when referring to the old city like Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province I believe that many people must be thinking of the world heritage architecture that still has many red bricks. whether it is a temple or a pagoda that is commonly seen which is like a memory that influenced the buildings in the province even in the present But that’s not the interpretation The “old city context” must always be like that.
Today we had a chance to talk about the concept of combining the use of industrial materials such as glass blocks with natural materials such as wood from Assistant Professor Boonserm Premthada, architect of Bangkok Project Studio, designer of THE ARTISANS AYUTTHAYA. :The Woman restaurant or Artisans, a riverside restaurant in Ayutthaya The choice of glass blocks and wooden frames instead of masonry in the design is contemporary and interesting, linking the old. and new, along with the cultural context perfectly
The way of life hidden in the “space”
“Artisans are designed to serve as a restaurant for elderly women. This is a restaurant that was born with the intention to pass on the food culture of the aunts and grandmothers in this Banrun area to the next generation because these aunts and grandmothers are old. but has the ability especially in terms of food There are recipes that are starting to fade away as the days go by. Khun S-Sorawee Wisitsopha, the owner of this shop, thought about how to make these aunts and grandmothers have space. Let these valuable cultures not be forgotten and create a community economy for the elderly, especially women, thus creating this restaurant Artisans.”
“Which when talking about being Ban Roon Subdistrict Some people may not even know. The image in the head of tourists who come to Ayutthaya is therefore a picture of a world heritage city, temples, chedi, ancient ruins, but the lives of the people who live here may not even be able to imagine. hidden picture It’s real life in these areas: waterfront houses, narrow corridors, alleys, and Thai food. Local food and Thai desserts that people here really eat. which these atmospheres These are all things that I chose to create an ‘atmosphere’ in this artisan. but as said These atmospheres will be hidden. It’s not an image that will be seen from the beginning. But it is an atmosphere that must be ‘touched’ with different senses. and can find it on its own when walking inside
“The five buildings that make up the artisans It is the connection within the intended space. split the building into smaller houses In order for the building and the context of the space to intertwine with each other, harmonious and connected both internally and externally. The design of the building is a triangular shaped building. This is a shape that creates corners, gaps, and secret passages that are stacked back and forth. It is one concept that is intended to create different angles of the building. There are alley-like nooks that connect each old house together. It could be compared to the lives of those who live here hidden away. both in terms of lifestyle food culture Things require searching to be discovered. Because each area will be used differently. Turn this corner and you may find the kitchen. Another corner could be a dining room. resulting in diversity in the area.”
Ayutthaya in a new meaning
“My work will be about Sense. will be Thai not Thai Ayutthaya or not? Here we are not going to define. But we will let users come in to experience. come to feel Because these feelings are not something that we can impose on anyone. As already mentioned, everything is hidden. Therefore, the people who come in have to go and find those things on their own as well.”
“But one thing I believe is connection. It’s about the elements that come together, the smell of the grass, the trees, the smell of the charcoal stove, the smell of the wood, the nature of walking on the narrow wooden paths, the sound of the pier, the sound of the water, the sound of the aunt-grandmother cooking in the other corner of the building. These things might go back and forth some images for those who entered the artisans. A picture of having fun running in the basement of the house as a youth. picture of the pier or the houses that were once remembered Food made by mom or grandma, it’s a hidden thing. secretly in their memories as well And that’s the Artisans. It depends on what each person will find. I let the architecture act as the only link between those memories to be present.”
“Bricks made of wood and use clear bricks instead of red bricks From a vertical gable, it became a triangular building. These implications are ultimately dependent on individual experiences and interpretations. with feelings with an intentional touch into this building.”
glass and wood blocks The perfect combination of materials in different meanings.
“I liken these sticks to masonry. and used glass bricks to replace the mon bricks or red bricks that we are familiar with in the image of the old city. and use glass bricks to replace the Mon bricks or red bricks that we are familiar with in the image of the old city of Ayutthaya. I started by asking the question: What is the next step of bricks? The answer is I had to do the opposite of what was already there. We switched to clear glass blocks instead. and use less popular types of blogs The block’s textures also have dimensions that play with light and reflections in an interesting way. and compared to glass block works that have appeared before The use of glass blocks in this building It is considered that there is a language that is different from other works.”
