Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Tsunami Memorial Contest

Tsunami "Overseas architecture firms from 49 countries are in the running for the tsunami memorial design competition, but the winner must work with local partners, according to Jedkamchorn Phromyothi, an executive member of the Council of Architects, Thailand. He said that 380 firms entered the competition, which opened between Sept 15 and Nov 15, but fewer than 10% were Thai architecture firms. The shortlisted five conceptual designs will be announced on Dec 22. The companies will continue working on the final design, which will go up for government consideration in May. ''They will have to work with a licensed Thai architect and engineer for the detailed design, that must include an understanding of local culture. The committee will consider their work again before presenting it to the government,'' Mr Jedkamchorn said. The government has earmarked 45 million baht for the tsunami memorial project, said Mr Jedkamchorn, who is also the vice-chairman of the Tsunami Memorial Design Competition Task Force. Construction of the tsunami memorial will have begun by the end of 2006, and will take 18 months to complete. The tsunami memorial and museum will be built on 70 rai in Khao Lak Lamru National Park in Phangnga. The Council of Architects will be responsible for the building's design. Worldwide architecture firms were able to take part in the contest, and the competition committee for the memorial includes local and overseas professional designers. The large number of overseas architecture firms that entered the tsunami memorial competition, compared with that of Thai firms, symbolises increased competition in the design business, according to one Thai architect. ''The Thai design market has generated a lot of interest among overseas designers, especially Australian-based architecture firms,'' he said. ''They have entered our market, both as individuals and firms, and designed many resorts in famous tourist destinations.'' Thai architects will need to learn to adjust to international competition, he said." Written by Kanana Katharangsiporn. Chack here hotel and resort on Andaman Sea. - Amanpuri Hotel, Phuket - Trisara Hotel, Phuket - Rayavadee Hotel in Phra Nang Beach, Krabi

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