Makkasan Train Factory: an attempt to preserve Bangkok’s urban heritage


  • Pongkwan Lassus




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


The Makkasan Train Factory, opened 110 years ago, is the first industrial estate in Thailand and used to be the biggest hub for train production in Southeast Asia. Nowadays, this huge land of 80 hectares, with direct access from the Savarnabhumi airport rail link, is considered a golden land right in the business center of Bangkok, that attracts real estate investors. A third of the land set aside at the end of last year for the development of a mixed use commercial project as a part of the High Speed Train project. As this land is the last big area of public land in the capital, civic groups for urban heritage conservation and the environment tried to point out its tangible and intangible heritage value hoping that there would be a proper master plan to preserve these values for future generations.

How to Cite

Lassus, P. (2021). Makkasan Train Factory: an attempt to preserve Bangkok’s urban heritage. Docomomo Journal, (63), 80–84.




Author Biography

Pongkwan Lassus

Architect living and working in Bangkok. She gradu-ated with a bachelor in architecture from Silpakorn University, Bangkok and Architect DPLG from Paris, France. She has run a small architectural firm, first in France from 1989 to 1994, and then in Bangkok from 1995 to the present. She has been serving the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage (ASA) on the Architectural Conservation Committee since 2002 and has also participated actively as an ICOMOS Thailand Council Member since 2008. She is the Deputy Chair of the Society for the Conservation of Natural Treasure and Environment since 2018 and a member of the Heritage Protection Working Committee of the Siam Society under Royal Patronage. She has written and edited many books and articles about architectural conservation for ASA. She’s also the co-founder of independent civic groups: Big Trees Projects, Makkasan Network and Urban Heritage Network.


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Royal Railway Department Annual report 1917, Bangkok, Railway Department,1918.

Royal Railway Department Annual report 1927, Bangkok, Railway Department,1929.

State Railway Department Annual report 1921, Bangkok, Railway Department,1922.