Aphiwat Pengpala, finalist
Photo by Simon Wilson
Aphiwat (Don) Pengpala, from the Unitec Department of Architecture, was a finalist for his project ‘Water You Know?’
Struck by the contrast in his home village of Ban Thang Khwang between poor water quality and the presence of contemporary electronic devices – smart phones, computers, satellite TV – Aphiwat Pengpala proposed a scheme to improve the supply of potable water and encourage villages to value water more and appreciate its importance to the local culture. Two medium-scaled buildings are envisaged: a house for the family that maintains the adjacent water treatment facility, and an internet café, sited at the intersection of the local water-related festival and the perambulation route of the the village’s young adults.
The project demonstrates a comprehensive engagement in an increasingly critical issue – the provision of clean and safe water in developing countries. The site is the student’s family village in a region of Thailand subject to drought, and the proposal benefits from its author’s immersion in the local culture and sympathetic understanding of local living patterns. Research into the rhythms of village life and techniques of improving the water supply are complemented by some wonderfully expressive architectural interventions.