Architecture of Thailand - A guide to traditional and contemporary forms


By Nithi Sthapitanonda and Brian Mertens, Photographs by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni and Michael Freeman and Robert McLeod
256 pp, 250 mm x 250 mm

ISBN: 978-981-4260-86-2
RRP USD35.00 buy from amazon

Category: Architecture & Design
Theme: Thailand

This book focuses on the multitude of elements and forms that go into Thai architecture. All the important features of Thai culture - its agrarian roots, its religion and monarchy, its rich mix of foreign influences - are embodied in buildings. As a result, this book also illuminates Thai tradition and history.

Lively text and hundreds of photographs and illustraions explore Thailand's indigenous architecture, from the humble but charming field hut woven of bamboo to the splendid teak mansion built high on stilts. Religious architecture is viewed in terms of the special features and functions of each building in the temple compound. Regional stylistic variations are also presented. There are chapters devoted to the Grand Palace; the elements and ornamentation of palaces and temples; and architecture shaped by foreign tradition. Some topics here are little covered elsewhere: Thailand's Islamic architecture, shophouses, Siamese-style bonsai gardening, and courtyard walls and gates. Finally, the authors look at today's adaption of traditional Thai forms in modern architecture.

Architecture of Thailand is intended as an inspirational source book for architects, heritage conservationists and designers as well as other enthusiasts, in the hope that the country's architectual riches will survive and flourish.

Brian Mertens is a Bangkok-based writer on Asian art and culture. Author of the book Bangkok Design, on modern Thai furniture and textiles, his articles have appeared in such publications as the International Herald Tribune, Far Eastern Economic Review and Art Asia-Pacific.

Nithi Sthapitanonda is one of Thailand’s most reputable contemporary architects and president of the 49 Group. Educated and trained in both Thailand and the USA, Nithi has successfully merged global standards of excellence with the unique cultural and architectural styles of his country. 


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In a long and decorated career, photographer and author Michael Freeman has concentrated principally on documentary travel reportage. 

Freeman has been published in all major publications worldwide, including Time-Life and GEO, and has had an enduring 30-year relationship with the Smithsonian magazine, for whom he has shot more than 40 stories worldwide. 

Freeman has also published 120 books, with more than two million copies sold. Much of his work has focused on Asia, beginning in the early days with Thailand, before expanding through other Southeast Asian countries, including Cambodia. 

He has published several books on Angkor and other Khmer sites. 

Freeman has also spent several years photographing across Japan and, more recently, in China. His latest book of documentary reportage is Tea Horse Road (2011), which covers the ancient trade route from Yunnan to Tibet.

Luca Invernizzi Tettoni was born in Turin, Northern Italy and lived and worked in Asia from 1973 until his death in 2013. He is a professional photographer who has provided pictures for many books, including The Arts of Thailand, The Tropical Garden, and Filipino Style; his work also appears frequently in Asian, European and American magazines. In 1985 he received the PATA Professionalism Award for his ‘specific contribution to the promotion of Southeast Asia of Thailand and of Thai heritage and culture’.

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