creative crews restores historical building into cultural center in bangkok

creative crews restores historical building into cultural center in bangkok

design firm creative crews transformed thailand’s first mint, a previously state-owned restricted monument, into the BOTLC or bank of thailand learning center: a public, cultural hub for the public to enjoy. with this project, the architects both preserved the national heritage monument and created a new public space in the dense city of bangkok. through this renovation, the designers and developers hope to spark interest in the city’s old buildings and create a connection between the river and the citizens.




creative crews got tasked with transforming the historically significant massive building into an economic and cultural center. the existing building was a factory with an impermeable factory and a rigid structure and flow. however, the adaptation removed solid walls and created new circulation routes so that pedestrians can wander into the very core of the building, reflecting its openness towards the city.




the completed design offers a larger public area than the brief specified within the initial budget, a clear benefit for the monument. the building has a mixture of public and commercial areas to ensure accessibility to the riverfront for all. as much of the existing site was kept as possible, careful considerations were made in the context of historical value and functional practicality.




a clerical building adjacent to the site access road was demolished to create a proper approach from the street. landscape steps were inserted to invite people to the second floor above dam level, creating a welcoming entrance and allowing visitors to fully appreciate the river. the entrance includes wide ramps, vegetation, stairs with handrails and even wider steps for lounging with the view of the rive.




the architects decided to keep original finishes, and mix them with new additions, which maintain a simple visual language. since the existing building showcased cutting edge design and exposed the construction technology of its time, the designers wanted to build upon these historical achievements. the wide span convex concrete-cast roof showcased the innovative thai architecture and engineering prowess of the past. so in response to the old structure, the added ‘hovering’ ballroom on top of the existing vault represents the architects and engineers of today.



the project not only serves as a new cultural hub that is open to the entire city, but also highlights a period of thai architectural history, often forgotten. because these buildings are not listed and protected like temples and palaces, public interest in the BOTLC and modern architecture is one solution agains the demolition of other landmark buildings in recent years. the project not only saved a national monument, but allowed the public to reconnect with thailand’s past and bangkokians to reconnect with the scenic river.



project info:


designers: creative crews

collaborator: somdoon architects ltd.

client: bank of thailand

structural engineer: beca thailand co., ltd.

mep engineer: geo design & engineering consultant., ltd.

landscape architect: shma company limited

green design and leed consultant: africvs. co., ltd.

interior consultant: architectkidd co. ltd.

lighting design consultant: be lit co. ltd

quantity surveyor consultant: arcadis (thailand) ltd.

exhibition designer consultant during competition stage: designlab nlss co., ltd.

history consultant during competition stage: pirasri povatong construction

budget: 477 million thb



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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