Chiang Mai City Hall: Western or Siamese Architecture in Lanna

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Piyadech Arkarapotiwong


During the reign of King Rama V (1868-1910) to King Rama VI (1910-1925), Chiang Mai City Halls were developed from local Lanna to Siam-Western style.  This study revealed the political reasons that Chiang Mai City Hall (former) was a Western-style building mixed with a local style. At present, this Chiang Mai City Hall is converted into Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Center. The Chiang Mai City Hall was once a large-scale City Hall and ranked the status to be the Monthon Payap (Northern region) City Hall. Therefore, it was one of the significant buildings of a whole Lanna. This research was to raise a question about the style of Chiang Mai City Hall (former) regarding the reasons for its construction of the Western-style building in the center of Chiang Mai City. This research also provided the answers through its comparative studies on the styles of city halls in Thailand from the reign of King Rama V (1868-1910) to the end of the reign of King Rama VI (1910-1925), including social events and politics in each particular period. It found that Chiang Mai City Hall (former) was constructed in line with the standard patterns of city halls in that period from Bangkok whereas the reasons for such Western-style building stemmed from the popularity of such particular styles since the reign of King Rama V for political reasons. The Western-style building of that city hall was therefore chosen through the reasons and preference of centralized power in Bangkok to be constructed in Chiang Mai. For this reason, to consider the style of this building, Siamese had played an important role to influence Chiang Mai city hall over the Western-Style itself. 


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Arkarapotiwong, P. (2021). Chiang Mai City Hall: Western or Siamese Architecture in Lanna. Nakhara : Journal of Environmental Design and Planning, 20, Article 104.


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