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THAI MODERN First Published 2015 Copyright ©2015 by Li-Zenn Publishing

Li-Zenn Publishing Limited Publisher Managing Director Deputy Managing Director Executive Director

Nithi Sthapitanonda Suluck Visavapattamawon Pisut Lertdumrikarn Prabhakorn Vadanyakul Kiattisak Veteewootacharn Li-Zenn Publishing Limited 81 Sukhumvit 26, Klongton, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110 Thailand T +66 (0) 2259 2096 F +66 (0) 2661 2017

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means-graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage and retrieval systems without prior written permission from the publisher.

Executive Editor Nithi Sthapitanonda Editor Suluck Visavapattamawon Editorial Advisor Archanart Kespayak Project Coordinator Bussara Kemapirak Editorial Assistant Sattjapa Sainetra Graphic Designer Chonlathit Sriponwong Design Assistant Raynuka Panitchaisak Wirawan Jiraratsakul Proofreader Ruairi Cunningham (p.6-9, 549) Translator Jutamas Tadthiemrom (p.6-7) Sponsor Coordinator Panphim Jaipanya

National Library of Thailand Cataloging in Publication Data THAI MODERN. – Bangkok: Li-Zenn, 2015. 660 p. 1. Architecture. I. Title. 720. ISBN 978-616-7800-31-8 Printed in China by Tiger Printing (Hong Kong)

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contents entrance




lobby & lounge


living room


kitchen & dining










restaurant & bar


study & work


swimming pool












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The artwork and culture of Thailand is heavily influenced by the traditions of many neighbouring countries, as Thailand is geographically located between the linkage of the western and eastern cultures. Thailand has also been a route for undertaking commercial activities since ancient times. The reminiscence of Thailand’s history from 500 to 700 years ago (Sukhothai Era) has reflected how the country derived Chinese and Indian cultures which were incorporated with trading and distribution of Buddhism at that period of time. The existing evidence is the architecture, equipment and accessories which were discovered from many places. Not until 300-400 years ago (Ayutthaya Period 14th-18th Century), did Thailand begin trading with many countries from the west. The merchants who established their business brought western knowledge, art and culture to distribute in Thailand until the Rattanakosin Period (1782 to Present). The result of this influence appeared in the architecture and interior design ‘east meets west’ style in many cities. This trend also caused a revolution in both culture and other physical appearances in Thailand. In 2012, Li-Zenn Publishing published ‘Thai Mod’, a book which collects architectural projects, interior and landscape designs from contemporary architects to feature the development and evolution of modern architecture in Thailand. The book also exhibited the changes in art and culture from the past until present time. ‘Thai Mod’ was distributed to the public and gained a warm welcome from domestic and international readers. Three to four years after the launch, Thailand’s design industry has been more eager and enthusiastic to create many new masterpieces during the period of time when the economy was also thriving and prospering. Therefore, the design projects are flourishing with creative variety from new wave designers. Li-Zenn Publishing has been observing these movements all along and has had opportunities to discuss with both readers and designers who support us to launch another similar book collection once again. Once the news of a new publication spread, under the name of ‘Thai Modern’, Li-Zenn received an enormous welcome with more than 300 design projects from more than 60 design firms. After the in-depth screening, the selected showcases in this new series feature a better innovative evolution as there is the employment of new and different materials in the designs and also focusing more on the environment-friendly issue. Furthermore, they also put emphasis on energy-saving design more than they have ever done before. It is a positive sign to help reduce global warming and show us development in sustainable construction.

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We would like to thank you all, architects and designers who have participated in this publication. We hope ‘Thai Modern’ will be another channel to make readers realize the potential of Thai architects and designers once again and be a source to acknowledge modern design in Thailand. Last but not least, we are thankful to have many institutes, companies, and shops sponsoring us to achieve all the goals to complete this book.


