Fai Fah by Spark

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Fai Fah by Spark

Architects Spark have added a stairwell resembling a giant wedge of Swiss cheese onto two Bangkok shophouses they've converted into a youth centre.

Fai Fah by Spark

Commissioned by Thai bank TMB, the Fai Fah centre provides the venue for a programme of workshops and classes that encourage children and teenagers to take part in creative activities.

Fai Fah by Spark

Above: photograph is by TMB

During the design process the architects held design workshops with local children, who had the initial ideas for the steel lattice that covers the facades of the two original shophouses.

Fai Fah by Spark

Above: photograph is by Spark

"Spark’s workshops with the Fai-Fah children were inspiring," explained TMB Bank's Paradai Theerathada. "They gave the children a great sense of accomplishment from being involved in the design process for such a large-scale, tangible project."

Fai Fah by Spark

The children also chose a palette of colours to mark each of the building's six storeys, including the bright yellow that features in the event space and mezzanine gallery at the base of the building.

Fai Fah by Spark

Other rooms include a library, an art studio, a pottery classroom and a dance studio.

Fai Fah by Spark

Above: photograph is by Spark

A garden is located on the roof, where the L-shaped stair tower wraps around to create a storage room.

Fai Fah by Spark

Above: photograph is by TMB

Long, narrow shophouses are a typical building typology in Southeast Asia, and we also recently featured one converted into a residence with a swimming pool inside.

Fai Fah by Spark

See all our stories about shophouses »

Fai Fah by Spark

Photography is by Lin Ho, apart from where otherwise stated.

Fai Fah by Spark

Here's a project description from Fai-Fah:


FAI-FAH

Fai-Fah, which means “light energy”, is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme initiated in April 2010 by TMB Bank. The programme acts as a catalyst for change in Thai society through working with underprivileged children and teenagers in their community using the arts as a vehicle for self-development and creative thinking.

Fai Fah by Spark

In October 2010, Spark was invited to design Fai-Fah Prachautis, the refurbishment of two shop houses located in a residential district of Bangkok.

Fai Fah by Spark

The art and creative education programmes contained in the client’s brief have been distributed over five floors, and include: the multi-function “living room”, the art studio, a library, the gallery, the dance studio and a multi-purpose rooftop garden.

Fai Fah by Spark

The design was developed at interactive workshops with the Fai-Fah children and teenagers, volunteer arts staff, and members of TMB’s CSR team.

Fai Fah by Spark

Ideas generated during the workshop such as the façade screen and the interior colours were incorporated into the design, underlining the positive nature of the collaborative process and ownership of the concept amongst all of the project's protagonists.

Fai Fah by Spark

Ground floor plan - click above for larger image

The five levels of the building are linked by a central feature staircase with each level defined by its own colour theme.

Fai Fah by Spark

First floor mezzanine plan - click above for larger image

Utilities and services are housed in a new inverted L- shaped structure, the "Utility Stick", which is plugged into the rear of the building; it rises from the courtyard and bends to form a garden store at roof level.

Fai Fah by Spark

Second floor plan - click above for larger image

The existing shop house façade has been transformed by the application of a bespoke lattice screen and Fai-Fah logo, a statement that the building is different from its adjacent neighbours and announcing to the community that Fai-Fah has arrived.

Fai Fah by Spark

Third floor plan - click above for larger image

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Fai Fah by Spark

Forth floor plan - click above for larger image

GFA (area above ground): 569 sqm
Project Completion: Quarter 1, 2012
Facilities: Event Space (Living Room), Gallery, Library, Art Studio, Dance Studio, Roof garden

Fai Fah by Spark

Roof  plan - click above for larger image

Architect: Spark
Design Director: Stephen Pimbley
Team: Wenhui Lim, Mark Mancenido, Suchon Pongsopitsin
Client: TMB Bank Public Company Limited
Client Team: Paradai Theerathada, Sakchai Sriwatthanapitikul, Nopawan Saengteerakij, Thatchakorn Prutnoppadol, Mallika Uswachoke, Radomdej Taksana, Aree Vesvijak, Jumpol Kwangosen, Saranyoo Nantanawanit, Siriporn Lerdapirangsi
Fai-Fah Kids: Master Thanakan Namunmong, Chisanu Kiatsuranayon, Sirinart Naksombhob, Kamolthat Sutat Na Ayudhya
Local Architect: 365COOP Company Limited

Fai Fah by Spark

Section - click above for larger image

  • inkoaydible

    That stairwell is so cheesy! (See what I did there?)

  • Dan

    Cool colours! instantly reminded me of Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium. The rest? Maybe a bit cheesy indeed…

  • yrag

    Fit to be the House of Mouse!