Dezeen Magazine

The Chapel by Boonserm Premthada

Five key projects by emerging Thai architect Boonserm Premthada

Who is Boonserm Premthada? Here's a look at five significant projects by the Thai architect, founder of Bangkok Project Studio, who won the Royal Academy's Dorfman Award for 2019.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Premthada founded his architecture studio in 2013, after completing his architectural studies at Chulalongkorn University the year before.

Bangkok Project Studio is lauded for its use of local construction methods and collaborations with local craftspeople.

Premthada was selected to win the second Dorfman Award, which honours "international talent that represents the future of architecture", ahead of three other finalists.

Alan Stanton, chair of the jury, said Premthada's work demonstrates "an extraordinary empathy, originality and poetic qualities".

Here are five of his most significant projects to date:

Kantana Institute by Boonserm Premthada

Kantana Institute, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, 2011

Handmade bricks form the eight-metre-high, staggered walls of the Kantana Film and Animation Institute.

Deep apertures in the walls offer nooks for sitting and relaxing, while also helping to bring fresh air inside the building's facilities, which include lecture rooms, a workshop, a library and a canteen.

Code House by Boonserm Premthada

Code House, Bangkok, Thailand, 2011

Code House is a retrofit and extension of an old townhouse located in the heart of the Bangkok, which Premthada designed to demonstrate how old and new architecture can be "combined harmoniously".

Elements of the original structure are preserved and celebrated, while a new steel and glass louvre facade helps to bring in natural light and improve air circulation.

Elephant World by Boonserm Premthada

Elephant World, Surin, Thailand, 2015

Elephant World is designed as a home for people and elephants. Located in the tiny Ta-Klang village in Thailand, the project shows how people can live in harmony with the world's largest land mammal.

The design includes Elephant Stadium, a large pavilion that provides shade for the animals and an observation tower for the humans.

The Wine Ayutthaya by Bangkok Project Studio

Wine Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya, Thailand, 2017

Wine Ayutthaya is a tourist attraction in Ayutthaya, an ancient capital city listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Offering views of the Chao Phraya River, it was designed to help boost the local economy.

The building was constructed by local craftsmen. Behind its PVC outer skin, latticed plywood walls are designed to blend in with the surrounding trees.

The Chapel by Boonserm Premthada

The Chapel, ASA Architect Expo, Thailand, 2018

This cubic pavilion was designed by Premthada to offer a sense of serenity to visitors to the ASA Architect Expo.

It was constructed using rubberwood – a type of local hardwood – and glass blocks. The aim was to challenge "the conventional preconception of the material by creating a magical spatial experience".

Photography is by Spaceshift Studio.