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Khao Yai Vacation Home - Nakhon Ratchasima - amA Design Studio 10

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entrance 11

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Via 49 Condominium - Bangkok - shma 12

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The Grand Pinklao Clubhouse - Bangkok - Office AT 13

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12/24/14 4:54 PM 15-1-23 上午11:59

Habitia Clubhouse - Bangkok - IDIN Architects 44

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Baan San Kraam - Phetchaburi - Somdoon Architects 52

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hallway 53

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Foto Hotel - Phuket - RDM Design Group 54

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Siam Square One - Bangkok - The Office of Bangkok Architects 55

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Dental Bliss - Bangkok - IF 78

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King Power Srivaree Complex - Samut Prakan - Architects 49 96

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lobby & lounge 97

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Bualuang Exclusive Suite, Central Embassy - Bangkok - PIA Interior 102

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Botanica Sales Gallery - Nakhon Ratchasima - Vin Varavarn Architects 103

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Novotel Platinum - Bangkok - Interior Architects 49 114

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X2 River Kwai - Kanchanaburi - Agaligo Studio 115

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OCAS, LH - Prachuap Khiri Khan - Thisstudio 134

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living room 135

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Baan Moom – Bangkok – IF 148

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X2 River Kwai - Kanchanaburi - Agaligo Studio


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Baan Moom - Bangkok - IF 200

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stairway 201

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Baby Grand Hua Hin - Prachuap Khiri Khan - amA Design Studio 204

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Walllasia Office - Bangkok - Walllasia 205

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Baan Moom - Bangkok - IF 218

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Demoh House - Bangkok - Lynk Architect 219

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says, it was a trend built all over the world. This

this can be found in Japan, where architects have

international trend continued up-until the short-

gone to great lengths to incorporate Japanese

lived post-modernism movement. Post-modern

idealisms, culture and even spiritualism into their

architecture criticized and described international

international projects.

style as “inhuman,” and that it never took into account the anthropology of the surrounding

Thai architects should learn to deploy forms

land. Many criticized the international style, as

of nationalism into their projects. They should

also having a “blatant disregarded for historical

look to and follow in the footsteps of the Thai

Thai : Modern : Architecture

characteristics and was lacking of influences,

food, Thai silk and Thai arts industries. They need

Smith Obayawat

from local cultures.”

to remember that ethnic heritage and culture


awareness all have an exceptional value. Lastly,

The Office Of Bangkok Architects (OBA)

Recently, the genes of modernity have quickly

as the world continues down a global and ho-


coming back into vogue. These edifices are now

mogenous path, it’s more important than ever,

The Association of Siamese Architects

being constructed on larger scales and with more

for cultures to incorporate their heritage into

under Royal Patronage 2012-2014

diversified finishes. They are also being built at a

their architecture and design. One could easily

much faster rate than their predecessors. Moreo-

imagine a future, where the great pleasure of

Over the years while working as a representative

ver, these new structures maintain integrity, taut-

travelling around the world, would be lost due

of the Thai architecture industry, I automatically

plane surfaces, visually weightlessness and are

to the lack of local and cultural identities.

became a spokesperson for the industry it self.

void of any applied ornamentation. These struc-

One of my favorite questions that seemed to come

tures contain materials such as concrete, steel,

Here in Thailand, there is a constant quest to

up frequently, was “what trends do you see for the

glass and plastics. Furthermore, these projects

design the very best in Thai modern architecture,

Thai architecture industry?” My reply sometimes

contain more cantilevered spaces, and have

while maintaining nostalgia for Thai spiritualism

seemed unclear to the questionnaire, depending

more fluid like forms. They also, contain less

and also mindful of Thailand’s diverse tropical

mostly on their knowledge of architecture. Fur-

visualobstructions from vertical elements, such

climate. It will be the responsibility of future

thermore, since there seems to be a void of archi-

as load bearing columns. These new advance-

architects and their protégé’s to put more effort

tectural critics in our society, I had serious con-

ments are in direct relation to the support from

to incorporate “Thai-ness” into their future mod-

cerns on how to answer responsibly to students

new computer software and construction tech-

ern designs, to ensure our rich legacy endures.

or graduates, whom are just now starting their

nology that are all currently available to the

careers. It’s true that no one can pinpoint what’s

industry today. Thai architects increasingly

right or wrong when architecture is discussed.

discover these new notions, through international education and from the easy access to

For many decades modern architecture has been

architectural imagery that’s published on the

embraced by Thai society. The main reason was

Internet. It is no wonder that these portfolios can

the direct result of our mentors being educated

be easily accessed from anywhere in the world,

in many different schools and in many different

as digital publishing is key to any architect’s

western countries. They were certainly influenced

success in this ever growing, digital-media based

by the “avant-garde modern movement” and thus

society. This digital connection is being shared by

it started appearing in many government build-

architects from all over the globe and is forming

ings and private residences throughout the king-

a type of international dialog amongst archi-

dom. Some structures had a touch of Thai char-

tects. Personally, I’m convinced that some of the

acter, such as wide-eaves or precast sunshades

world’s most famous architects might secretly

with Thai ornament pattern. Others designs were

have their very own architectural language.

