Massif, sekaligus meruang.
Presentasi proyek ini agak minim. Fotonya sedikit dan kurang bisa menjelaskan keseluruhan bangunan, sementara siteplan-nya terlalu kecil. Tapi ada satu hal yang langsung terlintas di benak saya begitu saya melihat proyek ini: mirip candi di Jawa Timur atau pagar di Bali. Hal ini karena bangunan ini menggunakan material bata ekspos, dan dinding-dindingnya dibuat berlekuk seperti pagar-pagar rumah tradisional Jawa atau Bali.
Yang menarik lagi dari proyek ini adalah dinding-dindingnya (inhabit hall) yang juga berfungsi sebagai ruang. Maka menyelinap di dalam dinding ini, manusia bisa duduk, membaca, atau tidur dengan aman.
Bangunan ini, jika dilihat dari foto-fotonya, memang agak mirip dengan prinsip sebuah candi. Di dalamnya kita tak bisa menemukan banyak hal kecuali ruang kosong. Dari luar bangunan terasa massif dan tebal, tapi di dalamnya ada rasa intim yang tenang.
Si arsitek menyatakan metode perancangannya adalah “creative destructive”. Sejujurnya aku tidak bisa memahami apa yang ia maksud selain ingin membuat gimmick. Namun dugaanku, metode yang ia maksud itu ada hubungannya dengan usaha sadar untuk membuat sebuah bangunan menjadi tidak menarik secara visual, yang menurutku pun tidak sepenuhnya benar karena secara visual bangunan ini justru menarik. Entah si arsitek menyadari atau tidak, tapi pencarian akan nilai estetika ini rupanya membawanya kembali kepada nilai-nilai yang biasa ditemukan pada bangunan-bangunan bersejarah dari timur.
Konsep dan objektif dari arsitek:
More than Bricks
Kantana Institute is a specialized academic institution established for building up the professional in the area of film and animation production in a deserted area in Thailand.It aims to develop the land by adopting the education as a key strategy in order to create and strengthen the capacity of the students as well as reserving the environment, local lifestyle and culture.The building itself is designed with the reflection of tranquility, natural landscape and human beings with the linkage of practical usage, forms, materials, construction method, lifestyle and culture under the motto “Architecture is more than being just architecture”.The idea for its layout is based on the deviation from their daily life behaviors of the building users by using the walkway to separate different zones for different activities; however it can be used as a linkage of various purposes which is called by the architect as “Broken Plan”.The buildings comprises of 4 main components i.e. Management and Administration, Library, Lecture, Studio and Canteen zone combining by the pavements between these buildings altogether in order to stimulate the concentration of the students during the cautious walk to the class through rugged ways, various trees as eyesight barriers surrounded by high walls. Additionally, the walk through this path gives the feeling of walking inside and outside simultaneously.The classroom is designed under the concept of “dimness” by constructing with opaque walls and a small amount of skylight.This creates the feeling of tranquil night. Therefore, there is not much interior decoration in the class room building which may distract the students in comparison to others.This building as a result is an integration of building plan and human beings.With consideration of the empty space and tranquility, the buildings are indeed not designed as an eye-catching object but made in the square shape possessing the character of calmness and reveals the space containing trees, air, natural light, shadow which are generated by deteriorating the cubic completely.This approach is named Creative Destruction.The reflection on the surfaces resembles the façade-less labyrinth, whereby the users are able to identify the entrance and exit by using their common sense. The buildings are the architecture based on the integration of wasteland and non-symbolic shape.In the past 10 years, it is rare to find a construction with brick which is due to the belief in a research that a brick is a material which stores heat at most. Based on this, the brick is not considered to be used in any major construction impacting the workforces in this area to become jobless.In this project, the architect would like to present a different idea from the incomplete research. He uses the handmade brick which size is doubled than the normal one in order to demonstrate the quality of simple but more than 700-year consumed material, human power, diligence and knowledge transfer among generations.
The space is surrounded by more than 600,000 handmade bricks and reveals the surface of each individual handmade brick which is one of its kind after they had been kept beneath the whitewash for a long period of time. The light and shadow reflecting on the curving shaped wall shows its gently mixed, clear and soft surface which we call this phenomenon as “Homogeneous Wall”. The reduction of wall heat is done via the pneumatic space within the brick itself which helps reduce the heat flow from the brick to the building. This design indeed depicts the “aesthetics”.The innovation from the combination of engineering and arts is the focus point of the architect in this project. It is constructed by building with calm representing bricks, underlining with various sizes of complex steel structure including the overlapping level of bricks and gravity.The workforce for laying bricks is from the jobless neighborhood and they are taught based on the prototype by the skillful worker.Making the impossible to become possible for constructing the wall structure creates the challenge and passion amongst the engineers, builders, blacksmiths and brick builders.They all play a major role in building up this particular architecture.This construction can be treated as a breath keeping action of the local knowledge from the past prior to its extinction. What they get is not only the wages but also the opportunity that they are neglected from the society.Architect also realizes the use of “mind” and the worthiness of “hand”.The tranquility which is a root culture within Thai society is intentionally relayed to these buildings. The wall shadow, roof and tree generate the peace in mind which is a source of wisdom and new imagination towards the students and the lecturers.The simplicity of the material represents the modesty, tenderness, elaboration and patience. The dimness in the buildings through small skylight on the wall gives the night time mood during hot weather throughout the year.After the complete construction of Kantana Institute buildings, the architect has realized some particular concepts of the architecture as followings:
reflecting its genuine personality.Always brand-new moving forward penetrating new things differentiating from others
Being ahead in anticipating problems
user friendly a source of inspiration.Last an architecture should be beyond a monument, a world record nor a reputation of an architect.
For Kantana Institute the building construction on the deserted area, the design of a new behavior for building users by creating consciousness and concentration through the dimness, the creative destruction, the space creation for containing natural contents, the facade-less, labyrinth alike shape but with the awareness of entrance and exit, the pleasure from almost extinct handmade brick, the integration of steel construction and brick which is a convergence of engineering and arts create a new innovation, job opportunity and further opportunities to keep the community continue and not just leaves it a name in the history. The tranquility from the architecture and tree derives from the modesty, tender, benevolence and also the creation from the heart. All of the above are the aspects we have realized prior to completing this architecture and it is to confirm that “Kantana Institute is an architecture which is more than just architecture.”
Photograph by Pirak Anurakyawachon – Spaceshift Studio