Beyond Expansion & Renovation: The Indonesian School in Bangkok
The opening ceremony of the extended Indonesian School in Bangkok (Sekolah Indonesia Bangkok SIB) was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 28, 2023. His Exellency Mr. Rachmat Budiman, the Indonesian Ambassador to Thailand, delivered his best wishes to the school, pointing out the importance of education. The project designed and managed by VIRTUARCH focuses on creating an environment of not only giving knowledge, but also stimulating curiosity in students’ study and life. In response to the growing student population and the needs to modernize its facilities, the school has initiated an important expansion project. VIRTUARCH has been commissioned by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to lead the renovation and upgrading of SIB to international school standards.
Sekolah Indonesia Bangkok is located within the Republic of Indonesia Embassy Campus in the heart of Bangkok’s Pratunam District. The existing one-story building is nestled in Embassy Park amid the bustling skyscrapers of Bangkok, whose vibrant and diverse culture inspired us to renovate this school. VIRTUARCH proposed a design concept of a landmark, combining surrounding commercial environment and Bangkok’s tropics climates, aiming for a characteristic school with an innovative and multicultural vision.
The group photo of the opening ceremony with H.E. Mr. Rachmat Budiman, the Indonesian Ambassador in Bangkok: Best wishes for SIB
SIB serves students ranging from kindergarten to high school. The original structure, constructed in the 1970s, is a one-story U-shaped building that has undergone several extensions over time without comprehensive planning. VIRTUARCH, with its extensive know-how and experience in educational projects, has been selected to work out a strategy and a design which allows the school to develop over the coming years.
The one-story U-shaped building before VIRTUARCH’s renovation
The rendering picture under VIRTUARCH’s approach to the renovation
Site images: Finishing works designed and managed by VIRTUARCH
The project also includes project management throughout the construction phase. The architectural team’s plan involves restructuring the roof and adding an upper floor to accommodate the increasing number of students. This new upper floor will house six additional classrooms and can be accessed via a theatrical staircase from the covered esplanade, centrally located within the U-shaped building. With the addition of a new floor, SIB is set to double its student capacity, accommodating up to 250 students.
Increasing the building’s height improves both the indoor illumination and will permit in future to have a second floor for classrooms, increasing the student capacity
Other noteworthy enhancements include widening the existing ground floor corridor and modifying and upgrading doors and windows to enhance safety and reduce energy consumption. A substantial 1.2-meter-thick double-layered roof, positioned 9 meters above the ground floor, will provide shelter and protection from the tropical monsoon weather while facilitating natural ventilation in all directions.
The construction of steel structure on site: VIRTUARCH’s approach is lead by short construction time and recyclable materials
The generous open space connecting the building with the surrounding nature is a good place to have outdoor lessons and a rest at break
One of the primary challenges of this project is the tight construction schedule, as it had to be completed during the summer break. SIB has allocated only 2.5 months for the entire renovation and extension project. To minimize disruptions to the existing structure, VIRTUARCH has opted for a prefabricated construction methodology, preserving as much of the original building as possible.
The wooden roof sustained by steel columns symbolizes classical and contemporary culture
A big roof provides protection and symbolizes the school’s long history
VIRTUARCH’s Bangkok team, lead by Therdsiddhi Hoprasartsuk-Pellaumail, Managing Director and Miranda Xu, Managing Partner, congratulates SIB on its opening
The project of SIB is one of VIRTUARCH’s outstanding educational ‘Summer Work’ renovation projects which was brilliantly handled by VIRTUARCH. Despite the massive time pressure, VIRTUARCH managed to implement a cost-effective and sustainable approach and to realize an inspiring and playful learning environment.
The project goes beyond simply renovating and expanding buildings; it is truly transforming the school, promoting a blend of the past and present and making courageous decisions that benefit the users, the client, and the environment.
|Project Time: March 2023-November 2023
2003 – 2023 VIRTUARCH | 20 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE
VIRTUARCH is an international award-winning design and project management firm originating from Switzerland and with offices in Europe, China and Southeast Asia. With over 20 years of experience, we have successfully delivered more than 500 architectural and project management projects in China and across Asia.
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