Nicholas Tai Han Vern
Happy Ending: Holy Men in Sin City

Thesis Supervisor: A/P Erik L'Heureux

Site: Thailand / Malaysia

Border, as shared between two separate nations, can exist in various forms depending on the geographical conditions in which it sits. It is an agreed representation of land ownership by both the government and the mass. However, the border plays many roles where it controls geopolitical issues from not only a national scale but also internal problems at the regional level for those who live within borderlands; closely linked to matters of culture and history. This is especially relevant in the regions of Southeast Asia (SEA) that has undergone waves of colonisation and oppression for centuries. This thesis situates itself on the borderlands of Thailand-Malaysia, specifically between Rantau Panjang in Kelantan (Malaysia) and the infamous party town of Sungai Golok (Thailand).

With only a river separating between Rantau Panjang and Golok without any forms of physical barrier and active monitoring, the border is practically open to citizens from both sides who not only hold different citizenship and identity but were also brought up under opposite political and cultural backgrounds. This thesis challenges the roles and limitations of architecture within chaos, order, religion, culture, security and sovereignty in a familiar yet foreign context to the natives living within this borderland by infusing contradicting elements into one single architecture; canceling contradictions, leading to a happy ending. 

Composite drawing illustrates the entire architecture; articulating space, section, context, colour, activities and program.




Temple / Block / Market / Mosque

Mosque / Block / Market


Complete drawings, model photos, moment renders and design process available on issuu