Shelter for Academy School in Noh Bo

Hangout area for students. Shelter for rain during rainy season and protection towards the sun in the rest of the year.


Every year we aim to invite participants from our main sponsors to work with us for a two-week workshop. The goal is to challenge our daily routines and habits and for the participants to get hands on experience with Gyaw Gyaw and their own skills.

Since all the participants have background from consultancy and implementation in the field of construction, we have additional skilled designers and labor for two weeks. During the workshop the participants gain an understanding of the context of Noh Bo, how the materials available are culturally accepted and used, and how local techniques are implemented. This knowledge does not come from western education so the purpose of the workshop is to both learn and teach from both sides. Adding collaboration with Karen trained carpenters with a general cultural shyness for both visitors and people with education, the biggest challenge is not to design and build, but to get a multicultural acceptance and collaboration across language and cultural barriers.

With experience, the lesson learned is that the smaller the project – the better.


Built and designed by Gyaw Gyaw and workshop participants from Asplan Viak and HENT in February 2015

2 weeks/120 000B

Gyaw Gyaw Team: Line Ramstad (project manager), Phillipa, Peter, Pah Me, See Da Pah, Ste Pha, Ole, Paw Eh Wah, Saw Dee.

Workshop participants: Marthe Fuglesang/Ellen Leinonen/Halvar Holtung/Sturle Stenerud/Irene Haakanes/Vegar Myren.

Pictures by Line Ramstad


When we asked Academy School to arrange a workshop on their property, the headmaster suggested a shelter for the students to use during breaks. A great workshop project. Not too big, but still with design and construction challenges for the Norwegian and Karen participants to discuss and solve. Since we already have a trusty relation with the school, they gave us freedom to focus on the cultural exchange and the construction itself.

The process started out with some pre-drawn elements that the different groups combined and further developed. When a base was agreed upon, the rest of the time was switched between design and construction and the team worked their way through alternatives as they built.

All in all two great weeks with some long days at the building site, but also with social trips. The Norwegian participants left with a good understanding of life in Noh Bo and Gyaw Gyaw`s work.

Shelter for Academy School

The hangout area is a triangular shaped shelter with roof plates on an timber construction. A lifted concrete hang out space for easy and rough maintenance and use, is placed under the roof and on a concrete slab. With an expert in concrete from Norway on the team, we used more concrete in this project then normal to learn as much as possible the weeks he stayed. Bamboo sticks cover parts of the walls for a more intimate shelter feeling. The existing root was too heavy to move without machines and was therefor implemented as a sitting place as well.


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