More Creative Architecture in Bangkok

29 Aug

A place for everyone to learn about architecture and design


It seems like on this visit, I’m covering more architecture than usual.  While I’m supposed to be writing about Spirit Houses and various weird odds and ends, I still enjoy well designed buildings and the one discussed today definitely qualifies.

Prior to heading to the tasty Thipsamai Pad Thai restaurant on Saturday evening, I was invited to visit a newly completed project called the Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC). TCDC is and I quote:

“a government agency with a mission to inspire creative thinking in the society and to propel the country’s creative economy.  It provides a broad range of resources and services. The main components are a design library, a material library, and a co-working space. Other components include a maker-space, exhibition spaces, and workshops.”

This project, attached to the rear of the famous Grand Postal Building, is a really nice addition.  It’s encouraging that the government is promoting Thai design and architecture in a way that helps young people get a foothold in the professions.  The design of the building is extremely well done and executed.  Interestingly enough, I had known about this place because, for years, it has been located on one of the floors of a shopping centre in Bangkok, called the Emporium.  I used to visit the exhibits from time to time at the mall.  It’s good that it has finally moved to a purpose built facility.  (I guess this institution is a bit like Toronto’s Design Exchange on Bay Street, but a lot bigger.)

TCDC is a new building and was not totally opened when I visited, but I’m sure it will be very popular and well used by students, academics and practitioners.  It has some wonderful services, particularly the library, study spaces and workshops.  While it’s not meant to be an architecture or design school, it has added a valuable resource to the schools in Bangkok and other parts of the country.  It’s smart that the government decided to build a independent resource centre in central Bangkok rather than provide money to one of the local architecture schools for an addition to an existing program.  I was told that the decision was made to allow all students to freely use the facilities, whether they are in a particular school or program or whether they are a university or grade school student.  The thinking was that if this building had been placed in a university, then only those students attached to that university would likely use the resource.  The thinking sounds pretty compelling to me.

I didn’t get to see everything, but what I saw was pretty nicely done.  Like I said the other day about the school building in Chiang Mai, Thai architecture is sure starting to get better all the time.  Take a look at the photos above.  I think you’ll be pretty impressed with the level of design at this new resource centre. It was also pretty nice to end the day with a dish of awesome Pad Thai.  After all, good design and good food go hand in hand.

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