SANCTUARY
Wallpaper|February 2021
Elephant World, Thailand, by Bangkok Project Studio
ELLIE STATHAKI

The work of Thai architect Boonserm Premthada walks the tightrope between a sharp, contemporary aesthetic and an intensely site-specific outlook rooted in tradition. One of his newest projects, a home for both people and elephants in the Surin province of lower north-eastern Thailand, demonstrates how.

Elephant World was created to support the Kui, the region’s ethnic people, and their beloved pachyderms. The Kui have been elephant keepers for centuries, considering the noble animals family members, and living with them side by side. However, in recent years, Thailand’s economic boom and urbanisation have threatened their way of life. Many have been displaced, their 400-year-old village falling into poverty and disrepair, endangering people and animals.

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