Mae Sot is a small industrial city on the eastern end of Thailand that includes in its population a large colony of Burmese people who crossed the border to escape from the interminable civil war afflicting their country. This group is formed mostly by children, and it is for them that this new educational facility has been provided with the sponsorship of a philanthropic institution called the Building Trust International. Designed to address the specific needs of Mae Sot’s refugees from Myanmar, the school is just part of a larger program whose objective is to develop an industrialized, light, transportable, and easy-to-assemble building system that can be applied in a diversity of emergency situations and in very different contexts.
The system of the construction is completely modular. The basis is a lightweight structure of steel tubes that are screwed to one another with the help of a simple monkey wrench. The rafters rest on a very ingenious foundation consisting of several reused tires inserted into a small hole, over a bed of gravel. The upper girders of the steel skeleton are covered with a canvas, forming a generic volume whose enclosures and finishes vary with the materials and techniques available in each place. The school in Mae Sot, for example, uses bamboo mats braided and installed by the local community.
Escuela modular Moving School in Mae Sot, Thailand.
Building Trust International / Amadeo Bennetta, Dan LaRossa.
Ironwood (construction team).
Building Trust International.