The architect was selected as the winner of the Bank of Thailand (BOT) design competition to renovate and restore its historic money factory in Bangkok, Thailand. The project brief was to transform the highly significant old money factory into an Economic-Cultural Center and Museum. The site selected for this exciting new project is adjacent to the famous Rama VIII Bridge in Bangkhunprom District on the banks of the Chao Praya River.
The old money factory building has huge architectural significance and great historical value. It embodies the economic potential of Thailand’s past. To maintain the original identity, the architect proposed to retain particular parts of the existing building to preserve its historical value. Significant structurally perfect grid columns supporting the convex concrete roof facing the Chao Praya River will be preserved. However, the exterior wall will be replaced with glazing to allow light into the interior. Visitors will be rewarded with a direct view of the river from the very heart of the building.
The new BOT Economic-Cultural Center and Museum will create a new public space by the river which will be different from other commercial and civic buildings usually closed off as private property. Proposed design offers increased public space within the initial budget proposal. There will be additional public areas on the 2nd and 5th floors. The second floor will have a large public verandah and the ballroom on the 5th floor offers flexibility for functions and events with a Chao Praya River viewing deck. Ballroom materials were carefully chosen to be appropriate for both functions.
Additionally, the existing structures such as columns, Strong room walls and Convex Roof will be given partially new treatment to its existing finish. The new proposed design of glazing and expanded mesh will integrate on top of the existing structure, represents new architectural structural elements. The final result will portray the significance of the old meeting the new, the solid meeting the transparent.
The new design components will interact and highlight the existing structure, with the notion of the past meeting the future to herald the next generation of the Bank of Thailand.