extremely “westernized,” or as it’s now called

A language built with personal ideas and personal

“international style.” The international style was

cultural embellishments, which they use and

a fast-moving trend, and just like its namesake

incorporate into all their projects. An example of

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opportunity. The question would be whether Thai architects are ready and up for the occasion. The development of modern architecture in Thailand began just over 80 years ago with the establishment of the first architecture school in Thailand at Chulalongkorn University with the first group of western educated professors bringing in new ideas and technologies. Today there Question on Identity

are over 30 schools teaching architecture in Thai-

Pichai Wongwaisayawan

land and thousands of new generations of archi-


tects educated both inside and outside the country.

The Association of Siamese Architects

There are growing crops of emerging young archi-

under Royal Patronage 2014-2016

tects doing interesting and exciting architecture today. And with the advancement of information

The Association of Siamese Architects under Royal

technology and social media, news travel the world

Patronage celebrated its 80th anniversary this

in seconds once uploaded, information about new

year 2014. It’s objective has always been in sup-

modern cutting edge architecture also travel in the

port and promote architects as well as provide

same fashion. This results in unavoidable influ-

professional development to its members through

ences throughout the architecture world since

seminars and workshops. Not to mention its role

all are hunger for fresh new ideas. We can see

in serving the public and government agencies

similar new design popping up in different parts

with its committees’ and members’ expertise.

of the world regardless of where they are and

So many of its distinguished members had con-

Thailand is no exception. One can see the impact

tributed to the development of the profession

of modern design in Thai architecture scene, some

and at the same time to the country. So many

successful and some not so. Then what distin-

had left behind legacies of great architecture, of

guishes Thai cities to others around the world

course not all to the credit of the association; but

if every architect were influenced by the same

the conviction, the commitment, the leadership

source of information? What about the beautiful

and the sacrifice of doing things for others sure

traditional Thai architecture? Does it transcend

had something to do with it.

time and the changing world into the modern era? Can it merges with modern architecture

The architect profession in Thailand had been, by

and yet being distinctly Thai or should it be kept

law, reserved for the Thais for the past 40 years.

preserved as “antique”? Does identity matter any-

It is debatable whether it enhanced or prevented

more in the new society, new evolving culture?

the development of the architects and architec-

These are the questions that all Thai architects

ture in Thailand. Now that would change with

should contemplate and address while designing

the agreement on Asean Economic Community

a building since we all play a big part in shaping

that will take place by the end of 2015, this will

up our own city and its environment. Whatever

allow opening up of architectural practice and

we decide to do, be it good or bad, will have

some other protected “Services Profession” to

impact on the livelihood of the people associated

Asean member countries. With the pressure from

with it for the years to come.

World Trade Organization among others on free trade agreement, sooner or later, the border on architectural practice could open more widely. Some might see this as a threat and some as an

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Bear House - Phetchaburi - Onion 284

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bedroom 285

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Botanica Sales Gallery – Nakhon Ratchasima – Vin Varavarn Architects 292

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Sala Rattanakosin– Bangkok – Onion 293

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Prime Nature Residence - Bangkok - Department of Architecture 294

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Sala Rattanakosin - Bangkok – Onion 340

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restaurant & bar 341

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Sala Rattanakosin - Bangkok – Onion 356

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Bangkok Bistro Riverfront - Bangkok - IF 357

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Zense Restaurant & Bar - Bangkok - Department of Architecture 366

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Hotel Muse - Bangkok - PIA Interior 367

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under retrofitting in 2010. It got LEED gold and

I don’t know how to do it yet. It is rather subjec-

is projected to save 38% of the building’s energy.

tive and hard to execute. But what good is your

Imagine how much energy we can save if all of

design if no one appreciates what is there? And

the existing buildings in the world are turning

what is the point of getting together to be alone

green. I’d say humongous!!!


