大象世界

大象世界

Elephant World

Bangkok Project Studio

幾十年來,庫伊族人不是在知名觀光大城的街道上遊走,乞討食物與金錢,就是在不人道的大象營中工作。大象世界成立的目的,在於提供庫伊族人穩定的月薪,讓他們與象群有穩定的收入。村民皆遵守法規,確保生活環境適合象群棲居,也為象群提供妥善的醫療照護。

庫伊族的文化與象密不可分,連族人的社會結構也是源於象群的智慧。庫伊族人回到家鄉,就能夠繼續保有過去的傳統,並傳承給後代子孫。然而若沒有茂密的森林與充足的水源,回到家鄉只會讓他們的生活無以為繼,剝削動物的問題也會再度發生。

「文化院落」提倡的概念,認為營造建物時應能增添新的資源,而非減少天然資源。「紅磚觀景台」不僅是用來觀賞風景的旅遊景點,還能讓遊客對復育森林有所貢獻。這種對建築的新觀點,也能運用於其他設計案中。「大象博物館」鼓勵當地人對自己的民族遺產感到自豪。

許多建築都是以人為中心而設計,有如地標般屹立不搖。但在大象世界當中,建築的設計理念也考量到與我們大相徑庭的物種。期許森林的範圍能日益拓展,最終讓建築隱沒在蓊鬱的林中。而建築,不過是讓兩者共存的暫時媒介而已。在復育森林與水源的同時,庫伊族人也能藉由生態旅遊謀生。在茂密的森林完全復育後,大象就能在林間漫步,庫伊族人和大象也能夠繼續生活下去,甚至不用在同一個屋簷下生活,但仍活在同樣的陽光下,利用同樣的水資源,吃著相同來源的食物。(譯:劉宛妮)

After decades of wandering the streets of tourist towns begging for food and money or working in unethical elephant camps, Elephant World is initiated to provide a source of stable income for the Kui and their elephants through monthly salary. The villagers comply with regulations that ensure suitable living condition and treatment for elephants.

It is impossible to separate elephants from Kui culture. Even their social organisation depends on the wisdom about elephants. Returning home means the Kui can continue to practice and pass on their heritage to the next generations. But without the revived forest and abundant water source, returning home will not be sustainable. And the problem of animal exploitation may reoccur.

The Cultural Courtyard proposes that building construction can build new resources rather than reduce natural resources. The Observation Tower suggests that as well as being a tourist attraction to admire the scenery, visitors may contribute to restoring the forest. This new way of looking at buildings may be employed by other design projects. The Elephant Museum encourages locals to take pride in their ethnic heritage.

Many buildings are designed to be human-centred, iconic and long-lasting. But at Elephant World, buildings are designed to also accommodate another species with a scale different from us. And it is hoped that the forest will expand and architecture will eventually be covered by the greenery. Architecture is only a temporary medium for the two to coexist. While reviving the forest and water source, the Kui earn their living via ecotourism. When the fertile forest fully returns, elephants roam in the woods, and the Kui and elephants may continue to live, or no longer live under the same roof. But they will live under the same sun, use the same water source and eat from the same source of food.