elii [oficina de arquitectura]


054 · aka lunar house

Hospitality of the Foreigner


House for Alicia Framis in The Land Foundation, Chiang Mai (Thailand)

The Land Foundation community is located near the village of Sanpatong, a 20 minute car ride from Chiang Mai, Thailand. The land, originally full of rice paddies, was bought by a group of artists in 1998 and was given a new use as a retreat, a place for thought and debate, ruled by anonymity and dispensing with the concept of private property.

The real project in The Land Foundation is the community itself and its way of life. In order to do that, it invited several artists from around the world to undertake architectural projects that would enrich the development of the community, such as Philippe Perreno and Francois Roche’s Hybrid Muscle, or Kamin Lerdchaprasert, Superflex, Tobias Rehberger y Rirkrit Tiravanija’s kitchen. Elii was entrusted by Alicia Framis to design the Aka Lunar House, a space where to rest and live within the community.

The Aka Lunar House Project adapts to the environment’s weather conditions. It is located near a wooded area that, on the one hand, protects it from solar radiation and, one the other, avoids any additional humidity that may come from the rice paddies in the centre of The Land’s estate. In order to avoid the periodic flooding, the house is elevated by four posts with four different roles: access, kitchen space, store room and utilities. This shaded space doubles as a porch in contact with the floor. Inside, it is organized around a dome-covered single space divided into two levels. The lower level is the more social level, a place for encounters and exchange. The upper level is a more intimate space. They are both open to the outside by means of two types of mechanisms: a huge helmet visor that frames the landscape and allows for cross ventilation, and a series of small spyglasses placed in the walls, to bring the horizon closer to the house.


1. Aliens. The Land Foundation is a space for the construction of plurality and difference. This neighborhood inhabited by artists from different parts of the world who land "like aliens in peace" should, of necessity, be an agonistic space in which they respect and challenge each other.

2. Mimesis? The Aka Lunar House lands to be part of this meeting space but refuses to imitate the environment. It will inevitably remain foreign.

3. Hospitality. Only from its foreign condition it can he be received as a guest. Hospitality as a way of understanding otherness.

4. Miscegenation. The construction, the structure and the enclosure will be executed with a light and permeable system, that allows a quick installation. The Aka Lunar House refuses to supplant a local identity based on aesthetic criteria. However, it apprehends the constructive and bioclimatic techniques of the place and translates them from an alien perspective, providing a hybrid result: the Aka Lunar House, an experiment in-between foreign and local wisdom.

  • Architects:
  • elii - Uriel Fogué + Eva Gil + Carlos Palacios
  • Team:
  • Enrico Forestieri, Lucía Usera 
  • Artist:
  • Alicia Framis
  • Fotography:
  • elii
  • Model:
  • elii - Sara Castellote, Iris Artemisa Espinosa
  • Area:
  • 103.90 m2
  • Date:
  • 2009-2010
  • Location:
  • Chiang Mai, Tailandia