SMALLER SPACES: On our planet of 7 billion

DISASTER RESISTANCE: This last but not least

people with running-out resources, living and

item is probably the most important one as

Future of Thai Designers

working in a smaller space seems like the right

we are all aware how sick our Mother Earth is.

Theeranuj Karnasuta Wongwaisayawan

idea. We consume too much energy and create

We started learning some decades back about

Managing Director

too many wastes. Think of how much we can

global warming and its effects. We knew the

Interior Architects 49

save and how far we can prolong our resources

consequences but regardless do everything on

for our next generation if every single architects

the contrary. Now we’re facing severe weather

Who am I to say what’s lie in the future of Thai

design their buildings that just right for their

such as snowstorms, hurricanes and typhoons,

designers? I’ve been sitting on this 700 words

efficient usage. Multi-purposed spaces should

frightened by volcanic eruptions and strong

assignment for weeks now. Do I know? Does

be applied. Walkability is the key word, it offers

earthquakes that created destructive tsunamis.

anyone know? One can only guess what’s going

benefits not only to the environment but to our

The temperature and sea level have risen as

to happen but one certainly knows for sure that

health, finances and our community as well.

predicted. So, a good design these days has to withstand all of the above. In other words, has

this world we’re living in is not the world it used to be. So, after almost 30 years in practice, I admit

INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGY: I have to admit that

to be resilience to weather and earth condition.

I don’t have the answer! But I do know that if I

all those unthinkable things I read in science fic-

Moreover to natural disasters, there are also

were to hit the drawing board tomorrow, these

tion novels when I was young, or in sci-fi movies

man-made disasters such as flood causing by

are a few things I would keep in mind;

these days, seem to all come to reality. Nothing

mismanaging water, building collapse, etc. These

is impossible with new technology nowadays.

are another factors to add on as well.


There are zillion technologies to talk about but to

These would be the first things that automati-

name a few that relate to our profession would

In all, Thai designers or not, being a designer

cally come to everyone’s mind. I’m sure we are all

be; voice and sensor activation which can be

nowadays is not only about designing to meet

aware of these issues and how important they

use in both residential and commercial setting;

function and aesthetic. There’re far more things

are to our Mother Earth now. And as designers,

biodegradable materials which now, with new

to consider than those. After all, it is a cyber-

we all hold responsible to practice them wisely.

technology, have more varieties; solar power


So, I won’t go babbling on these and save my

and geothermal heating which are more and

we’re living in!

word count on some others.

more advanced and affordable; smart glass or electro-chromic glass that can control light and

RETROFIT THE BUILDINGS: While we’re at the

heat emitting into the building. It can save 25%

subject I might as well touch on this one, which

of HVAC cost in summer. But I would say this is

I think it’s equally important. We are always talk-

still far reach in term of cost.

ing green, sustainable, zero energy buildings, etc. and every continent came up with its own

ANTI-VIRAL: Design to be anti-viral probably

measurement to certify new buildings and praise

sounds very negative and against the stream.

on them. It’s all good but what about the existing

By all means, I’m not against our social network

ones that occupy majority area of each and every

behavior and in fact I’m hooked to it myself. What

cities? Maybe instead of designing new ones

I mean is if our design could encourage people

we should find old ones and retrofit them. The

to mingle with each other and not slipping into

best example would be the NYC’s Empire State

their own world in their palms whenever they are

Building, which was completed in 1931 and went

out in public spaces, that would be wonderful!!

