New Wave Media Lab+Library
Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand
Situated in a neighbourhood of Mae Sot, New Wave is a migrant learning centre that hosts an average of 200 students from different ethnic communities each year to provide them with basic education.
While the school was equipped with basic infrastructure, it was originally lacking a library and no classrooms to teach computer skills to the students and teachers. As such, the media lab and library was built to support 14 computers and a well-stocked selection of books.
Since the school does not own the land where the school is situated our team needed to build a structure that could easily be relocated, in the event that the school was told to move. Our design met this requirement through the design of a light metal structure connected with nuts and bolts that can be completely disassembled and reassembled easily using basic tools.
The building is divided into four different blocks; the first one is a covered garden that acts as a buffer area for the library and can be used as extra seating space for reading. The next block hosts the library, consisting of a multileveled-seating area whit a built-in space for storage and a large shelve that accommodates all the books. The media lab can be found after the library and is equipped with custom-designed tables and benches that comfortably accommodate all the computers. The back of the building is a secondary buffer area that helps protect the walls from the rain and serves as a multipurpose space.
The main structure of the building is made out of steel connected with nuts and bolts. For the enclosure walls, steel and bamboo panels were built in the floor and later put up and anchored to the main structure with bolts, making it a simple system to be disassembled. These panels are built using locally harvested bamboo allowing for regular airflow and some light to filter inside the building to create a nice atmosphere.
The building includes a covered side gallery that acts as a playing space for the students as well as a protection element, providing a shield against the elements and helping keep the building cool by reducing the amount of sunlight that hits it directly. This gallery was built using the same technique as the enclosure walls, by making steel and bamboo panels directly anchored to the main structure. For extra protection against the elements, the bamboo facades wore treated by slightly burning the surface and applying a coat of protection against insects.
A remarkable element of this building is the water collection system that was installed at the back consisting of three rainwater tanks with a total capacity of 3.000 litres including a first flash system and rainwater filters in each tank that will provide the school with fresh water throughout the rainy season.
An informatics course program has been set up by the school to start providing their students with basic computer knowledge, while the library has received a large donation of educational books, making the building a very useful addition to the school facilities.