Driven by technology and social media, people in different ages in our society are changing the ways they spend time. Daily activities and sports can be tracked and shared to friends at ease by just clicking devices. Activities seem to be more diverse, active and outdoor as people start to follow what friends are enjoying. We are slowly moving out from a sitting-back and work or going to shopping mall society to a more active one.
Supermachine Studio is questioning the way people will live in the near future taking a project that we have done for SCG (The Labyrinth) as a starting point. In the project, we reinterpret the role of “a playground” by define it as a meeting place among adults and kids rather than just playing facility seen in traditional play ports. Fun is created by just running up-down the concrete structure. Hiding and seeking in the Labyrinth enable people to meet physically rather than chatting with them virtually on computer or smart phone screens. To complete the loop one will have to spend 10 kilo calories, the Labyrinth is an architecture for active movements as well as a social enhancing device, a meeting place.
Calorie tower is a structure for a future society where architecture is not built based on the most efficient and quickest-access philosophy but on a detour and more possibility basis. It is a tower for those in the community to come in, meet and spend time together more actively.
The Flagship showroom of Cotto, the biggest Thai ceramic tile and bathroom product producer in Thailand is opened at SQ1 Siam square under the name “Cotto Curious”.
Design team: Pitupong Chaowakul with Korakot Meesathien, Yupadee Suvisith.
Installation mechanic: Witpim team
Photographs: Wison Tungthunya
Yim Huai Khwang Hostel, Bangkok
Location: Huai Khwang intersection, Bangkok , Thailand
Client: Peung & Tem
Design Team: Pitupong Chaowakul with Suchart Ouypornchaisakul, Korakot Meesatien, Kasidis Puektes, Supakorn Sinthutarn and Sujinda Khawkum
Project type: Renovation (Exterior and Interior)
Area: 600 SQ.M.
Completion: Q1, 2014
Photograph: Wison Tungthunya
Recently a young couple came to our office telling us that they would like to leave their routine jobs and start their own new business. They told us about their dream to have a small hostel chain offering compact but super comfortable beds for travelers of different ages. They named their dream project “YIM”, meaning “SMILE” in Thai. The very first one is Yim Huai Khwang. It is named after the bustling district of Bangkok where the hostel situates. Shortly, there will be few more to come and locations will always be added after “YIM.” This primary move is to take over the 20+ year old shop house and transform it into a 16 room pilot hostel. Previously the building was a rent condominium sales office.
The conversion process of exterior and interior in this project has a lot to do with ‘archiving’, meaning the building will have to look fresh and different from what it used to be while many of old elements are to be kept intact. The project is nicknamed, “Batman hostel”, a version of the superhero that still shows a lot of Bruce Wayne under the black suit. Very clearly, the project is a transformation process that hint to the tracing back of its original condition.
The main operation for the exterior is to reveal the original modernist façade of the existing building which has a very strong expression of its time. The bamboo panels, typically hand-made and used in small houses in rural area of Thailand, are inserted behind the existing sunshade to make contrast background and emphasize the form of the existing architecture that we admire. The bamboo walls also act as defining frames of the hostel rooms giving privacy between each unit.
The interior is about juxtaposition of different concepts. The marble reception counter left from the previous renter is kept attached to the new collage wall made of old fashion & design magazines. Separating by the giant clock clad with colorful toys, guest dining area is an all-white vintage tile space. Just a few meters away, the public area of the hostel is a bombarded with vibrant colors; the turquoise stair well, the orange hall on 2nd floor and the yellow corridor on 3rd. Inside the 16 hostel rooms are kept simple using white and natural wood colors to make the compact rooms feel spacious. 6 bunk beds are combined and built in capsule-like units to add little more privacy.
Staying in the hostel these days is more than just about budget sleeping, but experiences what the place has to offer. In a way, Yim Huay Khwang Hostel is trying to prove that.