INDA, the International Program in Design and Architecture, is an English language program taught by the Faculty of Architecture at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. The program was started in 2006 in order to meet the growing demand among the students for English language instruction that would prepare them for graduate study abroad.
The INDA co-sponsored an annual program called Design Build for Community that renovates schools in rural Thailand. They give the students the opportunity to work on the project right from conceptualising design all the way to its construction. The students not only gain practical experience but also a chance to give back to the community.
Last year, for the project the team chose the Community School in Chonnabot, located in Khon Kaen Province. The school’s canteen was in a dilapidated state as a result of flooding and termite infestation. The team designed a new canteen that includes a cooking, serving and dishwashing area for 260 students over 215.0 sqm.
As the college website suggests, while INDA has ‘adopted architecture as its principal topic of study’, it hopes to tie the same with other disciplines, such as landscape architecture and urban design, and show that architecture is representative of design disciplines in general. Students must be both creative in design as well as adept at solving problems. All of this can be seen in the newly designed school canteen.
While the main concept behind the design steps from the native Thai architecture and traditional cooling methods, the construction of it boasts of modern technique. The roof has been alligned so that it provides maximum shade while allowing wind to blow through the space. Recycled tetra packs were used to make panels that works as both, as substrate for the roofing panels and as an insulation from the heat. What more? This space can be easily converted from a canteen to a communal gathering space.