Khunkan Siripaiboon

Mueang Phaniat Archaeological Museum

The archaeological site and historical place are some of the values of the nation that tell who we are and where we come from. Every nation has its own identities base on the culture and influence of other neighboring countries. Chanthaburi is a province in eastern Thailand that was influenced by Cambodia culture since around 1400 years ago, has many natural resources and long history. At the land of Sa Bap mountain in Chanthaburi is the place of Mueang Phaniat the old town from the era of Funan and the start point of eastern Thailand history. That isn’t all the value of this place, it is also the location of Thong Tua temple, the old temple from the Ayutthaya era where contains many layers of historical on that architecture. This place has the overlapping of architecture from many eras through Thai history. Moreover, this historic place is surrounded with an agriculture and Buddhist community that give the atmosphere of the original Thai community apart from the value of archaeology. A province in Eastern part of Thailand on the border with Battambang and Pailin of Cambodia, on the shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are Trat in the east and RayongChonburiChachoengsao, and Sa Kaeo to the west and north. Sabap Mountain (เขาสระบาป) an important mountain in Prabpra district, Chanthaburi province. Located in southern part of Chanthaburi 7 km. from capital. Maung Panead (เมืองเพนียด) a name of 1400 years old archeological site in Chanthaburi province Thailand. Funan (Fúnán), name of an ancient empire in south East Asia in 1-6 BC.


Issues of interest and objective


As the one of the historical towns and archaeological site in other rural places; Thong tua temple and Mueang Phaniat archeological site is one of the most important archeological sites of Thailand and Cambodia history but doesn’t have proper facilities to support the preservation or exhibit and publish the information. So the first main objective of this project is to preserve this historical place in the proper and suitable way. Moreover, the Mueang Phaniat is located in a rural community surrounded with agriculture area and residence which has the potential to improve, to be a tourist spot by using the identity of the community, agriculture value and adaptation of architecture design.   





Question: How Mueang Phaniat in the past looks life?

The space represents the image of Mueang Phaniat in the past overlapping in the exhibition area on different levels, make the image of being in the same position but in the past and present.

On the site of Barai museum, the building form and zoning refer the original Khmer temple pond’s characteristics. Zoning of the building inspired from the Barai or the pond of Khmer temple which mostly be rectangular shape of brick and have a rectangular water feature in the middle. On the edge of water is the space for ceremony or other activities. So the building will have the water experience space in the middle and surrounded with information exhibitions. The building not only provide the space for exhibition but also the view for the Barai.



Question: If Mueang Phaniat was built in this era, how would it be?

Space is created with the same logic and essence of Mueang Phaniat but is built in the present conditions, function and material.

On the site of Mueang Phaniat belief and religion museum, logics and theory of Hinduism will be applied. The square shape is the basic one that will be used to form the building and the sun path direction is another to apply for the building as a big characteristic and the effect on the exhibition. The last story is the theory of star orbit around the Mount Sumeru of Hinduism. The cycle of the orbiting will be applied in the design as a circulation and zoning that will lead people to walk through the museum.



Question: How Mueang Phaniat connected to others?

Make the understanding, how Mueang Phaniat and religion connect to the environment and the reason of was settled here.

On the site of the Mueang Phaniat life and connection museum, the space should show the relation of people in the past the other people from other place and the living culture of them that we can know from the evidence and excavation of archaeological. A relation that architecture can shows is the relation of space inside and outside. Cracking will be applied to the building to create the opening and stand for the meaning of excavation process. The cracking line can be the symbol of the exhibition and evidence that could communicate the story to the people.

Design Concept and Synthesis

To design any new architecture project relate to historical places, stories and background of the history should be appeared in the work to remember the importance of the site and make sustainable preservation including support and encourage local tourism. The project will be separated into four sites that relate to the archeological can excavation place of Mueang Phaniat.

Design propose

The reception place at Thong Tua temple – View points

The first place is the reception place for both Mueang Phaniat ruin and Thong Tha temple the old chapel. Located in from of the temple along the front street. The building won’t not only welcome tourist, but also frame the view of the old chapel in many perspectives. Because the old chapel is located in the middle of the temple surrounded with other chapel and tree which quite block the view so the reception building will provide several views of the chapel set the reception facilities for tourists.

