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Emergency School, Pong Phrae Wittaya

Department of Architecture

Shared By

Morgan Day, Hanley Wood

Project Name

Emergency School, Pong Phrae Wittaya

Project Status


Year Completed


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Project Description


Pong Phrae Wittaya School, Chiang Rai, is among many schools severely damaged by an earthquake on May 5th, 2014. Since then, the students are studying in temporary tents. 'Design for Disasters', a non-profit organization, has organized a network of 9 architects to participate in designing 9 schools for immediate use.

Department of ARCHITECTURE took on the responsibility to design this emergency school for Pong Phrae Wittaya School. The design from conceptualization to the construction drawing has to be done in 2 weeks. It has to be earthquake resistant, be able to withstand hail storms, quick to assemble by local workers, economical, properly protected from heat in the summer, rain in the monsoon, and freezing wind in the winter.

We decided to use cross braced steel structural system for light-weight quick construction and rigid structure. The roof is designed as a double roof system. The material of the main roof is metal sheet to be able to withstand the hail storms. A very cheap HDPE shading net, a material usually used to give sun shade to plant nursery, is installed here as an upper roof to protect the otherwise overheated metal sheet roof.

The wall system is made up of light-weight panels and slats for easy assembly and safety during earthquake. The wood stud and cross braced wall structure are flipped outward on the outside of the building, manifesting itself as just pure structure, just enough as it is needed.
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