Group of building no.6

the Grand Postal Building (G.P.O.)

depicted item: perspective of the Grand Postal Building (G.P.O.)

source: Associate Professor Chatri Prakitnonthakan

date: 2014

1. Identity of building/ group of buildings/ urban scheme/ landscape/ garden

1.1 current name of building: the Grand Postal Building (G.P.O.)

1.2 variant or former name: the Grand Postal Building (G.P.O.)

1.3 number & name of street: 1160 Charoen Krung Rd., Si Phraya,

1.4 town: Bang Rak

1.5 province/state: Bangkok

1.6 zip code: 10500

1.7 country: Thailand

1.8 national grid reference:

1.9 classification/ typology: REC, COM and ADM

1.10 protection status & date: owned by Thailand Post Co., Ltd., managed by IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd and announced by the Department of Fine Arts as an important historic building on 9th April in 2004

2. History of building

2.1 original brief/ purpose: ADM

2.2 date completion: 1935-1940

2.3 architectural and other designers: Mui (Jitrsean) Apaiwong (architect) and H. Herman (engineer) and Silpa Bhirasri (Corrado Feroci) (sculptor)

2.4 others associated with building: -

2.5 significant alterations with dates: After the Department of Fine Arts announced that the Grand Postal Building (G.P.O.) was an important historic building in 2004, G.P.O. set up the committee in the following year in order to plan the conservation of the building. Consequently, the conservation and adaptation were commenced and officially reopened on 4th August 2013 by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

2.6 current uses: museum, banquet hall, restaurant and postal office

2.7 current condition: good

3. Description

3.1 general description: Thai postal services were started in 1881 and built the first office in 1883. The services significantly expanded and required the new office. Therefore, Thai postal services were moved to the current location which was previously owned by the British Embassy. Buildings of the embassy were used before constructing the Grand Postal Building (G.P.O.) in 1935. G.P.O. was officially opened on 24th June 1940 and has been operated since then.

3.2 construction: reinforced concrete structure and masonry walls

3.3 context: The Grand Postal Building is located on good location for transporting the postal service by two forms of transportation, Chao Phraya river and Charoen Krung Road.

4. Evaluation

4.1 technical: The Grand Postal Building (G.P.O.) is T-shaped building, there are four storeys including basement with concrete structure and flat slab roof. The concept of symmetrical axes is used both layouts and elevations. The building dimension is 103.80 m. x 38.52 m. and 22.00 m. x 96.00 m.

4.2 social: The construction of postal office represented the Modern era of Thai postal works. There has been an intention to use and adapt the building to other purposes in the future.

4.3 cultural & aesthetic: The building presents the Early Modern architectural style in Thailand in Neo Classical style. Recessed mortar joints on brickwork create special patterns like stonework on the front elevation. In addition, the main entrance is at the center of the building and has sculptures of Garudas decorated at the top corners of the building. The Garudas, Silpa Bhirasri's masterpieces, are Realistic Art and three times in size of human. He also designed other low relief sculptures which have decorated in the building's hall.

4.4 historical: The grand opening of G.P.O. was on 24th June 1940 by General Phraya Phahon Phonphayuhasena, Thai military leader and politician.

4.5 general assessment: After the renovation, the Grand Postal Building (G.P.O.) has maintained its original purpose and also created other functions to meet new requirements.

5. Documentation

5.1 principal references: Associate Professor Chatri Prakitnonthakan and Waeovichian Abhichartvorapan

5.2 visual material attached: Associate Professor Chatri Prakitnonthakan

5.3 rapporteur/ date: June 2014

6. Fiche report examination by ISC/R

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