Bangkok's Boonserm Premthada Wins Second RA Dorfman Award

John Hill
14. May 2019
Boonserm Premthada/Bangkok Project Studio, Elephant World, Surin Province, Thailand, 2019 (Photo during construction in 2015, courtesy of RA)

After a public presentation on Monday, May 13, at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London, an international jury named Boonserm Premthada, founder of Bangkok Project Studio, winner of the 2019 Royal Academy Dorfman Award.

The award, established in early 2018, is supported by the Dorfman Foundation and honors "an international talent that represents the future of architecture." The jury* selected Premthada for the £10,000 award over the four other finalists: Fernanda Canales (Mexico); Alice Casey and Cian Deegan, TAKA (Ireland); and Mariam Kamara, Atelier Masomi (Niger). Premthada follows Iranian architect Alireza Taghaboni, founder of Tehran's nextoffice, as inaugural winner of the RA Dorfman Award.

Boonserm Premthada, a native of Bangkok, founded Bangkok Project Studio in 2003. "The practice celebrates the importance of craft in architecture," per an RA press release, "leading to carefully detailed projects with a deep sense of authenticity." His most well-known project is the Kantana Film and Animation Institute in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, which was shortlisted for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2013. The building's wavy brick walls capture what the RA describes as the "crucial" use of local construction methods and materials and his use of "the skills of local craftspeople and traditional production methods."

Furthermore, Premthada "has a deep interest in the ways in which non-architects intuitively solve spatial problems and states that it is this that enables him to produce quality works that fulfill both their commercial and social potential regardless of scale." Beyond Bangkok Project Studio, Premthada also teaches at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Boonserm Premthada (Photo courtesy of RA)
*The 2019 Dorfman Award jury:

  • Alan Stanton (Stanton Williams; jury chair)
  • Phyllida Barlow (Artist)
  • Ricky Burdett (Director of LSE Cities)
  • Louisa Hutton (Sauerbruch Hutton)
  • Lesley Lokko (Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg)
  • Kirsty Wark (Broadcaster)

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