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A-Frame Shelter

Mae Pa, Tak, Thailand

Following the A-frame house concept, Estudio Cavernas built this temporary house for a family of three in the surroundings of the Mae Tao Clinic, in the outskirts of Mae Sot.


After putting in to practice the concept of the roof house as an easy to built and efficient shelter during the construction of the Hua Fai Youth center, this time we tray its suitability one step further, by building this house in only two days with a team of five low skill construction workers and within a total budget of 250 USD.


For the construction of this temporary house the floor plan of the original roof house was adapted to fit the needs of a small family, but Keeping the same basic concept of providing a floor and a roof that can accommodate the living activities of the family.


The main materials used in the construction were eucalyptus wood for the structural frames, bamboo for the floorings and enclosure, and sugar cane leaves for the roofing. All these materials were gathered from the surroundings of the building site and local sawmills. The materials needed to build the footings, such as sand, gravel and cement, were sourced from the left over’s of a nearby construction site.






13 m²




Funded by​

PlayOnside Organisation

Design Team

Juan Cuevas

Yago Cuevas​


Yago Cuevas


The process began by putting together the A-frames in the floor, connecting the pieces with hard steel bolts that were later attached to the posts previously built in place too support the structure. Once the frames are up, the rest of the building components are progressively added. First, the roof and floor joists that give strength to the structure and stabilised it, then the roofing made out of sugar cane leaves attached to bamboo rafters, the floor, made out of split bamboo and the walls, also made out of bamboo.


After two days of construction work, in which the family members took part as well, the house was ready to be used. The construction of these project gives as a conclusion that it is possible to build a temporary shelter that can accommodate the needs of a small family in decent conditions using only locally sourced materials, low skill labor and a relatively small budget.

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Construction Background

The construction took place in three days, with a team of 5 workers under training and the supervision of an architect. An extremely limited budget (around 200Euros). The team conforming Estudio Cavernas was formed, just like in all other projects, by immigrants under training, coming from a situation of social exclusion. This aspect is key, our goal as an Organization is to create work opportunities for workers that don't have many chances of being hired under different conditions. With this objective, we employ workers, some without previous experience on the field, that are trained in the process of our buildings in different fields and for a different amount of time. The philosophy of the studio consists on developing projects that hold a good experimental component, and hold sustainable construction techniques adequate to the context, that's why adobe bricks, rammed earth and wood structures are often used in our design. The objective of every project is to create and functional space that is also sustainable and aesthetically pleasant.

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