Bamboo structures encase an ethereal ambience to envisage a space designed for spiritual practice. Khunying Noi, a 90-year-old Buddhist and member of the royal family, approached Chiangmai Life Architects to create a space to enjoy the sunset and bring together her family. The Sunset Sala & Meditation Cathedral, situated on top of a hill in northern Chiang Mai with enticing views of the northern mountain landscapes captivates a soulful aura.
The Sunset Sala has proven popular among Khunying Noi’s friends and family. As an active member of the Buddhist community, following she commissioned the architects to develop and facilitate spiritual practice into the design. The meditation cathedral indeed acts as an ethereal structure capturing the spiritual vibes under a mushroom canopy.
The buildings designs emulate the mountain range and the rolling hills. The buildings craft furthermore into the scenery as if growing out by themselves. The meditation space sculpts like a dome of a cathedral to uplift the practitioner’s emotions. A cathedral sensation invoked into bundled bamboo form arches that simultaneously act as the whole building’s structural support. Imitating the Roman and Gothic cathedrals, they carry a floating umbrella-shaped roof with skylights like a wheel.
The meditation space also attaches beside a bathroom with showers and toilets for ladies and gentlemen. Coupled with striking bamboo rooftop about an adobe building with decorative bottles integrated into the wall. Besides the bathroom, another smaller bamboo building characterized as a mushroom hides the water tank and an even smaller one for the well.
The main species of bamboo used are Thyrsostachus species like Th. Oliveri and Th. Siamensis. Other species such as Dendrocalamus asper and Bamboosa spp also fused as vital elements. Every bamboo element especially selected well by age and treated by soaking in a borax/boric acid solution stands in stark beauty. Chiangmai Life Construction’s craftsmen were all trained inhouse and mainly consisted of Thai Yai who had to flee the Burmese army’s minority prosecution campaigns and Thai nationals.
Architects: Chiangmai Life Architects
Area: 272 m²
Photographs: Markus Roselieb
Architect In Charge: Markus Roselieb, Tosapon Sittiwong
Contractor: Chiangmai Life Construction