MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum was designed by architectural firm allzone, led by Rachaporn Choochuey. The firm, known for its contextual approach to architecture, were given a core brief whereby they would let the art and not the architecture be the main attraction. MAIIAM converted a 3000 sq. meter warehouse in the historic crafts district of Sankampang.
Situated in one of the most cultural cities of Thailand, Chiang Mai, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum aims to brighten up art scene in Thailand and the region as the first contemporary art museum of the country.
An old warehouse is transformed into a house of art, a quiet but well-facilitated platform for wide range of activities, with an attempt to keep the industrial spirit of the place. Natural light for art space is achieved through simple local materials with light wells of sophisticated calculations. The front part is added as supporting facilities to the gallery space. The main facade along the highway is cladded with millions tiny decorative thin mirror tiles as of those commonly used in traditional Thai architecture referring to some temple walls in the city. New techniques of installation and patterns of the mirror tiles are explored to meet contemporary expressions. The reflections help to dissolve the wall into the surroundings and vice versa, at the same time, to call for attention from the passersby with the lightest existence of architecture.
The name of the museum is a play on words, as “Mai” in Chiang Mai means “new city” and is also a tribute to Eric Bunnag Booth’s great grand aunt “Chao Chom Iam”, a royal consort to King Rama V, who lived during a time when Thailand came into modernity. The double entendre extends to the meaning of MAI IAM, which means “brand new”.
MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum
Location: 122, Moo 7 Tonpao, San Kamphaeng District, Chiang Mai 50130 Thailand
Phone: +66 (0) 52 081 737, +66 (0) 81 386 6899 Website: http://www.maiiam.com