sake architects turns an old building in buriram into a thriving café space for locals

sake architects turns an old building in buriram into a thriving café space for locals

in the past couple of years, buriram in thailand has seen the birth of many new architectural structures. located on the main highway that leads to the city center, class café – occupying the once old and unused building- is now turning into an attractive destination designed by sake architects (SAR) for this northeastern city’s inhabitants. as the first branch outside of nakhon ratchasima, the neighboring province where the coffee house brand originates, the project brief of the owner includes the wish to have the old-looking structure wrapped in the new building shell — with the current architectural trends being the references.



looking through the structure’s physical conditions and into the actual demands of both users and owner, sake architects proposes to add an architectural element similar to a ‘sala’ – a semi-outdoor space offering diverse spatial experiences and which can be used to host events. this outdoor addition grants greater flexibility to the house’s functional space, especially on the good-weather day. ‘the 4×15-meter pavilion with the height of 7.5 meters is constructed at the front of the existing building instead of spending the money on wrapping the original structure with a new shell,’ explains the architects.




the structure includes a steel framework for a shorter construction period and relocation when the lease comes to an end. with one of the partners owning a corrugated metal sheet factory, the material is used for efficiency — including the modern aesthetic that the fast-growing city of  buriram needs. while popularly used to construct the solid form of building shells, the material is approached differently with class café — whereby the architect searches for the beauty in the straightforward use of corrugated roofing sheets whose image is often associated with cheap buildings. the sheets, with a standard width and one-meter length, are jointed to the steel structure in horizontal configuration, with 15-centimeter gap between each piece, collectively forming the pavilion that stands six-meter above the base.




furthermore, the visible gaps allow the corrugated sheets to reveal the aesthetic  rendered from their sleek thinness. the structurally solid mass, when complemented by the presence of light, looks visually weightless and airy. on the other hand,  the joints are flexible enough for the sheets to slightly move when encountering a strong wind, while the damaged sheets can be conveniently replaced in the future. with the copious amount of 1,036 sheets and 8,288 joints, the installation is handled with great attention to details, similar to the way a piece of furniture is crafted — where intricacy and time are pivotal to the desired aesthetic appearance and functionality.


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom


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