Soe Ker Tie House / TYIN Tegnestue Architects

Architects: TYIN Tegnestue Architects
Area: 76.8 m²
Year: 2009
Photography: Pasi Aalto
Project Team: Pasi Aalto, Andreas Grontvedt Gjertsen, Yashar Hanstad, Magnus Henriksen, Line Ramstad, Erlend Bauck Sole
Client: Ole Jorgen Edna
Program / Use / Building Function: 6 Sleeping Units, Orphanage
City: Ban Tha Song Yang
Country: Thailand-Myanmar

Soe Ker Tie House, designed by TYIN Tegnestue in Noh Bo, Tak, Thailand, features six sleeping units for Karen refugees. Completed in 2009, this humanitarian project aimed to provide private spaces and a communal neighborhood for children, utilizing local materials and sustainable techniques for construction and water management.

TYIN Tegnestue is a non-profit organization operated by five architecture students from NTNU, supported by over 60 Norwegian companies and private contributions. Their work focuses on humanitarian projects through architecture, aiming to improve lives in challenging situations. In 2008, TYIN traveled to Noh Bo, a village on the Thai-Burmese border, inhabited primarily by Karen refugees, many of whom are children.

Soe ker tie house / tyin tegnestue architects

The Soe Ker Tie House project began after connecting with Ole Jørgen Edna, who started an orphanage in Noh Bo in 2006. The orphanage needed more dormitories to accommodate nearly 50 children, up from the original 24. Completed in February 2009, the project involved building six sleeping units to provide each child with a private space, creating a sense of home and community.

The primary goal was to recreate a normal living environment for the children, offering private spaces and a neighborhood for interaction and play. These six sleeping units are designed to meet these needs, providing a better quality of life for the children at the orphanage.

Soe ker tie house / tyin tegnestue architects

The buildings, named Soe Ker Tie Hias or “The Butterfly Houses” by the workers, feature bamboo weaving on the side and back facades, a technique common in local houses and crafts. The bamboo was harvested within a few kilometers of the site. The distinctive roof shape facilitates effective natural ventilation and rainwater collection, making the surrounding areas more usable during the rainy season and allowing for water collection in drier periods.

The ironwood construction is prefabricated and assembled on-site with bolts, ensuring precision and strength. Materials were delivered by the Karen National Union from the Burmese side, creating complex issues related to the dependency on tropical timber.

Soe ker tie house / tyin tegnestue architects

By raising the buildings on four foundations cast in old tires, moisture and rot are prevented. After a six-month mutual learning process with the locals in Noh Bo, TYIN Tegnestue aimed to leave behind useful building principles. Techniques like bracing, material economization, and moisture prevention may lead to more sustainable building traditions in the future.

Soe ker tie house / tyin tegnestue architects
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Noh Bo Village, Ban Tha Song Yang, Tak, Thailand

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