The Mueang Phaniat Barai museum – Water

The museum next to the ruin of Mueang Phaniat Barai, located on the south side of archaeological sites in the mimicked form and zoning of the Barai. The Museum is the combination of information exhibition and experience space of Barai and water. As we know that the ruins were discovered in the private land that less of accessibility to the ruin so having this museum is the nice chance to design space for viewpoint and proper accessibility for barai.

The Mueang Phaniat belief and religion museum – Light

This Museum aims to present belief and religion of Hinduism which is the religion of Kawai town’s people at that time and relate to the evidence of Mueang Phaniat that mostly are god statues and ceremony elements. The architectural design is for exhibit god statue and other evidence and present belief, power, including theory of Hinduism through perspective of Handiness. Khmer architectural style and Mount-Sumeru theory will be applied to the space design to explain the exhibition and encourage the meaning and power of religion by using light and nature in the space.

The Mueang Phaniat life and evidence museum – Soil

The last museum is showing people life evidence, mostly about pottery and general equipment. This place will be able to present people lifestyles and connections of the town to other countries. The building should show the relation of inside and outside to represent the connection and at the same time reflect the process and atmosphere of excavation, soil layer, and cracking of historical discovery and human civilization.

The travel route part

The travel route is provided to lead visitors to the three exhibitions hiding in the community area. Starting with the reception place to get ready to the first exhibition, the ruins visit exhibition, the evidence exhibition and the Angkor culture exhibition, before leads to the community and agriculture area for the agriculture tour and then go back to the reception place. Each spot have station and parking as a facility. The community area and the exhibition place being landmarks to create travel routes with the cross spots and existing access is the points that need to concern.


The reception place at Thong Tua temple

The reception place located in the Thong Thus temple and schools’ area, there is a wide street in front of the site, and fewer buildings around. In front of the temple is the main street connect to the highway where the visitors come in. At the back of the temple has a narrow canal from north to south. The temple area is at the middle and the west side of the site, while two school building is on the south and other some facility buildings. The front gate connects to the empty concrete area for parking and other school activity. The old chapel is next to it with a new chapel and two stupas.

The best solution is placing one long reception building in front of the temple along the street by using part of the building to frame the view of the chapel and be the gimmick of the building itself. Parking and office are on the north side of the building away from the school area. By this strategy, the tourist welcome area will be close to the school field which encourages the student activities about work as a guild.



The concept of the reception place at Thong Tua temple is viewpoint and framing which the building will frame the several views and perspectives of the chapel for users. The design process starts with, place, building the farthest from the chapel for a wider perspective of the views. Design the axis for the viewpoint to able to see through the building in many angles and from many places, and cut some needed circulation through the building and emphasize each gap and opening by adding walls and frame combinations.

The building is the combination of frames and vertical lines that overlap with each other to make a frame of the chapel that people can walk through directly. The box area is the functional area such as a reception room and museum while the vertical lines are the main structure that is used to separate the frames and emphasize the space of the walkway and rooms.

The Mueang Phaniat Barai museum

The ruins remaining were discovered in the private land surrounded by the agriculture area. The site doesn’t have any access from the public road so after discovery, they have to open a small street connecting to the site to easy to get to the ruin. So the site has only that small street on the west to access.

Around the ruins, there still have some local people’s houses and farm areas. The ruins are left without and cover or boundary and become a tourist spot and public space that anyone in the community can get in without permission.

On the south side of the ruin is the place of another Barai which already gone and become a farm area. So the project will be built on the place of a gone pond on the south of the remaining. For easy to visit the museum building and the ruin in the same place and to connect to the ruin directly after the travel through the exhibition

The Mueang Phaniat Barai museum zoning is in the smallest size of the project. The building itself mostly takes the whole area of the site, so the zoning is quite simple. The exterior function has only a bicycle parking area on the west and the entrance walkway. The square shape of the museum building contains most of the exhibition and some service areas. The information about the museum is in the west south part of the building next to the bike parking. There is a bright on the north side of the museum to connect to the ruin, so the exhibition has to zone the exhibition by starting at the south and end in the north.

