Ponlawat Buansiri was born in Bangkok, Thailand. Within a few years of graduating from Chulalongkorn University in 1991, Ponlawat won the Asahi Glass House, Gypsum Board House and Spontaneous Healing House competitions and his “Linkage” design was selected by Tadao Ando and Jeffrey Kipnis as the first prize winner of the ASA Experimental Architecture competition.
Songsuda Athibai was also born in Bangkok, Thailand, and graduated with a B.Arch from King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang in 1995 and a masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2000. Though she alone earned the New Spirit of Thai Architecture award from the Association of Siamese Architects, she was unable to find any support in Thailand for her visionary designs until her first collaborations with Ponlawat.
In 2005, after being selected as one of the 20 finalists for The Grand Egyptian Museum competition in 2002 and one of 5 finalists for the Irish World Performing Arts competition in 2004, Ponlawat and Songsuda established S+PBA.
Taylor Lowe joined S+PBA in 2008. He graduated with highest honors in both Economics and Literature from UCSD, and earned his M.Arch from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). His critical writings have garnered both the Berkhardt Prize and the Schiff Prize. Drawing on his background in literature and theory, Taylor assists Ponlawat and Songsuda in first ‘reading’ the stories, subtexts, contexts, textures and implications behind each project and then manifesting them in the embodied experiences of S+PBA’s architectural statements.
Ever since their childhoods, both Ponlawat and Songsuda have shared an inexhaustible love and fascination for architecture. Songsuda’s independent spirit and fertile imagination find a harmonic balance with Ponlawat’s keen vision, extraordinary spatial and material intuition, and architectural wisdom borne of extensive experience. Together, working in the capital of a third world country, against conservative notions of what constitutes ‘Thai Architecture,’ they strive always to make the most with less. S+PBA aspires to find the hidden potential in the mundane and undervalued, and convert simple processes and conditions into extraordinary architecture that competes at an international level with even the most resource intensive of contemporary design.
Ponlawat and Songsuda are both faculty at the School of Architecture and Design (SoA+D) at KMUTT. Taylor is faculty at the International Program for Design and Architecture (INDA) at Chulalongkorn Univerity.