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Phenomenon of Thai Modern Design New Ideas & Influences Robin Ward The author of Exploring Bangkok: An Architectural and Historical Guidebook published by Li-Zenn. ‘‘Thai Modern’ Modern’’has hasemerged emergedfrom fromaalong longshadow, shadow, ‘Thai cast by King Mongkut (Rama IV) and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). As M. R. Kukrit Pramoj wrote, they ‘preempted western colonization by, as it were, colonizing Siam themselves . . . they built in the country, especially in Bangkok, a western architectural façade, behind which the old and original Siam hid itself.’ The duality of old Siam and the West was revealed when Rama V hired a British architect from Singapore to design, at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, the Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall (1876-1882). Its fusion of a Throne Hall (1876-1882). Its fusion a neoneo-Renaissance façade and a trio of RattanakoRenaissance façade and a trio offarang Rattanakosinsin-style spires was likened to ‘a wearing spireshat’ was likened to ‘a farang wearing astyle Siamese . Conventionally the structure a Siamese . Conventionally structure would havehat’ had a central domethe but, it has been would have had centralafter dome but, it advisor has been said, acquired thea spires a senior to said,king acquired the spires a senior advisor to the ventured that it after should look more Thai. the king ventured that it should look more Thai. Rama V weighed this question of ‘Thainess’ —a Rama V weighed question of ‘Thainess’ —a concept that still this provokes debate—against concept thatofstill provokes debate—against the benefits modernization. His architectural the benefits modernization. His architectural remaking of of Siam was unashamedly western, remaking of Siam was unashamedly western, mainly neoclassical in style by architects recruited mainly in style architects recruited in Italy, neoclassical which he visited on by a grand tour of Europe Italy, which visited on awould grand have tour of Europe in 1897. Thosehe commissions daunted in 1897. Those commissions havenot daunted local designers and builders,would who were trained local designers who were not trained in western ways.and Thebuilders, kingdom’s first architecture in western The kingdom’s architecture school wasways. not established untilfirst 1930. The typoloschool not established until The gies of was old Siam were too formalized fit typolothe gies of oldand Siam were too needs formalized fit the structural functional of thetoking’s

001-660.indd 399 Thai_Mod2_final.indd 399

structural and functional needs ofThe the‘old king’s western-inspired administration. and

design. The sealed, air-conditioned interior is being challenged by solutions that employ natural

western-inspired ‘old andto original Siam’ wasadministration. not ignored butThe confined

ing challenged solutions that employ natural ventilation and by connect buildings to landscapes

original Siam’ wasand not decoration. ignored but confined to temples, fine arts

ventilation and connect buildings to landscapes and water features; eco-rated components and

temples, fine arts and decoration.

and water features; components natural materials areeco-rated being introduced into and build-

A hybrid ‘Modern Thai’ style evolved in the 1920s,

natural materials areand being introduced into building programs; LEED other green accredita-

A hybrid ‘Modern evolvedgables in theon 1920s, with Siamese hatsThai’ and style temple-like

ing programs; LEED and other green tions are encouraged, and sought by accreditaenlight-

with Siamese hats and gables western floor plans. Thistemple-like was promoted byon Rama

tions are encouraged, and sought by enlightened clients.

western floor and plans. This was by Ramaof V’s successor became thepromoted default typology

ened clients.

V’s successor departments and became the defaultoftypology government for much the twen-of

It has taken over a century for Siamese style to

government much the twentieth century.departments To break withfor the past,of the leaders

It has taken over a century for manner. Siamese The stylebest to shine in a truly contemporary

tieth To break withwhich the past, the leaders of thecentury. coup d’état in 1932, overthrew the

shine in Modern’ a truly contemporary manner. The best of ‘Thai is at once local and global. It is

of the coup d’état infor 1932, which overthrew absolute monarchy a constitutional one, the

of ‘ThaibyModern’ is at once local and technology global. It is driven a spirit of enquiry, modern

absolute monarchy formodernism a constitutional one, introduced European in a totalitarian

driven a spirit of enquiry, modern technology and thebyeco-friendliness of the vernacular—an

introduced European in of a totalitarian Art Deco manner. The modernism form-making Le Corbus-

and the eco-friendliness of thebamboo vernacular—an innovative architecture where co-exists

Artand Deco manner.corporate The form-making of Leinvaded Corbusier American imperialism

innovative architecture where bamboo co-exists with reinforced concrete, and lightweight com-

ier and American corporate imperialism invaded the kingdom in the 1960s, when a generation of

with reinforced concrete, and lightweight composite brise-soleil with sliding wooden shutters.

the kingdom the 1960s, when a generation Thai architectsinbegan to study abroad. Much ofof

posite brise-soleil with sliding wooden shutters. The quest for a socially engaged and sustainable

Thai architects to study abroad. Much of their work was began derivative, but of more substance

The quest for a socially engaged and sustainable tropical modernism is producing some fascinat-

their the work was derivative, but of more substance than pick-and-mix postmodernism which

tropical modernism producing some ing transitional work,islooking back as a fascinatway

than the pick-and-mix which followed. None of thosepostmodernism influences dented the

ing transitional work, looking back as a way forward.

