Bank of Thailand Learning Centre
The design was selected as the winner of the Bank of Thailand’s design competition to renovate and restore its historic mint in Bangkok, and transform it into an economic-cultural learning centre. The site on the bank of the Chao Phraya River is part of the larger Bank of Thailand complex, which is of great historical interest. Unlike traditional Thai architecture such as temples and palaces, other forms of architecture with historical value are generally ignored and not preserved. The old mint is an excellent specimen of Thai design and construction technology from the period 1960-1970.
Chao Phraya River is the heart of Bangkok, but nowadays public access to the riverfront in the city is limited to circulation. The design by Creative Crews aims to connect people to the river and provide a much-needed public space on the riverbank. Landscaped steps and a large verandah were inserted to create a sense of arrival and allow visitors to fully appreciate the river. The design offers a larger public space than the brief required within the initial budget.
The existing building was a factory and therefore had an impermeable quality. The adaptation pierced the solid facade walls and altered circulation routes. Visitors can now reach the strong room at the centre of the building, which is part of the new museum. The building has a mixture of paid and unpaid areas to supplement operating costs, but accessibility to the riverfront is ensured for all.
Original volumes and existing materials (such as mosaic tiles and aluminium column guards) have been preserved. Airconditioning is limited to core functions: the library, conference rooms and museum. The completed building celebrates the distinctive original structure and clearly distinguishes new additions from existing via a different language.
Photography: Panoramic Studio, W Workspace, Spaceshift Studio and Beer Singnoi.