to create more than one room with the separating walls. For the apartments facing the south side, it is advantageous to select the plant grid, for shading of the sun and to prevent radiation. 
This plant grid can also be used to create privacy for the apartments, which has windows out to the street or the connection bridges.
The one-meter wide wall that is placed out to the centre opening of the building also comes in different designs. These walls contain a window either over the door or on a plain wall. This window can create the natural ventilation inside the apartments, called the stack effect, where the hot air rises up and creates a circulation trying to equalize the temperature.
The bathroom comes in two sizes, so it can fit a family (5 m2) or a student that only need the essentials (2,5 m2).