WHEN designing a building intended to serve the needs of a community, architects must be mindful of the ways that their work can boost the quality of life for residents, Boonserm Premthada, a lecturer at the department of interior architecture under the architecture faculty at Chulalongkorn University, said in an interview with The Nation recently.
Boonserm, who also won the Asia-Pacific Acknowledgement Prize 2017 at the LafargeHolcimAwards Asia-Pacific 2017 competition, said that when he thinks about how to design a public area, he will seek to learn what the community needs. Then he will set out to design a work of architecture that meets the functional requirements of the people while |achieving a design appeal that encourages people to visit the building and the community. This can form part of efforts to create a new economy for such communities, Boonserm said.
An example of this approach is his design for the Ban Chang Town Hall in Ban Chang district, Rayong province.
The building is envisaged as a town hall for use by all members of the community to discuss issues that are important to them, such as the environment and community needs.
Yet the building’s design has to be eye-catching enough to inspire visitors to make return trips.
“I believe that when we design a building in such a way to serve as an inspiration, then this creates a feeling in people that makes them want to keep coming back to it,” Boonserm said, adding that the building would become a landmark for tourism in the area. “This was my idea in designing Ban Chang Town Hall and other projects that I have undertaken for public areas in Thailand, such as a home for elephants in Surin province.”
The home for elephants in Surin province is on 3,000 rai and is aimed meeting the needs not only of the elephants, but also of their handlers and support staff.
The design is focused on the nature of the elephants and aims to help the development of eco-tourism in the future. This will generate sustainable income for the community over the long term, Boonserm said.
“In my view, architecture has to done for the community’s benefit, especially for projects that can become a landmark for an area in boosting tourism.
This is the type of challenge that all architects should seek to rise to,” he said.