Sino-Thai Modern Architecture: A Case Study of Tio Chew Chinese Cemetery Hall, 1936

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Khai Sin Lee


Current research studies on modern architecture in Thailand discuss the topic in relation to political,
social-economic and cultural factors in the country. Historical accounts state that a substantial point related to the modernization of Thailand is the factor of foreignness through the intraregional exchange of labor and global migration. Chinese, as the largest immigrants to Thailand, have been discussed based on their roles as
merchants and laborers. Existing research studies have discussed well-known building types in Chinese
architecture, including shophouses, courtyard houses and Chinese shrines. The present research is conducted to fill the research gaps in both modern and Chinese architecture in Thailand through a case of Tio Chew Cemetery Hall. Opened in 1936, the building is both modern and Chinese. Located at Tio Chew Chinese Cemetery in Bangkok, it has an outstandingly modern appearance in the context of a cemetery, surrounded by buildings in various Chinese styles. Through a literature review, measured drawings and on-site observations, the architectural modernity of Tio Chew Cemetery Hall is analyzed through its historical background, context and architectural elements. This research aims to reveal an architectural diversity of modernity and the historical importance andcultural significance of a lesser-known historical Chinese building in Bangkok.

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