Little Shelter Hotel

Department of Architecture

Little Shelter Hotel in Chiang Mai is a contemporary interpretation of northern Thai vernacular architecture, particularly through its dialogue between old and new materials. The project explored innovative approaches to how industrial materials can be used with inspiration from the traditional construction technique of wood shingles.

While wood shingles are used on the roof and side walls, the front and riverside facades are made of polycarbonate sheets cut into shingles, fixed with translucent studs and special transparent screws. These uninterrupted translucent surfaces delicately reflect the lush surroundings, create dramatic light conditions for interior spaces, and making the hotel a glowing lantern at night.

The public area interior complements the exterior simplicity, and gives a gallery-like feeling that accommodates site-specific installations inspired by the famous Boh-Srang umbrella of Chiang Mai. It creates delicate and dramatic silhouettes expressing contemporary interpretations of the local handicraft.

The guest room interior is a place to rediscover Chiang Mai from a new angle, literally. ‘Looking-up’ images of important places and cultural events of Chiang Mai are placed on the ceiling, infinitely reflected onto the two long walls clad with small mirrored acrylic shingles, giving a surreal borderless impression. The images are different in each room, emanating a different feeling suitable for any guest’s preference.

Little Shelter represents Department of architecture’s aim to create a contemporary ‘craft architecture’ that well embodies northern Thai craft culture. It is not only a place to sleep; it is a representation of the past, the present, and probably the future of Chiang Mai to its visitors.

Furniture: Muang Thong, Furnitech, Archi Construction and Architect. Lighting: Endo, CCSE Group. Fittings & Fixtures: Archi Construction and Architect.

Photography: W Workspace