“The interest in glass blocks started at Architects (ASA) some years ago. It is an experiment to make a small boot because I see that ‘Industrial materials’ shouldn’t be offensive. I think there should be a way for these materials to come together with natural materials. And another part is that I want to change the construction technique from ‘wet system’ to ‘dry system’. But I chose to use the dry system instead. We used wooden joints and steel frames to help strengthen the walls. Can produce higher than wet formation It also makes industrial glass blocks softer. and with the transparency of the material This makes the frame part become an important part that stands out.”
“What I found was In addition to the beauty that is clearly different from other glass block works. In such a dry system we can work all the time. It is also a self-supporting structure. Therefore, there are no pillars that come between the walls at all. We use steel frames to help with wooden frames, thus creating new possibilities for using ‘glass block’ material like this. and use clear bricks instead of red bricks From a vertical gable, it became a triangular building. These implications are ultimately dependent on individual experiences and interpretations. with feelings with what was intended to be designed into this building I believe that it is another way of thinking that connects the old wooden houses with industrial materials very well.”
Climate with clear buildings like glass blocks?
“If you ask me if I have used glass blocks in a sunny country like Thailand, will there be any problems? I have to ask again how much architecture and engineering we have developed. It is true that every material has its strengths and weaknesses, which, when considering its value for use, atmosphere, or other results. Architects should be able to solve problems and remove weaknesses.”
“For this building The use of glass blocks is a matter of light and connection of space. This man needs natural light. but don’t want to open too much because they still want privacy We’re saying that the light entering a building can change its dimensions. make us aware of the time Able to perceive the surrounding nature formed a connection between the outside and the inside Some people ask how much light has come in and is it hot? The important thing is climate in architecture. opening the air vent Designing a comfortable environment For example, choosing the location of trees to help shade the building. These things, if thought carefully enough. The building will be able to operate efficiently. It’s about connecting both the environment and the building at the same time. It’s up to us to choose to look. We choose to look at the advantages to develop. As for the disadvantages, it is something that we have to solve for those problems again. and make weaknesses become advantages We can’t say that materials like that, like this, are forbidden, like glass. But we can’t deny We need a material that can see through. Then we have to find a way to deal with problems that follow such as heat or something like this in this building. 50% of the natural materials are used. These wooden frames account for up to half of the wall space. These design methods are the responsibility of the architect. to use them as efficiently as possible.”
change industrial materials To the value of artisan craftsmanship
“The importance of creating ‘extra’ to the chosen architecture How does ‘industrial materials’ work? Because even if you choose to use ‘Industrial materials’ like this, but the “craft” (craft) or method. It must have been invented. There must be craftsmanship or crafting to make ideas come true as well. I chose to use wood to replace the building material. Part of this is the challenge of limitations. I was more interested in bringing the material to the surface than being familiar with it. Choosing to create a new dimension in materials is one of the duties of an architect to make a building more valuable.”
“But creating something new comes at the cost of ‘time’. In this project, we need more time. when designing new methods That means we need trials, tests, and skill training. All of these things take time. Sometimes it has to be done and then dismantled. It wasn’t successful in the first place. but in the end acquired experience Make these learnings and keep improving.”
Glass block, a material that is more than clear glass.
In the project, Mr. Boonserm has chosen glass block material as the main material. It’s not just because of its transparent material properties. but in the definition of “Hide and reveal” areas within the project also make the selection of materials consider the feelings and experiences of the users of the space during the project as well.
The standard glass block that is sold in the market measures 190x190x80 mm. It has a natural-looking, swaying surface that can obscure the eyes to create privacy. But still can see each other both from inside and outside in natural light during the day. Including the atmosphere of the trees outside will be able to be sent into the interior space. Including the movement of people in the area will become a shadow to fill the story of life along the canal of Ayutthaya as Mr Boonserm intended and at night. The lights that decorate the interior will be able to sparkle out to the outside view like a large lantern. as well
Sprinkle : “Disclosing the area in a way that was not completely revealed in the first place. allows users to still be able to imagine and think back to personal experiences as well It’s like a poem based on nature. and the context of the space helps to fill it.”
And this is yet another example of design work that brings cultural context to an architectural style in a new language that creates interesting experiences with materials like “glass blocks” like no other place has ever been able to do before THE ARTISANS AYUTTHAYA yet. Always open the door to those who want to enter and experience the feeling of yesterday. whether with food or the atmosphere of the past that is ingeniously hidden inside
MORE INFO ABOUT THE ARTISANS AYUTTHAYA
More information about Glass Block
Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul
Subject: Wuthikorn Sut