TYIN tegnestue Architects completes interactive play space in Bangkok slum
Over the years, Western travellers have flooded to Thailand to sample its vibrant culture, buzzing markets and unique way of life. While holiday-makers sun themselves on white beaches and gap year students dance their way through the famous Full Moon parties, millions of local residents continue to battle the growing issues of unemployment, poor sanitation and healthcare, lack of public services and mass sub-standard living.
The area of Klong Toey in Bangkok is home to one of the oldest informal dwellings in the city and with more than 140,000 residents the slum is in desperate need of - among other things - an architectural investment to catalyse a change in the region. TYIN tegnestue Architects have instigated a scheme with students and members of the community which they consider ‘a small contribution that might lead to positive change’.
The team spent a year undertaking wide-scale research and development, speaking with local residents and organising workshops to gauge how their skills could best help Klong Toey’s population. Taking only three weeks to design and build, the redevelopment of a small courtyard and construction of a 12m by 1.2m structure have rejuvenated part of the slum and inserted a space for sports, performances, public meetings, walls for climbing, and social areas with seating both inside and around the edges of the playground.
Intrinsic to the build was the preservation of an existing football field where local children meet to play regularly. In order to support the new architectural structure, TYIN tegnestue Architects had to insert a concrete base due to poor ground conditions and contend with limited space issues as the community was adamant that the full size of the neighbouring field be kept intact.
The architects maintain: “The main construction’s simplicity, repetitive logic and durability enables the local inhabitants to make adaptations that fit with their changing needs without endangering the projects structural strength or the general usability of the playground. This way the project runs in parallel with the ever changing surroundings and fits with the idea that the project could be part of a larger call for a more sustainable development in the Klong Toey area.”