Safe Haven Library: Giving a future

Sami Rintala,


  1. Blog
  2. Sustainable Architecture
  3. Safe Haven Library: Giving a future

Safe Haven Library: Giving a future
Norwegian architectural studio TYIN’s plan for a library in an orphanage in Thailand offers the children not only an opportunity to study and build a better future for themselves, but a place to play and have fun

The library is the product of a workshop held in 2009 with the participation of 15 architecture students from NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, under the guidance of associate professor Hans Skotte and architect Sami Rintala.

The workshop was held to provide “Safe Haven” orphanage, near the border with Myanmar in Ban Tha Song Yang, a picturesque Karen village (for more information see http://www.floornature.com/blog/soe-ker-tie-house-by-tyin-tegnestue-an-orphanage-in-thailand--7648/ ) with a library and a new healthcare facility.

The library was built almost entirely by workshop participants (while the architects and the Karen workers built the bathrooms) in only two weeks using only local materials to support the local economy.

Apart from the concrete foundations, cast on a bed of large stones collected in the area, and the walls made of blocks of cement covered with plaster which keep the building cool during the day, the structure and the floor are made of Parrotia Persica (“Iron Wood”) and the walls of bamboo, ensuring excellent ventilation.

There is no furniture apart from floor to ceiling bookshelves, leaving plenty of room for the children to play. An entrance hall serves as a buffer zone between the small computer room on one side and the library itself in the larger room on the other side.

The project by TYIN, which stands out for its work of great ethical value aimed at improving living conditions for poor children, goes beyond the function of a container for books, offering a glimpse of a better future for the children who come here to read, use the computer and play. The space has become a meeting-place and centre for the orphanage and the village.

Design: TYIN tegnestue, http://www.tyinarchitects.com/
Location: Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand
Client: Safe Haven Orphanage
Photographs: Pasi Aalto, http://www.pasiaalto.com
Related links: Soe Ker Tie Houses, http://www.floornature.com/blog/soe-ker-tie-house-by-tyin-tegnestue-an-orphanage-in-thailand--7648/


Stay in touch with the protagonists of architecture, Subscribe to the Floornature Newsletter