Architects without Frontiers (AWF) was requested by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) to assist with the design of a new environmentally sustainable Office and Community Centre to serve the AIPP regional secretariat staff and volunteers.
AIPP is a non-profit organization duly registered in Thailand as a foundation composed of a predominately Thai Board representation. The secretariat of AIPP has been renting a building for over a decade but have expanded and require a new facility to accommodate this growth. AIPP was keen to find assistance in designing building/s that sensitively celebrated and acknowledged its locations and indigenous people’s history, identity and culture through the use of local vernacular construction methods. The building also aims to serve as a model for ecologically sustainable design for the region.
The land allocated for the project is situated outside of Chiang Mai city centre amongst former rice fields.
The community, current staff, locally engaged architect and other stakeholders have been involved in the design process, which was intended to be participatory and inclusive. AWF is acting as a stakeholder manager on the project, providing guidance, advice, support and project direction along with assistance in and review of the design process.
The first phase of the AIPP project included travel to the site, followed by a feasibility study and concept design of the building/s and landscape herb and vegetable garden.
Project Coordinator Ryan Moroney and Architect Paul Von Chrismar travelled to Thailand to attend the inauguration of the new secretariat office. AIPP was had large delegation of members present in Chiang Mai for their annual gernal assembly, and the inauguration was highlight as part of a week long set of organised events. The celebration was featured a Lisu blessing - a fire to bless the house to keep it warm and an offering of the chicken, rice and water to Obamu - God for protection and blessing. This was followed by a beautiful ribbon cutting ceremony by Joan Carling the AIPP Secretary General who will stepping down at years end. As the building is 80%, AWF plan to visit again once the building is occupied.
The team have been working through the detailed design and documentation since November 2015, and we are all very excited with where it is heading. 10,000 adobe bricks are in the process of being made by the beautiful people at Earth Home Thailand and hopefully the AIPP staff with get their hands and feet dirty as well!
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