July 28, 2008

25 Latest Look of the building

We were asked from Specchio magazine (a design supplement of La Stampa Newspaper - the largest newspaper in Italy) for the materials of the project. So Pan did another two renderings of the building. Look pretty real...

July 27, 2008

24 Chula Visit for Construction, July 2008

We were here again at the construction site of Baan Leam Tong International Community Resource Center. During 16-22 July, 23 of us, 16 students from Faculty of Architecture Chulalongkorn University (10 INDA students, 6 fifth year students, 3 architects from my office working as my TA. (Sor, Namkhang and Pan), Khun Pu Jantima from American Red Cross, Khun Chol from UNICEF and our beloved cook, P'Som were there to work on the construction site, continuing from what the Regent team had completed last month.

This was the stage of the construction site when we arrived. Sor, Namkhang and Pan surveyed the site before the students began to work.

Waiting for our first meeting at the site. We all enjoyed the cool breeze after the rains...

The first meeting: we divided into 3 groups, everyday 2 groups worked on the construction, the other worked on the public relation of the project in the area - the duty also including cooking and serving drinks to those who worked on the construction site. We began with already some fun as you can see here :)

Our tasks were to mold 22 columns in the site.. Our super contractor, Nirat, already prepare some of the molding and reinforced steel... so our first day... we began with mixing concrete. The students had to carry million bags of the mixtures (sand, stones and cement) to the site. :O

Then we began pouring concrete mixture into the column molds. Although it was raining once in a while, it was good so that the weather was not too bad.

Joe was already tired, while Nam and Pear were still super strong - super girls...

After few days of mixing and pouring concrete in the rains, we finished. But we couldn't take off all the molds yet, had to wait for at least 24 hours. So we had another job to do: digging around the site prepare for the retaining walls.

The day before last day, we finally took away the molds of all the colums..

This was the condition of the site when we left. :-) we were quite proud of our little selves of doing so.... The next step is to build the retaining wall and install the water storage... We have to wait for further funding - hope to be very soon.

Speaking about funding, this time, we did some public relation around the site - with the hotels around and the people in the village. Strange enough, all the hotels around did not know the existance of the project, some staffs of the hotels did not even know the existance of the school - very strange indeed. The students went around to the hotels (Phi Phi Natural Resort, Zevola, Phi Phi Erawan Resort and Holiday Inns Resort), asked the hotels to hand out our PR materials to the guests who might be interested in supporting the project. Pam and Chompu who could not make it this time, made a very cute postcard as handout and three boards to exhibit at the construction site

Ta proudly presented the postcards in the setting they brought to each hotel for the guests. It should be put in the lobby.

Khun Pu Jantima who was in charge of all our well-being organized a grilling party for us one night. Joe was the best boy scout who made the fire, with the support from the three girls here. :-)

Grilled fish. The fish were from our contractor, Nirat. Gigantic indeed. Thanks a lot ka.

Not to mention that everyday, we got fed by P'Som's food. The diet plan in Phi Phi never works. We got back to Bangkok FAT & TAN. :( But happy and full.

Looking forward to going back there again soon... we began to feel like another home there... :-)

23 Regent International School @ the construction again

Right after our site visit in June, Regent International School with international schools from India, Malaysia and Japan were working on the site for one week. Around 50 students were there, working hard. :-O

Basically they laid down the steel structure of the ground floor, as in the picture.

After that, they mixed and poured the concrete for the ground floor.

Well, the next step would be the columns.. leave them to INDA, Chula students then.

June 16, 2008

22 Progress on the construction

Last weekend, 14-15 June, I visited Phi Phi Island to check on the progress of our construction site. Pan and the other five INDA students (Pao, Name, Tool, Pam and Chompu) came along. Of course, we would not be there without Khun Pu Jantima.

We spent less than 24 hours on the island, since the complicated travelling route took most of the time - car, airplane, car, boat, boat :O....one leg of going there would take about 10 hours in total.

However, we were very happy to check the progress of the construction. The foundations are all done along with the plumbing system underneath. Then the beams of the ground floor are almost completed too.

The students from Regent International School along with the other students from four schools are coming this week to work on the floor and the columns. We will surely keep you updated. :-)

June 12, 2008

21 Goes on Bangkok Post: 10 June 2008

Good news about the project: the story of our project is printed on Bangkok Post two days ago!

