Values of the Thai architecture from the last period of the absolute monarchy (1925 – 1932)
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeMasters Coursework thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2020 Chaipat Ngambutsabongsophin
The Thai architecture from the last period of the absolute monarchy of King Prajadhipok’s period (1925 – 1932) lacks recognition and has been overlooked. A reason for this is the Thai Department of Fine Art applies an outdated valuing framework and declared that this architectural period was less valuable. This minor thesis proposes that Thai architecture in this period, supported by King Prajadhipok and the elite has values, significance, and distinction. This thesis used the updated and broader framework from the international charter and the Thai practitioner guideline to value the case studies, which are the public buildings commissioned by the King and the elites: The Science building and the Student Union of Chulalongkorn University, and the Bangkok Memorial Bridge and the monument of King Rama I. The study contributes to filling a gap in knowledge of Thai architecture in the transition period between Rama VI’s Nationalism-style (1910- 1925) and the modern architecture of the People’s Party and beyond (1932 -). This thesis found that this period’s architecture is not less valuable as the government organization had declared. The main findings are that the architectures between 1925 – 1932 are characterized by a sparing approach with fewer ornaments due to the economic problem. This resulted in a unique style of Thai architecture that combines Western planning with stripped Thai ornaments. For the first time, overseas-trained Siamese architects replaced Western architects. A particular work system was devised based on the design collaboration between the Thai architects and master artisans. The Western-trained Siamese architects bought modern architectural skills of designing, drafting, understanding Western technology and materials. This period initiated the architecture characterized by modern functionality, durability, and public uses presented in the stripped traditional style and constructed the public infrastructure and civic center to benefit all classes.
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