Blurred Boundaries

author Boonserm Premthada
project The Wine Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya, Thailand
written by Kanokwan Trakulyingcharoen


The enjoyment of wine tasting in Thailand is mostly restricted to the middle class. How can a wine tasting facility generate common benefits for all the people in the neighbouring communities? Is it just another place that shows just how apparent class discrepancies can be? Is there any possibility that architecture finds the missing link that reunites the society, rather than supports the status quo in the bourgeoisie culture? What is, then, the role of the architect? Since his Kantana Institute project in 2011, Boonserm Premthada, the founder of the Bangkok Studio Project in Thailand, has been exploring the relationship between human life and architecture and formulating ways to transform it. He is a carpenter’s son; he learned from the way his father worked and it has shaped the way he learns about doing things.

When he talks about craftsmanship in construction works, he always attempts to open up the role of the architect to embrace all groups of people in the society. His work process is not just about creating a crafted piece but also about producing skilled artisans. The core idea of his design is based on the belief that the design is a process that allows unskilled labourers to develop and become skilled labourers. His concerns about the lack of skilled workers in Thailand made him ponder the best use of the harshness and unpredictability of their work – the work of persons who are still in the process of learning.