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Bordering the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Ban Run District, Ayutthaya, five glass block buildings sparkle under the light all day and night. The project by Bangkok Project Studio houses local single and widowed women aged 55-94, who cook delicious dishes for the monks of the village. They also cook local cuisine for visitors, the income for which is allocated to temple renovation.
The five right-angled triangular buildings are made of glass blocks and framed with wood. The architect explains that simple and often overlooked materials were selected throughout the project. For example, clear PVC sheet is specified in place of glass sheets in door panels etc. in order to reduce weight and construction budget. The use of simple materials also takes into account the skill level of local builders.
The perimeter of each building is 8m x 8m x 11.31m and the combined area of the five buildings is 310 square meters. Though all the buildings are the same size, each houses a different function.
The project calls itself “The Artisans Ayutthaya” because these women are the descendants of Ayutthaya people who are determined to preserve the cuisine and craft of Ayutthaya. They are so generous that all recipes and tasty secrets are made public so that everyone can help keep the local food of Ayutthaya alive instead of disappearing with them as they age.