This project for our lovely now 90-year old client Khunying Noi, a member of the royal family, is situated on top of a hill in northern Chiang Mai with a unique view of the northern mountain range.
Initially she was looking for a space to enjoy the sunset and bring together the family. So the Sunset Sala came to be and proved very popular with her friends and family. As she is a practicing Buddhist and active member of the Buddhist community, she then commissioned us to create a space designed to facilitate spiritual practice. Consequently, the meditation cathedral was added with bathrooms and a small M&E mushroom.
The design of all buildings emulates the mountain range and the rolling hills. Thus, the buildings mold into the scenery as if they grew there by themselves. To lift the practitioner’s feelings, the meditation space was designed like a dome of a cathedral. To achieve the cathedral feeling we used bundled bamboo to form arches that are at the same time the structural support of the whole building like in roman or gothic cathedrals. They carry a floating umbrella shaped roof with sky lights like a wheel.
Next to the meditation space is a bathroom with showers and toilets for ladies and gentlemen. It has a striking bamboo roof on top an adobe building with decorative bottles in the wall. Next to the bathroom is another smaller bamboo building in the form of a mushroom that hides the water tank and an even smaller one for the well.
The main species of bamboo used are Thyrsostachus species like Th. Oliveri and Th. Siamensis. Other species used are Dendrocalamus asper and Bamboosa spp. All bamboo was well selected by age and treated by soaking in a borax/boric acid solution. Chiangmai Life Construction’s craftsmen were all trained inhouse and consist of mainly Thai Yai who had to flee the Burmese army’s minority prosecution campaigns, and Thai nationals.