TYIN Tegnestue - Rustic Yet Sleekly Modern Humanitarian Architecture (Photos)

TYIN roots stage at WOMAD 2010 photo

Image by author

A few weeks ago I was walking around the WOMAD festival munching on Riverford Organic brownies and sipping from a Frank Water refillable bottle when I stumbled across the Roots Architecture camp and was immediately struck by the beauty of this sleek angular structure. Designed by Norwegian architecture practice TYIN Tegnestue this was one of four stages by different humanitarian architecture groups built, over the festival weekend, out of reclaimed timber and pallets. I was particularly impressed by the ambition and execution of TYIN's stage design and wanted to find out more about their work....

TYIN stage underneath photo

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TYIN Tegnestue is non profit architecture practice that works with architecture students from the University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway, on humanitarian and sustainable building projects. They were invited to take part in the Roots Architecture project at WOMAD, organised by Oliver Lowenstein, the editor of the cultural arts magazine Fourth Door Review and architect Sally Daniels of tangentfield. Led by Andreas Gjertsen and Yashar Hanstad the TYIN team entered into a race against time to try and complete a beautifully designed and structurally sound stage over the weekend for a performance on the Sunday night.

TYIN stage team photo

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The TYIN team (seen above) built their stage from reclaimed timber beams and pallets. While alongside them in the race were Architecture Sans Frontieres UK building a stage from reclaimed wooden cable reels, 'Bamboo' Jack Everett building a stage from, yes you guessed it, bamboo, and timber frame expert Charley Brentnall building a stage from tree stumps. You can see all the different stages on Fourth Door Review.

TYIN WOMAD roots stage lit up photo

Image via www.fourthdoor.co.uk
TYIN Tegnestue have been recognised in the architectural press (Architectural Review and Arch Daily) for their beautiful structures built on the Thai Burmese border in the Karen refugee villages. In 2008 the TYIN team went to work in the small village of Noh Bo where a fellow Norwegian, Ole Jørgen Edna, founded the Safe Haven Orphanage for Karen children in 2006. Their brief was to construct new dormitories to house 25 more children, using local materials and avoiding the use of tropical hardwoods. Below is TYIN's description of their work for Safe Haven.

TYIN architecture thailand photo

Safe Haven Dormitories, Image via www.tyintegnestue.no
The main driving force behind the project was to somehow recreate what these children would have experienced in a more normal situation. We wanted every child to have their own private space, a home to live in and a neighbourhood where they could interact and play. These six sleeping units are our answer to this.

Because of their appearances the buildings were named Soe Ker Tie Hias by the workers; The Butterfly Houses. The bamboo weaving technique used on the side and back facades is the same used in local houses and crafts. Most of the bamboo is harvested within a few kilometers of the site. The special roof shape of the Soe Ker Tie Houses enables an effective, natural ventilation, at the same time as it collects the rain water. This renders the areas around the buildings more useful during the rainy season, and gives the possibility of collecting the water in drier periods.

TYIN rustic library thailand photo

Safe Haven Dormitories Library, Image via www.tyintegnestue.no

In 2009 TYIN continued working for the Safe Haven Orphanage completing both a library and bathhouse for the children. Seeing these works in conjunction with the Roots Architecture stage at WOMAD it is clear that TYIN's design ethic is as strong as their humanitarian and environmental ethic - it makes for an excellent combination. We love the rustic yet sleek designs which are modernist in form, but beautifully decorative in detail, and we admire how this meshing of aesthetics celebrates traditional construction techniques, local materials, and handcrafts. We look forward to following the work of TYIN Tegnestue as it continues.

Here is Oliver Lowenstein, editor of Fourth Door Review and curator of Roots Architecture at WOMAD talking about TYIN's work (apologies for the low sound quality).

TYIN Tengestue
Fourth Door Review
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Humanitarian Design Isn't The New Imperialism, It's The New Compassion
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TreeHugger Radio: An Interview with Cameron Sinclair
Humanitarian Designer Emily Pilloton on the Colbert Report (Video)

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