followed. None those influences the popularity of theofRattanakosin styledented which is still


popularityfor oftemple the Rattanakosin is still favoured design. It isstyle alsowhich the heritage favouredwhich for temple design. It is also heritage imagery promotes tourism, as the if that is all imagery which the past is fit for.promotes tourism, as if that is all the past is fit for. Relentless real estate development since the Relentless real estatehotels, development the 1980s has produced resorts, since condomini1980sshopping has produced resorts, condominiums, mallshotels, and office towers. Most of ums, shopping and office Most of them could be malls anywhere. Goodtowers. work with could be anywhere. work athem sense of place is rare, butGood change is inwith the air. a sense of place rare,ofbut change is in the air. Paradoxically theisrise global capitalism has Paradoxically the rise of sensibility, global capitalism has seeded a back-to-basics withtraditional seeded a back-to-basics sensibility, withtraditional and particularly residential architecture an inspiand particularly residential architecture an inspiration for regional modernism. This is a global ration for regional modernism. This is a global phenomenon. phenomenon. Architectural courses in Thai colleges are increasArchitectural courses in Thai colleges are increasingly liberal and progressive, and students who ingly liberal and or progressive, and students who study in Europe North America return with study in Europe North America modified culturalorbearings and arereturn willingwith to modified the cultural bearings andembrace are willing to question status quo. They foreign question the foreign influences, asstatus Rama quo. V did,They but embrace are also aware of influences, as Ramaembedded V did, but are also aware of regional identities in the spatial regional identities in the spatial arrangements and embedded stylized forms of Siamese arrangements and stylized forms ofinterior Siameseis bedesign. The sealed, air-conditioned

23/1/2558 13:26:57 15-1-2910:01:11 上午9:06 28/1/2558

The Pano Penthouse - Bangkok - Ayutt and Associates Design 446

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15-1-23 下午1:33

relax 447

001-660.indd 447

12/24/14 5:27 PM 15-1-23 下午1:33

Baan San Kraam - Phetchaburi - Somdoon Architects 454

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15-1-23 下午1:33


001-660.indd 455

12/24/14 5:28 PM 15-1-23 下午1:33

TSAR Multi-Purpose Room - Bangkok - Department of Architecture 458

Thai_Mod2_final.indd 458-459 001-660.indd 458

15-1-23 下午1:33

Siam@Siam Design Hotel Pattaya - Chon Buri - Leo 3 Interior Architecture 459

001-660.indd 459

1/16/58 BE 下午1:33 4:42 PM 15-1-23

King Power Srivaree Complex - Samut Prakan - Architects 49 476

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15-1-23 下午1:33

lighting 477

001-660.indd 477

12/24/14 5:29 PM 15-1-23 下午1:33

Zense Restaurant & Bar - Bangkok - Department of Architecture 486

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15-1-23 下午1:33


001-660.indd 487

12/24/14 5:30 PM 15-1-23 下午1:33

Dii Med Wellness Spa - Bangkok - Department of Architecture 488

Thai_Mod2_12.12.57.indd 488-489 001-660.indd 488

15-1-23 下午1:33

Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok - Bangkok - Architects 49 489

