Choui Fong2 and the role of interacting with nature through the lines of steel structure architecture

Choui Fong Tea, one of the most beautiful and largest organic tea plantations in Chiang Rai. It is said to be outstanding architecture in the middle of the mountain range. It was designed by a team of architects from IDIN Architects and created a story to make this area a fascinating tea plantation. With its architectural lines, Choui Fong2 has become a check-in point or a landmark of Chiang Rai today. It’s a place if you haven’t visited, it can be said that you haven’t arrived Chiang Rai yet.

Adapting concepts to different contexts

To become Choui Fong2, we have to go back ten years before the owner of Choui Fong plantation came up with the idea with the desire to build buildings on this farm. At that time, IDIN Architects played a full role, from choosing the location of the building to the architectural design. Shortly after the release of Choui Fong1, it received an overwhelming response. As a result, a new building was expanded near the original building and slightly twisted the original design concept to make the building able to accommodate more tourists together with Universal Design to support all ages. Additionally, there has been an additional demand from the plantation owners who want the new building to be easier to manage. Therefore, the architects designed the building next to the tea factory which allows the public to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the tea production at the same time.

Increase the support area through the design of the building to match the hill.

When the need is to increase the usable area of ​​the building, which is approximately 1,300 square meters in size. The architects chose to use the H-Beam steel structure to increase the span and match the building’s usable space and accommodate the visitors well, while still thinking about the impression of the scenery that tourists intend to see Using the H-Beam, the column structure of the building is smaller and does not obscure the view. The architects also designed the building to flow smoothly with the hills to give the table placement a different level of play. Everyone can enjoy the view to the fullest without obscuring each other. Usually, people tend to sit on the edge of the building. The designers added more rims to sit freely and be impressive at every angle.

Pay attention to natural light and shadow.

When green nature is beautiful scenery, natural light is considered a new dimension to the building through the roof of the conical 1×1 Skylight, or like a small mountain. The architects intended this light to be an opening that could grow trees. But the farm owner was worried that if it rained, water might seep into the building and tourists wouldn’t be in the area. As a result, the designer changed the look of the Skylight cone by installing glass in it to protect it from rain. At the same time, the light still shines in and the tree can grow as well.

Partially opened and closed to reveal a natural material finish for a seductive charm.

The lines of light combine with the charm of natural material textures. It can make spaces incredibly interesting. The architects used natural materials such as stone and wood to cover the building’s steel structure to add a softer natural aura and permeate every dimension of space.

Khun Pae – Jeeravej Hongsakul, The IDIN Architect said that: “It’s funny when I realize that each of my projects uses a lot of steel structure. I probably like the Industrial, Modern Architecture era and the lightness of steel. Each project that uses this framework has its own unique charm based on context. For example, Choui Fong2, I don’t want to destroy nature much either by dust or transport. The use of steel structures is good and reasonable. The project has received several awards, including TIDA, DFA, The Plan2020 and the most recent award, The Prix Versailles, organized by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA). It is an award that I am very happy to say that I am not the one who entered the contest but UIA will choose the winner itself. However, the awards ceremony is normally held at UNESCO Paris but I am implicitly absent due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Architizer A+ Awards (2020)

TIDA Awards 2020

Design for Asia Awards 2020 (DFA)