EKAR Architects - The Sayla brings back the traditional peaceful spirit in the city of Chiang Mai
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The Sayla brings back the traditional peaceful spirit in the city of Chiang Mai

EKAR Architects

Hospitality  /  Completed
EKAR Architects

During covid 19 pandemic, The tourism city of Chiang Mai fell into disruption. This includes Baan Sayla,

A guesthouse that is rich with the traditional lifestyle of Nimman Hemin in the past. The hotel business sunk thoroughly from the change of business trend that focuses on profit rather than lifestyle, and following its end during the pandemic. But its end gave us an idea to reset Sayla and implies the origin Nimman lifestyle into the hotel to make the hotel become a node of a peaceful and creative lifestyle resembling the past. We design 3 courts and surround them with brick to keep the court peaceful, with the opening leading people from the hectic street to the court. We gather bricks from Chaing Mai and surrounding districts to recreate the character of the Chaing Mai fortress.

The solid facade of The Sayla help creating a peaceful space in a hectic and crowded community. The curtvature brick wall help gradiating the light which induce indirect light into the interior spaces and help ventlate the wind thoroughtly from the external solid facade to the inner court.

The coffee shop and the library in the front act as a buffer that help increase peacefulness to the internal court with a hidden bar. The Sayla court helped returned the traditional quality of life to the locals in the Nimman Hemin community. The building performs its prominent node quality with a distinct scale that stands out in the community.

Chiang Mai have an extreme climate that can rise up to 40°C in the summer and drop to 10°C during winter. This condition result in the according solution. The thick layer of brick facade helps maintain the temperature in the building and reduces energy consumption in the building. We create an air gap between a layer of brick facade to help reduce the internal temperature. The 3rd-floor opening on the front facade helps lead the light and ventilation into the main court which distributes into room units. Make the internal court environment suitable for living.

“Baan Sayla” is a small guest house that combines distinct characters of local Nimmanhemin residents of merchants, teachers, and a mix of creatives and artists through generations, but faces its downfall with the consumption of capitalism and land acquisition of foreign investors resulting in a loss of existing culture. Baan Sayla is a renovation project with the objective to bring back the traditional peaceful spirit by reconstructing the space the locals can relate to. We use the combination of kiln redbrick from Lampang, Chaingmai, and Lampoon as a facade of Sayla which replicates the Chaingmai fortress to cover the internal court with a peaceful and creative traditional spirit resemblance to the past. We design a brick facade to flow and draw in the street commuter on a sidewalk to the activities space in the internal court, while on the 2nd and 3rd floor, we wrap the curvature brick facade to create privacy, opening, and ventilation for the hotel rooms.

The owner was devastated by the number of tourists that gather in the hotel area which create a lively environment. He is glad that the hotel is fully booked in high season. And even though some people are not here to stay for a night but still come for the front shops and hidden bar in the court. And some are only here for the picture which still creates benefits to the hotel through social media.


 Chiang Mai
 Jaturong Sartkam
 455 mq
  410,000.00 €
 EKAR Architects
 Ekaphap Duangkaew, Tirayon Khunpukdee
 Rungkit Charoenwat


EKAR believes that the architecture is originated from a perfect mixture of beautiful aesthetic senses and functional usability through thinking process, analysis and connections based on different conditions and contexts surrounded by every dimension of each specific location. Our physical identities remain in the shade of life. We see the preciousness of life. Our creativity is influenced by the contexts that shape and give life. We craft their lives and gently place the design on the specific context using detailed research. The designs are driven by not just their present but also their past and future. Documentaries of their lives were embraced with their ongoing vision. The designs keep operating and wander alongside their journey. We believe that as time passes, the value of design becomes more apparent.
We craft human lives and gently place the design on the specific context using detail research as documentary of their lives.



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