Walled community for practicing Buddhist monks in Thailand recognises religious values harmonised with nature
Bangkok-based architect Suriya Umpansiriratana has completed a walled community of cells, classrooms and meditation spaces for Buddhist monks in Chonburi, Thailand and explains the design thus:
A large wall shields the monks’ quarters from the clamour of the road, creates privacy and serves as a landmark for the temple. This wall remains open to the view downhill towards the ocean, and encloses an outdoor courtyard for the monks’ daily activities.
Two large water tanks holding 6000litres are placed inside the tight bend in the wall created by the hairpin turn. Here they gather rainwater from the roof. Since this is the top of the site, no pumps are required to supply the monks’ daily activities, showers and toilets.
Grey water continues downhill to feed creepers planted along the base of the wall by the road. These will gradually grow up over the wall, further shielding the monks’ cells from noise and dust, and softening the weight of the wall. The slope, the wall and the rain – everything is brought together in a cycle.