001-660.indd 489

12/24/14 5:30 PM 15-1-23 下午1:33

MK Central Kitchen - Bangkok - Studio Accent 502

Thai_Mod2_final.indd 502-503 001-660.indd 502

15-1-23 下午1:34

Habitia Clubhouse - Bangkok - IDIN Architects 503

001-660.indd 503

1/16/58 BE 下午1:34 4:45 PM 15-1-23

Nyx by Sansiri - Bangkok - TROP and Palmer & Turner (Thailand) 510

Thai_Mod2_12.12.57.indd 510-511 001-660.indd 510

15-1-23 下午1:34

X2 Kuiburi – Prachuap Khiri Khan - Duangrit Bunnag Architect

architecture 511

001-660.indd 511

12/24/14 5:32 PM 15-1-23 下午1:34

Sofitel So Bangkok - Bangkok - The Office of Bangkok Architects 516

Thai_Mod2_final.indd 516-517 001-660.indd 516

15-1-23 下午1:34

Holiday Inn Sukhumvit 22 - Bangkok - SODA (Thailand) 517

001-660.indd 517

1/16/58 BE 下午1:34 4:46 PM 15-1-23

MK Central Kitchen - Bangkok - Agaligo Studio 530

Thai_Mod2_12.12.57.indd 530-531 001-660.indd 530

15-1-23 下午1:34


001-660.indd 531

12/24/14 5:33 PM 15-1-23 下午1:34

Habitia Clubhouse - Bangkok - IDIN Architects 540

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15-1-23 下午1:34


001-660.indd 541

12/24/14 5:34 PM 15-1-23 下午1:34

spired by the creations of Boonserm Premthada of Bangkok Project Studio and Im and David Schafer of Studiomake. From their designs, we can see that materials are not simply something to be specified or applied as decoration, but as a way to address issues related to local engagement and context. Constantly sensitive to the new and the old, these architects and designers Bricks & Stones Luke Yeung

are exploring ways to re‐imagine traditional tech-


of architecture in Thailand.

niques in order to craft a contemporary language

Architectkidd Given increasing demands to shorten the design Somewhere in Ang Thong province, about 100

process in building construction, it is certainly

kilometers north of Bangkok, I am standing out-

not getting easier to introduce new ideas in

side facing the late afternoon sun. In my hand is

architecture. But if we can see the process of con-

a small object, rough in texture and warm to the

struction not only as source of constraints but

touch. It is a piece of brick that has been brought

also of creative potentials, and can invest in the

out of the kiln. Together with the local factory,

local culture of making with everyday materials,

we’ve been working for more than half a year to

I believe that it is possible to envision innovation

get this brick just right. We’ve been fine‐tuning

in Thai design. In today’s design practice, influ-

the texture and color, characteristics derived

ences can come from anywhere, but they should

from the mixture of clay and soil found nearby.

not be accepted blindly ‐ ideas need to be tested,

This customized brick will be eventually be used

modified and shaped within the capacities and

as primary material in our design of a new resi-

resources of the project at hand.

dence in Khao Yai. Some times new building projects focus their To me, this simple piece of brick can say some-

investment in generating grand gestures, such

thing about modern architecture in Thailand.

as with towering structures or complex form‐mak-

Certainly it is no easy task to define what ‘Thai’

ing using the latest high technologies. Perhaps

architecture is ‐ attempts to express cultural iden-

innovation in design could also come from a dif-

tity and symbolism in architecture often result in

ferent place —one that focuses in the finer‐scale

an oversimplification of gestures and forms. None-

of concerns found in materiality and local context.

theless, more designers practicing in Thailand are

This may lead to a more sophisticated way to con-

finding ways to bring new perspectives to this

nect today’s architecture to the rich cultural

question by combining existing values with for-

heritage found in Thailand. By merging an under-

ward‐thinking approaches. Perhaps the answer

standing of local traditions and life with modern

lies in part in creating architecture that can

approaches to technology and materials, we can

connect physical materials to the users’ senses

re‐define modern architecture in Thailand ‐ one

as well as innovating with traditions through the

small piece of brick at a time.

use of homegrown technologies. We are now seeing a new generation of architects prepared to address this challenge in Thailand. Even in the case of the humble brick, we are in-

Thai_Mod2_final.indd 548-549 001-660.indd 548

15-1-23 下午4:24

to the accomplishment of each commission. At

stop working when there is no work, which causes

times, craft architecture is not approved by the

discontinuation of skill improvement. When no

project owner simply due to time constraints.

one hires them, the creative process also pauses.

3. Craftsmen are often qualified regular

7. The gap that divides architects from craftsmen

workers, and hence compensated as such Archi-

is communication. Architects sometimes lack the

tects and owners do not acknowledge their ability

understanding of construction and consequently

and even deem it unnecessary. This results in

are unable to maximize the craftsmen’s potential

Craft Architecture Assistant Professor Boonserm Premthada

low-quality buildings and is the main underlying

or develop a form that is impossible to construct.

reason for the shortage of skilled craftsmen.

