Little Shelter is located in Chiang Mai where its old cityscape and vernacular architecture are characterized by wood structure with shingle pitched roof. The hotel roof form inspired by traditional hip roofs as homage to the local architecture has a little reinterpretation with an asymmetrical form blending naturally with the surrounding tree top silhouette. The west side of the roof is partially carved out to become a roof deck for guests to enjoy the panoramic river view at sunset.
The wood shingles are used on the roof and side walls. On the river facade, polycarbonate sheets are cut into the same size as wood shingles and constructed to become the architectural translucent facade. On the entrance façade, the upper portion is composed of solid wood shingles trickling down to mixed with polycarbonate shingles on the lower part. Although working with the traditional shingle system, the uninterrupted translucency surface is achieved by a special detail design using translucent studs and special transparent screws. The design has explored a possibility to fuse new materials into a system to create a contemporary architectural surface yet deeply rooted in tradition.
The facade is glittering in the sun as the light touches different material grains, from solid wood shingles to different translucency levels of the polycarbonate shingles. The light passes through the facade and creates varying interior atmosphere at different time with the changing light condition of the sky, and beautifully interacts with the umbrella installation at the lobby.
As the building skin allows enough light into the interior space, window openings are less necessary except at the entrance and the guestroom terraces. The structure seems less of a building but becomes more like a piece of craftwork. At night with the light from the inside, the building becomes a lantern glowing on the riverbank.
Credits: NEXT Engineering Design Co., Ltd., Accent Studio