About the circulation, it quite influenced by the concept of the building that uses the zoning and usage of the original Barai to let people walk. The visitors will be led to walk through the exhibition room and the experience space in the middle. The main concern is to lead people to walk through the museum from west to east the same as the original Barai, so the circulation has to be one way and end at the start.


Design concept

Barai x Water

With the concept of  “RECALL” – To serve the space that lets people feel and experience underwater at a different level while walking into the Barai which have different feelings but give calmness.

The highlight of the Barai museum is the water experience space which provides three experiences of water that humans can feel while using the Barai. The first is the water surface experience, the slope space that has water moving on above shows the changing of water effect while walking down through the water and the scene of the environment on the natural surface and the under. Second, the underwater experience, the room with the effect of the water, which be set on above and in the middle of the room, gives the atmosphere of sitting underwater and see the light and effect underwater. The last is the water ripple movement. The circular movement of the water when standing in the water and see the water wave around the body. All of these three experiences represent the process when using the Barai or the pond for bathing by step down into the water, the whole body being underwater, and after standing up with a cleaner body and more fresh and calm.

The information exhibitions start with the definition of Barai, important and meaning to give the basic information f this site and then the Hindu’s ceremony and culture that relate to the water, the history of Mueang Phaniat Barai discovery and end with the information and identity of Mueang Phaniat Barai with the wide view of the real remaining of the Barai where they can walk to it directly with the bridge at the end of the exhibition.

The Mueang Pahniat belief and religion museum

The site is located in private land among of agriculture area and next to a small canal on the south. Because the land is totally changed for farming, the excavation site and ruin of the temple was gone. There is no access from the public road to the side except a walkway of the owner of the land. So the accessibility of this site will be applied from this local way and the existing canal. The zoning organization has to place the main circulation on the west side of the site on the same as the entrance, so it will be easy for visitors to access and bike through the site. Same as the boat stop from the canal that will be placed at the southwest corner of the site near the main access.


Design Concept

Belief x Right

On the concept of “REBORN” – Aim to reborn the theory and logic of Khmer architecture combine with the belief of Hinduism and represent through architecture. The design follows the square shape and the sun path logic of Khmer architecture and applies with the belief of light and planets orbiting from Mount-Meru theory.

  • The sun, moon, and stars are the light source humans see and observe its orbit, give them the seasons, foods, and energy for life.
  • The individual self that people imagine from their belief which comes from what they understand of the light and nature.
  • As the shining and straight matter, it is the prosperity of the human’s mind and wit, which show the way off the darkness.

Transform the belief and meaning of light to architecture, language to apply to space.

  • The light represented orbit of planets in the space. Curve lines of opening light let people obit around the museum as planets or as the goads in Hindu belief.
  • Light from a skylight can highlight the goads statue and emphasize the exhibition as well as the people believed of light in the past.
  • The power and brightness of the light will guide the visitors along with the exhibition.

The Mueang Phaniat life and evidence museum

The site is in the area of the sacred shrine “Wat Som Phan” where is the area that we found some Phaniat evidence such as columns element and bricks. The shrine is the place that local people built for respect to the evidence that they found. So this place is related directly to the project and design propose that aim to make design the place of archeological and community.

The site is surrounded by an agriculture area and placed beside a canal. There are some residents next to the site and a small street in front of the site. The land is L shape, the local shrine is on the northeast corner of the site away from the front street only 20 meters.

The museum building will be placed on the west along to the canal, but not too close to leave some space for public space from the shrine area and street to the canal at the back of the site.

The museum is designed in the rectangular shape as the excavation site which contains groups of evidence inside. On the north side are the reception, entrance, and service close to the street and easy to access, leave the east and the south area as a public space for a local shrine. The circulation is one way, start from the entrance at the front and go through the reception before start the exhibition. The exhibition zones are all on the underground level. The exhibition rooms are semi-outdoor areas connect with the outdoor walkway.

Design Concept

The building is designed with the concept of “RELATE” – Where space can relate to the environment and history of them. The museum will represent the characteristic of soil crack which relate to the excavation process and life factor of human in the past.


Student Name

Khunkan Siripaiboon

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