Only Human, Architect

Sohelou Village, Tak, Thailand

Sohelou Village has a population that lives nearly off-grid without electricity, doing agriculture. The topography of the village is slightly sloped down to the forest below. On this low site the chapel cantilevers out to the horizon.

The chapel follows the characteristics of vernacular timber houses. Long, low openings provide cross ventilation and diffused daylight. However, light is used to create a state of transcendence, with the presence of the cross as the medium.

From inside the chapel, a cruciform opening on the roof translates into a cross of light that slowly moves around the interior. People are welcomed by the view of endless rolling hills. The exterior materials are steel and copper which will age in time, while the interior is more welcoming with reclaimed wooden floor and plywood wall. Construction was made possible by the local builders and villagers, regardless of their faith.

Jury Comments

A stunning site, which the chapel has a symbiotic relationship to. The interiors are particularly striking, the way it admits light and creates the experience of the Cross, created with light as well as shadow. The interior creates a frame for experiencing the verdant outdoor environment.

Project Team Members

Chayaluck Peechapat, Architect
Runn Charksmithanont, Architect
Artit Markshom, Collaborating Architect
Father Camille Rio m.e.p., Project Manager
Banjong Nithiwangsomjit, Contractor