designed by architecture firm onion, samyan co-op is a non-profit organization for education that is situated inside a commercial mall in bangkok, thailand. commissioned by property developer goldenland, the project is envisioned to give back to the local community by offering a 500-seat reading and working space that is free to the public and open 24 hours a day.
silent rooms are placed in the center of the building where everyone can see them
all images © Wworkspace
onion began by studying existing places that provide a similar function to samyan co-op, including libraries, co-working spaces, learning centers, public areas in university buildings and cafes. by also asking a series of questions to the public, the team deduced that potential users desired a space where they could change the atmosphere of where they read and work. as individuals have different ways of working, the architects therefore chose to design a number of varied interiors to suit everyone’s style.
a spiral stair leads up to the back of the auditorium
after carrying out initial research, onion decided to create 5 separate ‘buildings’ within the mall that still afford visual connection between them. they placed a silent building in the center of the space and enveloped it with transparent glass. due to samyan co-op being a free place for anyone to come in at anytime, day and night, the intention of the design was to build informal spaces that welcome everyone.
the blue auditorium area can hold lectures for 60-100 people
the architects placed the prominent blue cafe next to the entrance, with round tables and chairs that spill out into the lobby. the scheme also focuses on the circulation elements between each building to create lively spaces full of movement and social interaction. samyan co-op has been opened since 20 september 2019 and the seats are always fully booked. imagined like a library without books, the project results in an open, friendly and light-filled architecture that supports free education for all.
the telephone booth, computer area and vending machines in the social area
the reading area next to the largely glazed elevation
the reading area overlooks bangkok’s street view
the vertical circulation between floors
there are tables and chairs, low tables and cushions to sit on the floors, sofas and niches
the interior is defined by light-filled spaces
various types of seating areas
timber-lined circulation to connect the five different spaces
timber was used as the main material in the relaxed reading building
project name: samyan co-op
location: 2nd floor samyan mitrtown, bangkok, thailand
interior architect: onion
area: 15,069.47 ft2 (1400 m2)
year: march 2017 – september 2019
structure engineer: beca
M&E engineer: EEC lincolne scott
lighting designer: gooodlux
graphic designer: G49
project manager: project asia
contractor: thai obayashi
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: lynne myers | designboom