Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand
Mae Sot is a busy town on the border between Thailand and Burma. This landscape project takes place on the yard of a refurbished Thai traditional house. The unattractive busy streets of the surroundings led to a prior decision of building a wall to create an independent island that sits on one of the densest areas of town.
The objective of the project was to turn a hostile area, suffering constant flooding, into an amicable space with a free-standing platform covered by a light pergola.
Space is divided into two heights; ground level walkable areas and raised beds. The flooding problem is partially solved by adding vegetation, planting banana trees due to their its ability to suck exceeding water on the soil. The peripheral raised area is filled with vegetable soil, separated from the walking area by low rock walls, which topped with thick slats of reclaimed wood functions as benches.
A slight slope to help water drainage, and the use of gravel on the top layer avoids the flooding problem. Old railway trucks connectors are modified in order to create a path that leads from the house back access to the pergola. The way that they are anchored to the ground is achieved just by the use of interlocking pieces of wood.
The choice of materials and the simplicity of the construction techniques is adapted to the skills of the construction team under training. Following our studio philosophy, the use of machinery to modify the topography was avoided, in order to incentivize the employment of migrant workers in the area.