The Prefab Butterfly Houses of Thailand

The Prefab Butterfly Houses of Thailand

Gregory Han
Sep 4, 2009

The Butterfly Houses (known locally as "Soe Ker Tie Hias") in Noh Bo, Tak, Thailand are an enclave of 6 prefabricated mini-sized iron wood and bamboo woven houses designed to provide shelter for orphans. They're also inspiring examples of functional architecture with an inherent beauty of simplicity, thanks to the use of natural, local and recycled materials used to construct the impressive multi-level homes for children…

TYIN tegnestue is a non-profit group of 5 architect students who provide humanitarian aid through architecture, an endeavor which we're always pleased to notice:

A few months prior we came in touch with Ole Jørgen Edna from Levanger, Norway. Edna started his orphanage in Noh Bo in 2006, and was now in need of more dormitories. From sheltering 24 children, the orphanage would grow to house almost 50. The Soe Ker Tie project was finished in February 2009.

The main driving force behind the project was to somehow recreate what these children would have experienced in a more normal situation. We wanted every child to have their own private space, a home to live in and a neighbourhood where they could interact and play. These six sleeping units are our answer to this.

Because of their appearances the buildings were named Soe Ker Tie Hias by the workers; The Butterfly Houses. The bamboo weaving technique used on the side and back facades is the same used in local houses and crafts. Most of the bamboo is harvested within a few kilometers of the site. The special roof shape of the Soe Ker Tie Houses enables an effective, natural ventilation, at the same time as it collects the rain water. This renders the areas around the buildings more useful during the rainy season, and gives the possibility of collecting the water in drier periods.

Read more about this amazing project and the positive impact it has had upon the lives of Karen refugees over at Arch Daily.

[Photos: Pasi Aalto]

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