Attachment and Associational Dimensions in the Architecture of Historical Building Conversion in Thailand Between 1997 and 2012

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Peeraya Boonprasong


The research on The Initial Survey of Evolution of Adaptive Reuse of Historic Buildings in Thailand is aimed at constructing knowledge for the module named Reuse and Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings. This module is part of the curriculum of Bachelor of Architecture, which studies the role of architecture fabricated within historical buildings. In the era between 1997 and 2012 in Thailand, there was a notable transformation from conservation to contemporary conversion. A review of conservation perspectives indicates a combined multi-disciplinary cooperation between architectural design and conservation. To establish issues regarding the knowledge of conversion, a research question is raised: how do architectural elements play its role through changing of use? Aimed at understanding the complexity among conversion ideologies, issues surrounding architectural elements of historical buildings are rationally explored. Based on significant conversion projects from 1996 to 2012, architectural elements were referenced as to how concepts and objectives were associated.  Qualitative research was conducted through a study of primary sources; survey and classification of representative samples, and secondary documents, records and architectural drawings. The controlling significance of the buildings led to a discussion and an analysis of the architectural designs through new additions and amendments made on the historical fabric. Included in this discussion are the principles of conversion as they relate to the architecture of historic buildings and the ideology of the modification. It is found that understanding a change to architectural elements through an ontological perspective, that of attachment and associational approaches, could clearly reveal the construction programme that felicitates the historical building for which conservation or adaptation is determined. A dialogue on relevant contexts surrounding amendments of architectural elements demonstrated that a strong emphasis towards particular objectives of use could coincidentally harm the historical building’s architectural dimension framework. This leads to the notion that architecture for adaptive reuse should include knowledge of the original construction, a balance among conditions of the existing building, its programming and further habitation. 


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Boonprasong, P. (2021). Attachment and Associational Dimensions in the Architecture of Historical Building Conversion in Thailand Between 1997 and 2012. Nakhara : Journal of Environmental Design and Planning, 20, Article 102.


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