BANGKOK/Administrative Center Development in 1900s

Bangkok019

Plan of the new National Administrative Centre, 1900s Bangkok plan

From Sacred city to national capital, Bangkok transformed from a city planned following cosmological concepts concentrating on the construction of the royal palaces and temples to a city as the center of the administration of the country at the end of the nineteenth century. The administrative center of Siam evolved alongside the Radamnoen road at the northern part of the Dusit area. The new road, Radamnoen road, used for parades and ceremonies is to connect the northern quarter of the Dusit and new palace with the old city center and royal palace. The constructions of the administrative quarter of the Bangkok reflect the development of the city as the administrative center of the Siam as a whole. Cosmology was replaced by the monarch administration. Despite the continuing construction of royal palace and renovation of temples, public buildings, particularly ministries and the parliament building were increasingly built in this period following European architectural concepts. The dominance of the European architectural styles, especially classicism and Jugendstil, reflect the attempt of the Rama V(1868-1910) to modernize the country by the introducing of western ideologies. And the mixture architectural styles of Thai and European reflected that the traditional concepts of Siam were still kept up. The construction of new administrative center at the northern quarter of the Dusit is  an attempt of the Rama V utilizing the Western ideologies to modernize and take control of the country.

Reference

Evers, Hans-Dieter, and Rüdiger Korff. 2000. Southeast Asian Urbanism: the Meaning and Power of Social Space. Münster: Lit Verlag.

1 Comment on “BANGKOK/Administrative Center Development in 1900s

  1. It is a great narrative to see the separation of the the royal palace and the administrative centres of Thailand. What were the reasons behind to build with “European architectural concepts”? It would be great if you could document those buildings with photos, plans, elevations etc., and explain why RamaV visioned Bangkok in western ideologies with the use of urban reform and architectural styles.

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