Baan Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn
Community architectural preservation and revitalization in today’s world comes about through a balanced maintenance of the old ways of life in societal, cultural, and economic dimensions without catering to commercial tourism as the prime mover. The architects suggested that historical pre-servation and revitalization of the Chantaboon riverside community be based on activities of social enterprise, on a concept for maintaining traditional values and giving benefits greater than just the profit motive. It provides sustenance according to the catchphrase “preservation we can eat.” The community reaps benefits because local ownership is sub-stantial. The Chantaboon Riverside Development Association entered into a partnership with Ruam Tun Rakdee Co., Ltd and with Arsom Silp Institute to found Chantaboon Rakdee Co., Ltd., whose first pilot project was the establishment of a
“historic inn” under the name Ban Luang Rajamaitri.
Luang Rajamaitri himself pioneered of Thailand’s rubber exporting trade, and is considered the “Father of Eastern Rubber Trees”. More than 150 years old, Ban Luang Rajamaitri sits on a beautiful boulevard bend along the Chanthaburi River, which flows behind. Its elements and structure are perfect for being both an inn and a study center: even in its ilapidated state before renovation the beautiful elegance of its past could still be seen. Restoration was supported by funding from community residents, Chanthaburi citizens, and ther like-minded people. Sold at 1,000 baht per share, project ownership of more than 500 people resulted in a budget of 8.8 million baht, signaling Ban Luang Raja-maitri’s ebirth and a return to the glorious past. The inn has 12 small rooms to support in style local visitors and tourists who come to visit. The common ownership is a new kind of tool for community preservation, as some of the income from the business is returned to the community for support of cultural activities and sustainable community development.
|Doctor Pasarnpong Punsri
|8.8 Million baht