Thailand Sports Hall Made Entirely of Bamboo


The new sports arena for Thailand's Panyaden International school needed to combine architecture with the school's core principles and appreciation of nature.

Chiangmai Life Construction accepted that challenge and created the arena entirely out of bamboo, achieving a zero carbon footprint.

The school, which is located in the city of Chiang Mai, was in need of both a bigger assembly space and sports facility, which made the challenge even more difficult.

Designing the Hall

For Chiangmai, the main issue behind this project was in adhering to the school’s pre-existing construction practices: using only natural materials, in order to bring the kids closer to nature, and reducing the carbon footprint. When the school’s other buildings were created, the carbon footprint had already been reduced by 90 percent, compared to standard construction techniques.

The new sports space also needed accommodations for futsal (a five-on-five version of soccer), volleyball, basketball, badminton and a stage for entertainment, education and assembly. The structure also needed to have an organic shape, in order to follow the visual harmony of surrounding nature.

With a design team headed by Markus Roselieb and Tosapon Sittiwong, Chiangimai Life Construction developed a building that was based on the lotus—a reference to the school’s Buddhist educational spine.

Bamboo Sports Hall

The structure covers 8,416 square feet, providing a space for all of the sports originally detailed in the project brief, along with a storage space behind the stage. By using bamboo and a three-layered roof design, the architects also ensured that the structure would stay naturally ventilated and insulated, providing for cool space on warm summer days for students.

The structure was built with prefabricated bamboo trusses, each just over 55 feet long. No steel reinforcements or connections are to be found throughout the entire building. Plus, the bamboo, which was treated with borax salt as part of the truss creation process, absorbed carbon at a much higher rate than what was emitted during construction.

The hall itself can accommodate up to 300 students, and was designed to withstand earthquakes, high-speed winds and other natural elements. And thanks to Chiangmai’s design, the structure’s carbon footprint sits at zero, and the building itself is expected to last up to 50 years.

In the development process, engineers Phuong Nguyen and Esteban Morales Montoya accounted for the loads, tensions and shear force according to modern engineering practices.

The budget for the project was $300,000.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Asia Pacific; Color + Design; Color + Design; Design; Green design; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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