Safe Haven Library / TYIN Tegnestue


Architects: TYIN Tegnestue
Location: Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand
Project team Professors: Hans Skotte &
Project team Students: Pasi Aalto. Jan Kristian Borgen, Mari Folven, Ragnhild Førde, Sunniva Vold Huus, Olav Fåsetbru Kildal, Lene M. N. Kværness, Oda Moen Møst, Ørjan Nyheim, Karoline Salomonsen, Anne Sandnes, Ola Sendstad, Kristoffer B. Thørud, Caroline Tjernås, Anders Sellevold Aaseth
Client: Safe Haven Orphanage
Budget: 29.000 NOK (Approx. 4,650 USD)
Project year: January 2009
Sponsors: Norsk Betongforening, Bygg uten grenser, Minera Norge, Spenncon, Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU)
Photographs: Pasi Aalto

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In January 2009 TYIN invited 15 norwegian architect students from NTNU to participate in a workshop at the Safe Haven Orphanage. The workshop was led by Associate Professor Hans Skotte and architect Sami Rintala. The most immediate needs at the orphanage was a library and a new sanitary building. TYIN worked on a bathhouse, together with the Karen workers from Noh Bo, while the workshop participants put their efforts into the library.


The concrete base of the library is cast on a bed of large rocks gathered on-site. Walls made of plastered concrete blocks cools the building during the day, while the open bamboo facade gives a good ventilation. Iron wood makes up the solid frame construction and serves as comfortable floor for the children to play on.

The bookshelves run along the concrete walls in their full height, and the floor is left unfurnished to give room for different activities. The entrance, creates a comfortable buffer between the outdoors and indoors and divides the ground floor into a small computer area on one side and a larger library room on the other.



The most important thing to Tasanee is that her children are provided food and education. In the library the children at Safe Haven Orphanage now have a space to do homework, use a computer with internet and read books written in different languages. The new building has also attained the important role of a gathering space and is frequently used for play, games and crafts.

That NTNU, as an educational institution, contributes to workshops like this is of great importance. It creates a unique opportunity for young, skilled students to engage real problems and make decisions with real consequences.

Cite: "Safe Haven Library / TYIN Tegnestue" 03 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <>


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      they have yet to be corrupted by money, and have none to speak of for themselves. :D

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Raw but elegant. Beautiful, contextual, real, focused and vital…everything you want your architecture to be. Bravo, students!

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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      Better than someone telling them, “Hey kid… sit on that rock and read a book will ya. I got better things to do than build you a library.”

      You can take your arachnaphobia and leave your comments elsewhere.

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        If the students and architects had donated some money instead, I bet the locals could have built TWO sheds!

        Ill leave my comments here, thank you.

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        That may be true but then we would not be here arguing about the architecture.

        Its fine but i think its an elegant solution as opposed to your track housing and bang for your buck development attitude.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    perfect! inspirational! amazing! refreshing!
    this is why im studying architecture…not for the magazines and “fame”

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Excelente, para mi esto es verdadera Arquitectura, lo justo y necesario sin excederse en caprichos formales, materiales, etc.

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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Cuando sólo se crea “arquitectura por arquitectura”, porque entonces sucede que la profesión se queda coja, mutilada; la finalidad de las profesiones, y del estudio en general es crear realmente aportes a la sociedad y responder a las necesidades del ser humano. Excelente proyecto.

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    it’s not easy to think and create in context like this, especially when u’re very common to the extravagant side of architecture. a very good work.. thumbs up..

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I do appreciate the effort of TYIN in being there and helpign the unfortunate marginalised group in the developing world.

    The TYIN’s designs for this village are in general inspirational by the humble characters, interesting details, the use of local materials, interaction with the locals. But like Soe Ker Tie house, the specific concerns on the tropical climate seems not so effective. They should really experiment with any kind of surface as key ideas protecting the burning sun beam and monsoon storm to create more viable transitional spaces.

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    Hermoso… Arquitectura aprovechando los materiales del lugar sin ser pretenciosa. La simpleza del oficio…

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    tenia buen rato sin observar un proyecto con tanto significado, vale la pena, felicidades Arq’s.

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