The Safe Haven Library is located at Safe Haven Orphanage, Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand. The library was built in 2009 by TYIN tegnestue Architects in partnership with NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) during a workshop to respond the needs of the educational orphanage. In addition to providing a space for the children to do homework, the library also serves as a gathering space for the orphanage.
TYIN invited 15 Norwegian architecture students from NTNU to participate in the design and building processes. The library was built by the student group and local labor. The construction budget for the project was spent entirely at local markets.
Market Suggested Retail Price
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
TYIN tegnestue Architects are the ones who designed and built this product, who have retired in 2019 and started a new studio.
The Safe Haven Library was built by students and instructors from NTNU in two weeks with local materials and labor. The building process was a result of a workshop held by NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and TYIN tegnestue Architects in 2009. The library is built on top of a concrete base foundation that is cast on a bed of large rocks available on-site. Ironwood is used for the building's solid frame construction and flooring. The wood structure is assembled alongside a concrete block backwall that is plastered to keep the building cool.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
TYIN tegnestue Architects designed the project specifically for the orphanage. The construction process is a result of a workshop developed by NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in partnership with TYIN, in the year of 2009. The workshop was sponsored by Norsk Betongforening, Bygg Uten Grenser, Minera Norge, Spenncon and NTNU.
Distributions to Date Status
One unique building design
Unique Design (Yes/No)
Intended number of occupants (#)
Duration of construction (days)
Footprint area (m²)
Number of storeys
Concrete blocks, wood, bamboo, cement, sand, rocks
Flammable flash point temperature (ºC)
Thermal insulating capacity (m²*K/W)
Concrete block Thermal Insulating Capacity is 0.284
Maximum wind speed (km/h)
Structural Occupancy Category
Seismic Design Category
Safe Haven Library is a one storey building with a mezzanine measuring 128 m² in total. It has a concrete base over a bed of large rocks. The wall is made of plastered concrete blocks which help cool the building during the day. The construction presents open bamboo facades providing natural ventilation throughout the structure. Ironwood for flooring is comfortable for the children. The bookshelves run the full length of the concrete wall and there is no furniture inside the building, making it suitable for different activities. The building provides a space for the Safe Haven children to study, use the computer, and read. It also serves as a communal gathering space for the orphanage.
The building can be maintained by local labor with conventional construction experience.
All the components including roofing, structure and flooring can be replaced using local materials.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
The building was designed to provide natural lighting and ventilation to keep the library cool during the day. Additionally, the building is intended to fulfill the educational needs of the orphanage, providing its members with a place to study and gather. As a workshop project, the designer intended the construction of the library to give hands-on building experience for the NTNU's architect students.
Vetted Performance Status
No testing by third-party organization has been completed.
Builders should wear appropriate protective equipment such as hardhats, gloves and safety glasses while working to protect against physical injury commonly associated with heavy construction.
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Harboe, L., 2015, TYIN tegnestue Architects. Integrating On-Site Education and Practice. Architectural Design, 85(2), 82–87.doi:10.1002/ad.1880
Girón, P., 2017, Architecture of Cooperation: TYIN Tegnestue. Technical School of Architecture of Universitat Politècnica de València.
Compliance with regulations
As a building for gathering, the library complies with the Building Control Act. B.E. 2522.
TYIN tegnestue Architects designed and built a bathhouse for the orphanage simultaneously.