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"White marble, concrete, and bamboo scaffolds: The Throne Palace at Dusit Park in Bangkok as an international building site" with Francesca B. Filippi

April 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Thousands of miles away from Europe, the style of the Throne Palace at Dusit Park in Bangkok, Thailand, seems outlandish, particularly given that the building was constructed in a country that was never colonized. The Palace’s Neo-Renaissance details and Carrara marble surfaces, however, are only the most visible signs of complex and deep interactions that existed between the architectural cultures of Europe and Siam. Commissioned by King Chulalongkorn in 1907 from Turinese architects and engineers working in the Bangkok Public Works Department, the Palace was created by workshops, craftsman, and enterprises from Turin, Genoa, Carrara, Milan, Vienna, Geislingen, and Paris. By looking beyond national boundaries in an investigation of this movement of people, expertise, techniques, and materials, this lecture reveals the role and significance of “professional emigration” in the spread of European eclecticism across the globe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dr. Francesca B. Filippi is a post-doctoral fellow and instructor at Politecnico di Torino in Turin, Italy. She is a curator of MuseoTorino, the virtual museum of the City of Turin and is on the editorial staff of Il Giornale dell’Architettura. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Architecture (2004) and a laurea in Architecture (2000), both from the Politecnico di Torino. Her book, Da Torino a Bangkok. Architetti e ingegneri nel Regno del Siam (Marsilio), was published in 2008. Her essay “Early 20th Century Bangkok: An International Building Site” appeared in Asian Journal of Literature, Culture and Society (October 2010).

This event is co-sponsored by Taubman College and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.


April 11, 2012
6:00 pm