After the success of the MOVING schools competition and the completion of MOVING School 001. Building Trust were approached to deliver a similar mobile school design for a second school community. New Road school in Mae Ramat 50km north of Mae Sot were desperately in need of a new school building with increasing numbers of pupils. With the assistance of Jan Glasmeier from Agora Architects and funding from an individual donor in Australia. Building Trust were able to deliver a second MOVING School, offering a safe, light learning environment for over 150 migrant and refugee children.
A vital part of MOVING school 002 was the key collaboration and partnership with the school committee which included teachers from New Road school and parents. Members of the local community were very happy to take vital hours out of their working day to help dig foundations for their new school building. The members worked with the Building Trust team to ensure to school design met the community and children's needs. It was very important that discussions amongst the committee were held on the lead up to the build ensuring all members were happy of the schools position on the site, the materials that were to be used and the size of the classrooms. It was due to this key partnership that the school has become a hub for the local community and is a building which the local community have ownership and pride in.
It is very integral to the strength of the project that the local community including teachers and parents are consulted on the school design. In the construction of MOVINGschool 002 build parents, teachers and pupils were very keen to help build their new school classrooms.
A number of consulation sessions brought community members together to discuss key parts of the design and the build. Building Trust worked alongside Ironwood Studio, Jan Glasmeier and the local school committee to ensure the school design was exactly what New Road school needed in terms of size, function and design.
The cultural and social context of the project is more complicated than with most projects for when thinking about each of these areas one has to consider both local and migrant cultures both of which share similarities but also marked differences. The most important issue is identity and the need for Migrant communities to keep their own identity while also meeting requirements of the hosting communities. With any migrant/ refugee situation this is an incredibly sensitive area and for designers and architects adds to the complexity of consultation and contextualisation of designs.
A twin polycarbonate plastic material was kindly donated by Bayer Thailand to be used in the construction of the wall panels for MOVINGschool002. This material gives the internal classrooms a light, sun protected area which is perfect for the learning environment of the children.
Shera Board was used for the flooring, this material is a cementitious wood board which creates a strong, easy to clean floor surface.
The skeletal steel frame is designed for zero waste using uniform sized elements or divisions of standard lengths.
Description: A mobile, relocatable school building
Design: Atelier COLE and Jan Glasmeier
Consultants: Tall Engineers
Building status: in use
Construction period: 1 month
Location: Mae Ramat, Thailand
Coordinates: 17°0'44'' N, 98°34'27.7'' E
Tags: community practice, bamboo, participation, education, low budget
Project ID: 417
Published: 31 October 2013
Last updated: 4 November 2014
(images have individual licenses)