Ab Rogers’ sustainable pavilions at Wonderfruit festival in Thailand draw on local resources
Wonderfruit festival has launched in Thailand occupying a temporary community of creative pavilions designed by London-based Ab Rogers Design. Located 10km west of Pattaya on the Gulf of Thailand, Wonderfruit festival hosts a programme of art, music and food events that focus on sustainability, which is reflected in the local materials and construction techniques of the structures.
The pavilions – that vary in function from performance venues to kitchen and dining and relaxation spaces – all make use of local resources, indigenous craft techniques and are specific to the culture and landscape of Thailand. The largest structure is the Eco Pavilion, designated for events and performances. The vast, flexible acoustic doughnut is made of Thai grass and yellow maze, and inside, clusters of hand-painted cotton and bamboo umbrellas with speakers at their centre, provide space for the audience to shade from the sun and enjoy the performances.
The Eco pavilion at Wonderfruit 2018 designed by Ab Rogers Studio
Social practices are at the heart of each pavilion design. The Theatre of Feast is a permanent structure designed around the ritual of cooking and eating. A kitchen made of red-stained bamboo is the hub of the pavilion, while a table seating up to 275 people circles the entire perimeter of the form. Entry to the pavilion is through a re-used fabric curtain and inside, diners are seated beneath a bamboo dome, with a dusty orange pebble floor underfoot.
The form of the Bath House, which offers visitors an escape to relax, was inspired by traditional Thai shing villages. A network of pavilions made of bamboo and re-used polyethylene barrels constructed by local craftspeople are connected by a series of pontoons. Each bamboo shell is slightly different, creating a dappled light of varying softness inside according to its function.
The Bath House structures
The Wonderfruit village, masterplanned by Ab Rogers Studio, follows a plan of radiating circles, that spread like audio waves and respond to the shapes found in the natural landscape. Sculptural look-out towers inspired by traditional Thai bamboo structures rise at useful moments, to guide people through the site, offering an aerial view of the activity or a place to meet. §