Project name
Gross floor area

Tsunami memorial - Boats
Khao Lak, Thailand
Open international competition, 2nd prize
2005 - 2006
The Government of Thailand

The tsunami memorial competition entry Boats is built around the exceptional natural environment of the site in the tropical rainforest. It gives people a chance to learn and participate, it is designed to symbolize rebuilding and hope. People make a personal act and create the memorial together.
The site is entered through a memorial building. Already crossing the bridge you here purl of the brook flowing through the site. The water symbolizes the flow of life. You enter an open wooden veranda as in the traditional Thai architecture. The two wings of the building crop a view to the brook valley.
As you descend a ramp leading to the memorial path you can pick a leaf of bamboo and fold it into a memorial boat. The path meanders by the river. You can leave your boat to be carried by the stream.
Having arrived on the beach you can watch as the boats sail from the brook to the open sea. Or you can pick your boat from the groves surrounding the beach and wade in the sea to leave your boat and watch it slowly sail away and disappear in the horizon.
The architecture is inspired by the location: its form follows the valley and its narrow section the steep slopes of the hills. Bamboo as building material connects the architecture to the memorial act. As in traditional Thai spatial structure, separate pavilion like building masses linked by an open terrace are under an all embracing roof. The pitched roof has long eaves to protect the building from sunshine and rain. Semi outdoor areas act as intermediary spaces.
The constructions are light as in the tropical architecture. The load bearing frame is of steel. The fašade is glass covered by prefabricated bamboo elements acting as sunshade. All materials used are environmentally friendly and analogous to traditional building materials.