PlayOnside Sports Centre
Mae Tao, Thailand
The project is located on the outskirts of Mae Sot, just a few kilometres away from the border in between Thailand and Burma. Site conditions are harsh due to the tropical savanna climate and the lack of vegetation to palliate the heat.
PlayOnside is a local NGO that encourages social integration and gender equality through the power of football. The building has two main functions, changing rooms for the kids enrolled in their program and the need for a protected space with a seating area for spectators.
The position and orientation of the building respond to the climate conditions and the situation of the football fields. The location allows to follow up on simultaneous matches played on two football fields in front of the main facade. Main wind and rain on this region come from the South West, therefore the least exposed facade is oriented in that direction.
Another factor considered during the design was the fact that the spectators visiting, will watch the game during the first hours of the day, therefore the main seating area is oriented north east, to avoid direct sunlight.
Sports and Recreation
The layout starts with a simple rectangular form, which is modified by dividing the volume symmetrically and rotating both sides towards the football field. This allows a bigger space on the covered area in front of the main facade. Due to the nature of the constructive process, where everything is cut, assembled and finished on site, the fact that there are angles does not increase the cost, as it would do on a construction taking place different context.
Rammed earth and adobe brick walls are used as construction materials due to its thermal isolation, sustainable qualities and simplicity of construction method without machinery. Even though the quality of the soil on this region is adequate for both, rammed construction does not take place in this region of Thailand, therefore an underlying objective is to promote the use of natural materials among the locals and migrants.
The single sheet aluzinc roof is laid on top of a steel profiles structure, minimized in order to control the cost. Cross ventilation is achieved by leaving open gaps in between walls and roof. Since the material used for the roof has poor insulating qualities, its position is raised to increase the distance and reduce from the users to avoid direct radiation.
While the construction of the building was taking place, Estudio Cavernas together with PlayOnside held an international tree planting campaign in order to have the ability to improve the conditions of the land, therefore increasing the comfort of both, the periodical users of the building and the visitors.
A set of trees is planted a few meters from the South West facade to avoid the direct contact of water with the earth walls. The rest of the trees are scattered throughout the surroundings, creating gathering areas thanks to the shadows found under the vegetation.