Architecture Aid Library for the Safe Haven Orphanage | The Plan
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Architecture Aid Library for the Safe Haven Orphanage

Tyin Tegnestue with Sami Rintala

Architecture Aid  Library for the Safe Haven Orphanage
By Phyllis Richardson -

There is something about a simple structure thoughtfully produced that goes to the heart of every architecture or design enthusiast. When the building also meets a need for people who have been deprived of the most fundamental human necessities, we can all stand and applaud. That feeling of commendation is what strikes most people when seeing the work of the Tyin Studio, a non-profit, humanitarian group of architecture students based in Trondheim, Norway. The young architects of Tyin studio aim to enact strategic design-build schemes to produce very basic shelter or services in areas of conflict, natural disaster or poverty across the globe. In 2008-9 Tyin were working to help displaced people and orphans living along the Myanmar (Burma) border in Thailand. As several Tyin members are former students of NTNU (the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim) and studied there under architect Sami Rintala, they invited their former teacher to bring a group of students to participate in their projects for Keran orphans. Rintala is well known for his work on small, environmentally responsible building projects both in Norway and abroad, and has carried out some forty building workshops of his own. He and his students were immediately drawn to the challenge, which was to design and build a small library for the Safe Haven Orphanage. The Keran people are an ethnic minority who have been expelled by the Burmese government but have no official sanction in their country of refuge. The Safe Haven Orphanage offers shelter and care to around forty children at any one time in the province of Ban Tha Song Yang. The Tyin students were involved in creating a series of buildings including a new bathing pavilion and six woven bamboo huts, dubbed “Butterfly” houses, for the orphaned refugees. Designed and built by Rintala and his team in ten days, the library now provides space for children to read, do homework, have access to computer equipment and the internet,...

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