Luang Ta Bua Museum
Location: Lopburi, Thailand
Client: Wat Pathammawisuttimongkol
Program: Museum, Library, Herbal Farm / 20 000m²
Roles: Architect and Interior Architect
Landscape Architect: Akavit Tongdevorakul
Engineers: Prasit Sungsawang, Suchada Niljan, Apisit Wuttiwanich
This place is designed for learning about Luang Ta Bua, one of the most revere monks in Thailand. Following Luang Ta Bua's philosophy, the program aims to teach people how to live in moderation by learning how to be self-sufﬁcient. The museum will provide useful and sustainable knowledge such as local expertise and herbal medication. The museum will also offer a community library and an herbal farm.
Due to the nature of ﬂoods in Lopburi, the project proposes to remove existing soil and ﬁll it back at the construction area. This design operation not only reinforces the soil foundation which can evade ﬂood hazards but can also form a canal around the building, which in turn, can be used for irrigation. Moreover, soil will be used in the main building structure to form an earth-ramp wall by compressing soil into a vertical direction in order to create a soil wall bearing. The earth-ramp wall will signiﬁcantly help reduce a number of timber structures, such as timber columns and timber beams.
As for the museum, clockwise circulation of the exhibition is designed following the Buddhist belief. The exhibition area consists of seven rooms based on Luang Ta Bua’s phases of life. Main exhibition objects in each room are placed at the center and detail stories of Luang Ta Bua’s life are along the periphery of the rooms, which encourage the visitors to be compassionate and live in moderation.
Landscape architecture is also designed to teach people how to live in a concept of self-sufﬁciency. For example, Red Indian Water Lilly is planted as a symbol of the Buddha, but yet the local people can also gather it for food. With Buddhist medical knowledge, many local herbs are cultivated for medical reasons. These herbs play a crucial role in treating those suffering from physical and mental illnesses.