Wasun Panarut , Studio Colon-Bracket , Wasun Panarut , Tipnipa Pantipjatuporn
ตุ่ม [TOOM] – A traditional Thai water jar used in the olden days for the purpose of storing water, also served as an integral element of the vernacular bathing culture for the Thais in the past. Old-fashioned bathrooms are generally located near the water source detached from the main building, utilizing local materials that provide adequate ventilation and lighting. At the time, Toom became the catalyst in evolving Thailand’s outdoor bathing culture, due to its flexibility that fits anywhere.
Observing the current designs of public bathrooms ranging from the urban to the remote site context, it was found that the Western influence is prominent throughout, for instance, the excessive usage of water and electricity, including the use of thick wall materials, causing poor ventilation in humid climate. These are done without considering the impact and relationship of its surroundings. This is why the Thais have not been able to establish their own bathing culture whereas the country like Japan have forged an unmistakable bathing identity, characterized through their local elements.
Picking a peaceful remote hiking site, DoiMonJong, as the project site, the architecture aims to push a paradigm of standard public bathroom by playing upon the traditional interaction of scooping water from Toom with a bucket and splashing it over body to recreate the bathing culture that has been overlooked in Thailand for decades. Traditionally, Thai bathing culture is an outdoor activity that embraces nature. The architecture recreates this vernacular essence by engaging with the site’s view, serving as a picture frame to capture the view in its full capacity without obstructing the flow of the natural elements. When hikers reach their camping site at the end of a long day, the bathroom will replenish and rejuvenate their souls within the simple act of bathing.