Wat Yang Na Rangsri is more than a typical example where temples and community co-exist. A multipurpose pavilion and ad ordination hall dating back to more than a hundre years, along with a boat museum already existed on site.
Wat Yang Art and Cultural Center draws its design inspiration from this immediate historical context. Load-bearing walls of laterite blocks are a common architectural language in Lopburi – where Prang Sam Yot stands as its landmark. The Art and Cultural Center adopts this construction technique. But the traditional arrangement of the laterite blocks is revised. Similar to the rat trap bond method, each block is placed vertically rather than horizontally. Certain blocks are shifted to create a rhythm on the oftherwise solid and flat wall surface; while the outermost walls are more porous, resulting in an airy semi-outdoor exhibition space.
The building embraces contemporary programmes: exhibition space, work-shop, and shop for local products. The foyer, adjacent to a grass courtyard, is for welcoming visitors, gathering the locals, or serving the temple’s activity such as meditation. Bricks become seating and form the central focus of the room. A sculpture courtyard, shaded by monumental stepped laterite walls on two sides, provides a cool shaded environmen.
At Wat Yang Art and Cultural Centre, laterite is present in various uses, from enclosure to furniture; and is the building block that forms a range of experience and functions around which the community would prosper.