Thus, the architect’s nature of communication is

Faculty of Architecture,

In general, the lack of newer generations of highly

authoritative rather than seeking a joint solution

Chulalongkorn University

trained workers threatens the continuity of crafts-

which will create a good working relationship.

manship as a tradition. In today’s world, clients When speaking about craft architecture, people

often value the competitiveness of the price over

Amidst all of these obstacles, it is clear that craft

often think of conservation or restoration of

the credentials of each craftsman. At project meet-

architecture deals with social, political, economic,

historic monuments which may seem outdated

ings, cutting cost is the top priority, whereas the

cultural, environmental and historical contexts,

and require no creativity, a mere replica of the

aspect of working conditions for these people

and the way of life in Thailand. Therefore, craft

original. Personally, I think that craft architecture

remains disregarded.

architecture must maintain the right balance

is a small, yet interesting aspect of architecture

between the preservation and progressive

because it isn’t concerned only with the discussion

4. The passing of knowledge from older to

development of our national heritage. Creating

of the theory, aesthetics and a desire to change

younger generations remains confined to within

a comprehensive and reliable database to record

the world with architecture. Rather, it is a holistic

a small clan or village. The nature of the learning

the history and knowledge of the Thai craftsman

approach to a problem that addresses economic,

process is apprenticeship with an emphasis on

is vital for value-added creation and craft innova-

social, and cultural issues using architecture as

hands-on practice and skill honing. It is an oral

tion through a combination of knowledge of the

a mediator that connects all the interconnected

tradition with no written record. Today these

past and present. Promoting craft architecture not

parts. However, after the completion of the

skills and knowledge are fast disappearing as the

only compliments the development of architec-

Kantana Film and Animation Institute in 2011,

younger generation lacks the inspiration to take

ture in Thailand, but also creates opportunities

I thought about all the obstacles encountered in

on the tradition.

and breathes new life into the forgotten commu-

the development of craft architecture and found that they were derived from several factors

nity of craftsmen. Furthermore, craft architecture 5. Craft architecture is created by hand. Unlike

encourages craftsmen to make sustainable living

architecture of the ‘plastic’ age which values

based on their own knowledge and skills thus

1. Craft architecture is often considered a tradition

impeccable perfection of the industrial system,

enabling them to be more self-dependent. In

that generally includes conservation or restoration

its allure lies in the rough and imperfect nature of

addition to creating beautiful buildings, architects

of historical monuments, which has strict rules and

the work. Consequently, the concept and practice

must use architecture to connect with the Thai

regulations on specific materials and construc-

of craftsmanship may not meet the international

people and urge them to pay attention and take

tion methods to comply with. This framework,

standards the architects, owners or consumers

pride in small things we have inherited from our

therefore, does not interest the new generation

may expect.

ancestors. Finally, craft architecture is a gradual

of architects for they perceive it as unimaginative, retrogressive and counterproductive.

process; thus it allows us to have the time to con6. Most craftsmen lack management skills to

template the past which will eventually lead Thai

handle such important issues as time, income, and

architecture to a strong future.

2. Craft architecture demands a complex and

labor. Moreover, they have not been able to estab-

time-consuming working procedure due to the

lish a network of craftsmen in the related fields.

need to source materials and to recruit skilled

Generally, craftsmen behave like artists,

artisans who are fit for the job. The motivation and

i.e. they only work as they please; when they

mental state of these craftsmen are also essential

please. They live an ordinary and isolated life. They

001-660.indd 549

23/1/2558 15-1-2313:26:59 下午4:24

X2 Kuiburi – Prachuap Khiri Khan - Duangrit Bunnag Architect Life@Ladprao 18 Condominium Garden - Bangkok - shma 550

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15-1-23 下午1:36

landscape introduction


001-660.indd 551

12/24/14 5:34 PM 15-1-23 下午1:36

Blocs 77 Condominium - Bangkok - shma 556

Thai_Mod2_12.12.57.indd 556-557 001-660.indd 556

15-1-23 下午1:36

The Central MK Kitchen - Bangkok - Openbox Architects 557

001-660.indd 557

12/24/14 5:35 PM 15-1-23 下午1:36

Mode 61 - Bangkok - shma 560

Thai_Mod2_12.12.57.indd 560-561 001-660.indd 560

15-1-23 下午1:37

Pyne by Sansiri - Bangkok - TROP 561

001-660.indd 561

12/24/14 5:35 PM 15-1-23 下午1:37

Thai Modern  

Price 2,200.00 THB ISBN 978-616-7800-31-8 Language English Pages 660 Size 220 x 270 mm. Format hard cover with jacket / 4-color process 'TH...

Thai Modern  

Price 2,200.00 THB ISBN 978-616-7800-31-8 Language English Pages 660 Size 220 x 270 mm. Format hard cover with jacket / 4-color process 'TH...