a recycled timber rice tower by boonserm premthada
head of the bangkok project studio boonserm premthada erects a nine-meter ‘rice tower’ within a zoo in nakhon ratchasima, an important city in the northeastern region of thailand. the architect aimed to give a new architectural language to the word ‘barn’ or ‘rice storage’ commonly found and used after the harvest season in that region. five timber barns that were set to be demolished were repurposed, disassembled, and reassembled into one tower.
images courtesy of bangkok project studio
rethinking the barn typology
the barn typology usually takes shape as a standalone, low-rise structure — the bangkok project studio led by boonserm premthada (see more here) removed all the wood elements and reassembled them into its rice tower, connecting the ground and the sky. although the shape of this barn has been changed, its feeling is still maintained through the scent of the rice in husks and the soft fragrance of wood.
this work, in addition to reminding visitors of the importance of rice as a product of thailand, communicates that the country’s northeastern region is where the best quality rice is produced in the largest quantity. most importantly, visitors are invited to remember the farmers who grow and care for the rice until the harvest season.
welcoming visitors of all kind
recently, the area has seen its wooden barns replaced with other materials, such as polycarbonate, which are durable but not necessarily more sustainable. with this in mind, designer boonserm premthada was inspired to give a new language to the wooden barn, and to make it more accessible to visitors. during the day, the rice tower is a playground for children while at night, it offers a home to birds and other animals. in this way the rice tower welcomes visitors twenty-four hours a day.