Foreign architects in Thailand could receive a boost thanks to former Future Systems director's practice

he restrictions on foreign architects working in Thailand could be significantly relaxed in the wake of a proposal by Amanda Levete Architects for a large mixed-use project in Bangkok.

The Architect Council of Thailand (ACT) has proposed allowing joint ventures between Thai and international architects, a practice that is now illegal under Thai law.

Foreign architects working in Thailand are at present required to officially present their proposals as the work of a Thai practice in order to comply with the law, even though clients and authorities are well aware of the designs' true author.

The ACT has been forced to rethink the practice after an official complaint from a Thai architect that Amanda Levete Architects' Central Embassy project in Bangkok had been published on a website under the architect's own name even though a Thai architect's name appeared on the construction permit.

Amanda Levete
The rules meant Amanda Levete's firm could not submit its own name for the construction permit

Admiral Thanit Kittiampon, president of the ACT, said creating a legal framework for a joint venture between foreign architects and Thai nationals would give international architects more protection and help raise fees for Thai architects.

Kittiampon told the Bangkok Post: “We should let foreign designers co-develop projects with local architects. It's very critical to have someone here to take the responsibility when there is any possible damage to a project. If foreign designers are not here, who will be responsible?"

A spokesperson for Amanda Levete Architects called the ACT's proposals a “positive step”.

She said: “Anything that recognises the skills and abilities of overseas architects can only be a positive thing.”