Call it The Woven Wonder if you like but the new sports hall at Panyaden International School in Thailand’s northern Chiang Mai province can talk the talk – it’s constructed entirely from sustainably grown local bamboo! The recently completed sports hall – “gymnasium”, for some – was designed and built by, Chiangmai Life Construction (CLC), no strangers to creating similarly unique and eminently sustainable buildings at Panyaden.
Costing an estimated £300,000 ($385,000), the spacious and capacious facility gracefully combines organic design and 21st century engineering, resulting in a structure that’s all-natural and thus impacts the environment with a zero carbon footprint. There’s a method to the Panyaden International School’s “madeness”.
According to the school’s website, “Research shows that studying in a green environment brings significant benefits to children’s intellectual and emotional development. We want to teach children as well as the community we live in that showing respect for our environment enhances the quality of our lives.” This new sports hall and the school’s existing facilities – many also designed and built by CLC – show Panyaden’s commitment is more than just words.
CLC had to bring all of their experience to bear when they accepted the commission to build the new sports hall. The requirements included not just a full-size floor suitable for team sports like basketball or volleyball, but an indoor space large enough to comfortably hold as many as 300 students was another thing entirely. Even so, the finished design smoothly integrates with the school’s existing earthen and bamboo buildings, not to mention complementing northern Thailand’s naturally hilly landscape. Being as the school channels traditional Buddhist teachings to infuse values into its academic curriculum, the building evokes the general shape of the lotus flower.