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Phra That Pha Daeng, Mae Sot District, Tak 63110,Tailandia


Vivienda Rural

Lead Architects

Sebastian Contreras

Juan Cuevas

Yago Cuevas


Albert Company Olmo


151.0 m2

Project Year



Alejandro Sanchez



It is a commission that comes from Thailand where we are asked to use the original design of Casa Techo - Emergency Shelter in a Burmese Children's Orphanage. We sent the original design free to be suitable, and thus transformed to the conditions of the place and has this new architectural program.


Working directly with the architects Estudio Cavernas and Agora Architects, located in Thailand, we began to adapt the original design this time to a displaced inhabitant of his country, underage, and without family. The idea of building community from housing to the grouping guided all the decisions of the project. This allowed the original housing to grow so that two children could live, each with their bedroom on the upper level and their own social area on the first level.

Thailand is located in the northern part of the tropical area that surrounds the planet. It has extreme climates, zones of strong rains and consequently an increase in the flow of rivers and flood zones. Hua-Fai - Youth Center is located in the city of Mae Sot, located in the north-west of Thailand, bordering Burma, in a land prone to flooding so the decision was made to raise the houses 60 cm from the ground with steel profiles anchored to concrete cubes.

For the construction of the houses it was chosen to work with recycled wood from the demolition of old houses in Thailand. Deforestation in Southeast Asia is on the rise, which has opened up an alternative market for recycled materials that helps the ecological dimension, while at the same time opening up a market where the value of the product is less speculative and more real, unlike large material chains.

The design of the roof takes elements from the local construction found in this area, which maximizes the use of locally available materials. 

To assemble each housing module, three trusses are needed to act as the skeleton of the building, supporting the weight of the roof and dividing the interior space into four; two social areas on the first floor and two private areas on the second level. In addition, there are two sloping trusses on each triangular side of the house, which help to protect the terraces in front of each unit. 

In parallel, a bathroom unit was built with the same logic and geometries as the housing units, but as it is a wet area, steel profiles were used for the structure, and concrete block walls to delimit the four small interior spaces.

The roofs of the houses and the bathroom are composed of a first internal layer of aluzinc, screwed to the rainproof wooden structure, a second intermediate layer of eucalyptus trunks installed vertically to create ventilation, and an external layer of sugar cane leaves extracted from a harvest near the project lot.

The team building the project is made up of immigrants in training for the area of construction of excluded-marginalized communities, who were supervised by a technical team made up of a construction engineer and an architect. 

We are convinced that if only one roof is architecturally resolved, we are solving the most difficult part of building a house, at the same time the most useful part of it for various cultures, climates and topographies, and we are delivering what is indispensable for safe and comfortable living.

Given the magnitude of the housing deficit and the poor architectural quality of the houses that exist in the world, it is necessary today more than ever to add the capacity of construction of people all over the world. That is why the architectural information of the emergency shelter house is free to be used, reused, transformed, shared, discussed, and inhabited by those who feel the need to self-build their own shelter.

If we share information freely from all parts of an architectural project, this means from design, manufacturing, construction and demolition, not only can we lower the costs of housing, but also improve its quality.

An architecture built together.

The ODS in which this project is inscribed are 

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