Floating in the Sky School for Orphans / Kikuma Watanabe

Floating in the Sky School for Orphans / Kikuma Watanabe

Courtesy of Kikuma WatanabeCourtesy of Kikuma WatanabeCourtesy of Kikuma WatanabeCourtesy of Kikuma Watanabe+ 26

  • Architects: Kikuma Watanabe
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  125
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2013
  • Design, Structure Design:D Environmental Design System Laboratory
  • Construction:D Environmental Design System Laboratory
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Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe
Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe

Text description provided by the architects. This school aims to help alleviate poverty in Shangkhaburi village, Thailand, located near the border of Myanmar. There are a lot of immigrants and orphans in this area. They are so poor that they cannot raise their children themselves.

Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe
Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe

Wanting to provide a good future for these kids, we hoped that the school would be designed as the realization of their dreams. So, at first the teacher asked the children to draw the dream of the school building. One of them drew a flying ship. We adapted his idea, and translated his drawing into the architectural design. The image was adapted into two main architectural components: the round, earthbag volumes on the ground and the other, a light steel structure finished with bamboo and a grass roof.

Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe
Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe

The earthbag domes are thought of as a "launching pad" that supplies the ship with the energy of Mother Earth and the upper steel building as the ship that is soaring in the sky.

First Floor Plan
First Floor Plan
Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe
Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe
Section
Section

The round volumes create a warm interior, fostering a sense of comfort for the children in prayer dome and classroom of earth. The floating level above functions as a buddhist room and learning area. A gentle breeze flows through the thatched roof, giving the feeling of being in a ship. The upper floor connects to the lower earthbag domes through two openings.

Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe
Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe

Since its completion, the school has become a successful place for the community to enjoy studying, playing, and praying everyday. The interpretation of their dreams into architectural form establishes a foundation to help lead the children to a bright future.

Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe
Courtesy of Kikuma Watanabe

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Project location

Address:Kanchanaburi, Thailand

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
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Cite: "Floating in the Sky School for Orphans / Kikuma Watanabe" 18 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/630188/floating-in-the-sky-school-for-orphans-kikuma-watanabe> ISSN 0719-8884
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