09 February 2007

14 BTS competition: The Green House Effects

Early last year, BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) announced that they will invest on the extension of BTS Skytrain Green line for 4 stations further from Onnuch.

It was last September that BMA and Itailian-Thai Construction Company organized an IDEA compettition for a new design ofthese four new stations. (It means that the winner will NOT get a comission to become the architect of the project, but Italian-Thai Company will apply the winning design to the existing project). We learned about it in the last minute of the registration (Thanks to P'Ky of Composition A) and thought that it would be fun to do, since it was only an IDEA competition.

After reading the brief, we were not sure if it was an IDEA competition anymore, because the requirements were quite technical, both in the budget and construction details. However, since we planned our schedule to do so, we finally entered.

Our main idea is that, actually the existing planning and construction of BTS stations are already quite fine for the passengers. Only that the stations are not really architecture, but rather 'infrastructure' that does not interact with its surronding at all. It is common to see somebody's bedroom right next to the BTS station.

How to transform this infrastructure to architecture?

Our plates:

The main concept is to allow a station react to its surrounding differently upon the site. Meanwhile, it should create a better effect to the surrounding and interior space as if it is a big tree growing out from the earth at the spot. The title 'Green House Effects' is to communicate to idea of 'Green' = the tree and the BTS Green Line, 'House'=architecture (not infrastructure) and 'Effect'=a better environment of interior and exterior.

Another thing we were forced to think of was about 'being Thai' (actually we were kind of reluctant to follow this). We chose to deal with it in a quite abstract way through the traditional Thai Pattern of a leaf - since we were thinking about the station as a tree.

The effect of the interior space should be similar to the space under the trees when the sunlight gets through (as in the image). So we worked on the three dimensional skin formulated from a folding pattern of the diamond rectangular, to be the second skin of the station. The material of this folded plates is the same as they already used for the railing of the existing station.

Another requirement was the pattern of the floor, the wall and the ceiling of the station. We used the 'tree' as our main idea too.

We even design the new environmental graphic system in accordance our idea. (Thanks to nong Peace).

The floor pattern was applied on the concourse level: the diamond rectangular which was from Thai Traditional leaf pattern.

The floor pattern was applied on the plateform level.

The sections of the station showing that the second skin of the station react differently with the surrounding. For example, if there is a building really next to the station, the folded plate skin should give a visual privacy to the building, while allows the air ventilation- this is what architecture should be.

The interior space.

Our model:

The result of the competition was schedule to announced on the 28th of Octorber last year, but so far there is not yet any official announcement. We have been wondering what is going on with the result. Actually we were also quite surpised to learn that two very big offices also participated the competition, because the competition was an IDEA competition, not the one that you would get a commission. Moreover, the prize money is not so much...quite strange that such the offices would do so.

Anyway, we are still waiting for the official result. So far we have heard that the winning project is of 'Architects 110'. We will see if we will get any prize.


Anonymous said...

there's quite good!..eventhough there's full of restrictions from the brief.
i really like the idea of 'being thai' with the shade & shadow effected from that pattern and that pattern themself made them own to be 'architecture'..
so,keep going :)
perhaps i'll discuss with you later about this issue and some sort of my point of view.
cheers :)

Anonymous said...

it is quite sad for competitions in our country. most of the time the brief is unclear. the judges are announced on the last minute. and the saddest part is there is no one deserved to win. i wonder how they can organise a competition withou a winner. from my point of view, there must be a best work out of all entries, no matter how crap it is...


Anonymous said...

The competition in Thailand is usually very unfair. If you are not a big firm with a lot of connections, it is almost impossible. Especially in a public project, the Term of Reference (TOR) would favor only very big firms. Forget it if you are a small firm or freelance, no matter how good you are. This is one of the reasons why after several years of building up a lot around the country, we have no good architecture yet. Our new airport is also another reference for such a failure of the system of the construction industry of our country. Useless to blame anybody, if the system is like this, we will not reach any good buidling.

Grant W said...

Good reading this ppost