MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand / 2015-2016
The MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, located in the northern Thai city of Chiangmai, a thriving art and cultural center, has been created to house an important private collection of Thai and regional art. To present the collection, an old warehouse was dramatically transformed into a dynamic space that provides a well-facilitated platform for a wide range of activities. While the industrial spirit of the warehouse has been maintained, light wells that brighten and illuminate the interior space have been created with the use of local materials. In addition to the gallery space, a front section of the building was designed for support activities. From the exterior, the museum immediately draws attention because the main façade is clad with thousands of small, decorative mirror tiles that reflect light, a decorative technique inspired by traditional Thai temple architecture. However, here new techniques of installation have been applied to create tile patterns that explore contemporary art expressions. The reflections help to dissolve the wall into the surroundings and vice versa, while at the same time, calling the attention of passersby with the lightness of the architecture.