Project Description

Kitchen and dining-room for Teacher Training College in Noh Bo

Pictures

Details

Design: Daniel Evensen

Project manager: Paw Eh Wah

Project leader: Line Ramstad

Square meters: 72 m² 

Materials: Traditional Karen building structure, but with square timber posts, concrete floor and a centrally placed brick wall that divides the functions in the house length direction. The brick wall also doubles as storage place. Outer walls are made in a combination of timber, vertically placed and slightly slanted for airflow, but no direct sunlight inside. Doors and windows are timber frames with braided bamboo in traditional patterns. 

Client: Teacher Training College (TTC) and Noh Bo Church (property owner) 

Project period: 2018-2019

Costs: 351 162 THB (89 950 NOK)

Team: See Da Pah (leader of building site), Phillipa, Pah Me, Kee Kee Pah, Saw Dee, Pah Da. 

Villagers has contributed with day labor

Counselors: Jae-Young Lee

Project description

Teacher Training College (TTC): is a collaboration between a Teacher Education Program in a University in New Zealand and a local Karen teacher training school. It was first established in Mae Lah Camp, the largest refugee camp on the border, but moved to Noh Bo in 2013. Through TTC, numerous new teachers with an actual understanding of children’s needs are educated, and with tools like activities and games, they increase the student’s ability to learn. TTC also trains their teachers in short and long-term planning and implementation of different subjects to different classes. A strong contrast to the regular memorization that is the norm in this area. 

TTC`s success is mainly built on the hard work of dedicated and knowledgeable teachers Graeme and Kendal Cook who have built and are running the school. Former students also continue to work for the school after they finish and provide continuity. Our leader Paw Eh Wah is one of them. After fulfilling her training years, she is now working fulltime with Gyaw Gyaw, but all the knowledge she gained through her TTC years benefit us on a daily base. 

TTC in its environment in Noh Bo village

Implementation: We started the design process with a joint inspection on site and a common brainstorming around size, function, shape and materials with all of Gyaw Gyaw and representatives from TTC present. Daniel then continued the process from Trondheim (Norway) with feedbacks from Jae in Berlin (Germany), Line in Årnes (Norway) and Paw Eh Wah and the team in Noh Bo. This was the first time a design was drawn from another place and cooperation done across continents, but Paw Eh Wah maintained the relation with the school and the church, gave feedbacks to the architects and tied it all together. 

As usual, most of the frames changed along the way, but with years of experience, Paw Eh Wah lead the project with a steady hand. She was also a clear voice on behalf of the team and the school during the design process, and a strong leader for everyone during the construction period. Line had the overall responsibility and pulled the strings when necessary. 

Design process with visit to the old kitchen, planning meeting with the architect present, and team in action. 

Design: All rooms are based in and around a central element built in bricks in the building’s full length. On one side is a kitchen, food preparation and a washing area. On the other side is a dining room. The wall itself is angled and in each cubicle is a small room for storage. The brick wall is a free-standing element. It holds weight from the roof, but the main construction is secondhand timber posts on concrete shoes that is connected with timber beams in a traditional structure. It is also strengthened with diagonals.

The outer walls are full height doors/windows and wall modules in a pattern of slanted timber slats and bamboo braided in beautiful patterns. The flexibility in the wall’s openings can be used to adjust to the light and sun impact through each day and different seasons. It is also made a water storage system for the kitchen and built benches and tables for the dining room. 

Pictures

Process

Teacher Training College is renting space from the local church in Noh Bo and has long needed a new kitchen and dining room. TTC will always have a good standing for us and since we have also not worked for the church for many years, it was an easy project to accept. It was also an appropriate project to introduce Daniel to work along the border. 

Evaluation

TTC kitchen and dining room is built for the students and teachers at Teacher Training College (TTC) in Noh Bo. It is also used by the church that owns the property for their weekend schools and for servings in connection to their services. With its newly gained popularity, the kitchen and dining room is also used as a community building when space for larger gatherings are needed. 

With a new architect on the team, and facilities in the village like electricity, water and good roads that gives access to materials in shops in addition to from nature, this building is the most advanced we have ever built. It is no doubt it is both beautiful, functional and popular, but it differs too much from traditional construction to affect future construction in the village.