Alternate Moderns: The Half-timbered Architecture of HSH Prince Vodhyakara Varavarn in Thailand, 1930s – 1950s

by Chomchon Fusinpaiboon

The divergent values of modernity and tradition still embraced simultaneously by the majority of Thai middle-class and other non-western societies today has affected architectural culture and production since, at least, the 19th century. This book has situated and examined the phenomenon of half-timbered architecture as designed by HSH Prince Vodhyakara Varavarn as illustrative of the architectural issues related to these divergent values in Thailand during the 1930s and 1950s. By analysing archival materials drawn from the architectural field and also from public and private accounts, it discusses the development, promotion and reception of half-timbered buildings and demonstrates how architectural practice and an architecture that neither appear to be stylistically modern nor traditional Thai now were advanced in relation to issues surrounding modernity and tradition, and played a part in the modernisation of Thailand during the 1930s and 1950s.