Thanks to Dr Brandford Johnson of Bangkok Post, education section who has been following the project.

Here are some images of the latest development. Bangkok Post used some of them in the article. The computer rendering images are made by our computer guru, Pan - Isara Chanpoldee, in my office, allzone.

These are the last images we had on the development of the site after the group of Regent and Bermuda schools worked on in late March.

This is the last development of our support: as stated in the Bangkok Post article, we (Paul and Mike from Regent, Toey and Hin represented the students, Pan from allzone, and then myself) went for a meeting with Bluescope Steel two weeks ago. They promised to support us all the steel parts of the building, as well as helping us on the technical side of the project. Thanks to Khun Somkiate and Khun Pithan of Bluescope Steel.

This coming weekend, I will go to the site again with Pan, Khun Pu from Fah Diow and five students of mine (Chompu, Pam, Pao, Name and Tool) who are very excited about the project and can't wait until INDA next official visit in July. Will be many things to update then.

If you want to read more about the article in Bangkok Post it is HERE.

March 25, 2008

20 The Construction has Begun!

Last week, we went to Baan Leam Tong, Phi Phi Island (our site) again. This time the main purpose was to begin the construction. Somnuk and Tatiya, the engineers from CM One who is our great partner on the project, came along with us to see the site.

The task of the first day was to check properly the condition of the site. Although during the workshop last August, we already did the site measurement, it was not 100% accurate. Then we had to find a proper way how to put the building into the site without cutting any big trees.

We discussed on the site, how to place the building.. Joe and Ta came to join us from Phuket where they are doing internship.

Working, working and working... as you might imagine, it was insanely hot. March in Thailand is the 2nd hottest month after April.

After several discussions, we are now considerting to move the two big solarcell panels installed on the ground to the roof of our building. So that the school could gain back the open space. But I have to check all these with Ministry of Energy if we can do anything with the panels. Since they are in charge.

Nirat in action. He is a contractor who usually works with Phi Phi Natural Resort where the school is located. He also has quite an interesting background. First he came to Phi Phi island working as a chef, then after the tsunami in 2005, he turned himself into a local contractor restoring the hotel and then the area around. He also used to work abroad as a chef in Mongolia and Turkey.. :O

On the second day, finally we were able to define the gridlines and the level of the site. Since the site has quite complex contours, it is very important to give the reference. In the images, Somnuk our super engineer was marking the reference points. :) Now we can start the construction...

Pan, the architect of the project - he is the one who is in charge on all the details, was working RIGHT at the site with his laptop. So great!

Here Ta, Joe and Pan along with Nirat, our super contractor, laying the grid lines of the colunms on the site.

Morning meeting between us, the engineer and the contractor...Thanks to Kru Ning and Kru Yan, the two generous teachers of Baan Leam Tong School, who supported us a lot on our well being while we were there.

Another thing worth mention about our well being is food. Khun Pu Jantima, again, organized us a wonderful cook from Phang-nga, Khun Som, who also came along with us since the first workshop. Usually the food on Phi Phi Island is very expensive and not so good because of hyper touristic development, we are very lucky to have great and cheap food everyday. Thanks to Khun Pu.

As you can see here, Ta and Joe are very happy with the fresh squids just got out from the sea given to us by the contractor. His staffs go fishing everyday. It was unbelieavably good.

Simple but very great food we enjoyed.. :)

Here is the model we brought to the site. We want to leave the model at the site to give people the idea how the building is going to be, especially for the kids and the people in the sea gypsy village. Thanks to Pan who carried this model on the plane from Bangkok to Krabi, it was quite advanturous ... Imagine, very soon, the model will be enlarged 50 times... that will be our building. :) We are very excited indeed.

Finally, on the last day we were there, about 50 people of Regent International School and Bermuda School for Girls teams began working on the site. With their strong will, they hope, by the end of this week, to complete the site slope adjustment, and then the 36 holes for the foundation of the buidling. :O I am impressed.

They were working really hard under the sun and the heat...

Well, now, bang to Bangkok, we have still a lot to do on the project. The construction will be going on for the first phase until the end of May, when the foundation, the beam and the column of the ground level will be complted. By then we will be there again... Looking forward to.