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introduction Edit

The dormitories  were build for the local CBO (community based organisation) Mae Tao Clinic. The size per building is with 72 sqm very small and the costs per building with 1700€ very low. The dormitories were constructed by the local organisation Gyaw Gyaw

The armed conflict that has persisted for decades in the Karen State of Myanmar results in a daily flow of refugees and immigrants to neighbouring Thailand. In the Thai town of Mae Sot, a few kilometres from the Burmese border, numerous schools and orphan- ages offer accommodation and education. One of these centers, the CDC School (children develop- ment center) under the tutelage of Mae Tao Clinic organisation, hosts more than 500 students. The lack of space, and in many cases, the need for immediate accommodation for new students forced the school to present a new model of temporary low cost dormitories that are easy to assemble. Funded by the Embassy of Luxembourg in Bangkok, the first of 4 dormitories was built in April 2012 within 4 weeks. With a capacity of 25 students, the building meets the modus vivendi by fitting into the local environ- ment in which it is located. The interior layout ensures an open and airy space that offers semi-privacy and includes storage space for up to 3 students. The materials used are locally available and well known for their users, which allows easy maintenance and results in low costs.

Up to date 5 temporary dormitories for 130 kids were build.

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cultural and social context Edit

The goal of the CDC (children development center) is to provide quality education to Burmese and ethnic minority children. Through its curriculum and extracurricular activities, the CDC hopes to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to work effectively toward their personal goals. In addition, efforts have been made to offer programs that nourish compassion, gratitude, and understanding as the students approach adulthood. This will allow them to cultivate ideas that can benefit the greater good of their communities, and beyond.

Due to fresh conflict breaking out in Burma at the end of 2010, 2011 saw another rise in the number of students and boarders at the CDC. The CDC enrolled 1,141 students in January, a 4% increase from last year. However, at the beginning of the school year in June, a lower number of 1,128 students enrolled. Efforts are being made to keep the number of children at the CDC stable, as previous surges in student numbers have created funding difficulties. Due to these capacity limitations, CDC management assists children who wish to study at CDC but who cannot be accepted, by finding them places at nearby schools.

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materials and building techniques Edit

Bamboo and thatch are also used for walls, floor and roof. Though these materials are not prepared to last over two years without any previous treatment, they are all easily available every season and the cost is affordable and stable for the local people.

The recycled timber used for the boarding houses comes from old buildings in town that are carefully stripped out and put aside by demolishers. The timber is accurately polished, de-nailed and sawn down to size. Every timber frame is easy to disassemble and assemble again in a new location.

The quality of the timber available, mainly teak, at the Thai-Burma border is told to be one of the best in the world. However, the price of the timber has risen by over 300 per cent in the last few years due to the deforestation and the illegal trafficking along the border. Recycling timber has become popular among the local people in order to reduce the cost of the new buildings. By using timber as a main material, we attempt to preserve the traditional construction skills of the local people who are very familiar with this material.

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earth and climate Edit

Mae Sot has a tropical savanna climate. Winters are dry and very warm. Temperatures rise until April, which is very hot with the average daily maximum at 36.6 °C (97.9 °F). The monsoon season runs from May through October, with heavy rain and somewhat cooler temperatures during the day, although nights remain warm.


Project details
Project name: Temporary Dormitories for Mae Tao Clinic
Description: Timber, Bamboo structure functions as shelter for kids
Category: emergency shelter
Design: a.gor.a architects,
Consultants: gyaw gyaw,
Building status: demolished
Construction period: March - July 2012
Demolished: March 2015
Location: Mae Sot, Thailand
Coordinates: 16°46'30.7'' N, 98°42'14.7'' E
Tags: bamboo, local resources, low budget, student participation, recycled recources
Project ID: 327
Published: 16 January 2013
Last updated: 1 April 2016
(images have individual licenses)
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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