Jim Thompson, an
American who was born in Greenville Delaware, in 1906.
A Practicing architect prior to World War II, hevolunteerd for service
in the U.S. Army, campaigned in Europe ans was later sent to Asia.
However, the war ended before he saw action. He was sent to Bangkok
a short time later as a military officer and fell in love with Thailand.
After leaving the service, hedecided to return and live here permanently.
The hand weaving of silk, a long-neglected cottage industry, captured
Jim Thompson's attention, and he devoted himself to reviving the craft.
Highly gifted as a designer and textile colorist, he contributed substantially
to the industry's growth and to the worldwide recognition to Thai silk.
He gained further renown through the construction of his house combining
six teak buildings,
which represented the best in traditional Thai architecture.
Most of the houses were, at least two centuries old and were easily
dismantled and brought to the present site,
some from as far away as the old capital of Ayudhya.
In his quest for authenticity, Jim Thompson adhered to the customs of
the early builders in most respects.
The houses were elevated a full story above the ground, a practical
Thai precaustion to avoid flooding during the rainy season,
and the roof tiles were fired in Ayudhya employing a design common centuries
ago but rarely used today.
The red paint on the outside walls is a preservative often found on
many old Thai buildings. The Chandeliers were a concession to modern
convenience, but even they belong to a past era, come from 18th and
19th century Bangkok palaces.
All the traditional religious rituals were followed during construction
of the house, and on a spring day in 1959,
decreed as being auspicious by astrologers, Jim Thompson moved in.
The house and the art collection soon became such a point of interest
that he decided to open his home to the public
with proceeds donated to Thai charities and to projects directed at
the preservation of Thailand's rich cultural heritage.
On March 26th 1967, Jim Thompson disappeared while on a visit to the
Cameron Highlands in Malaysia.
Not a single valid clue has turned up in the ensuing years as to what
might have happened to him.
His famous Thai house, remains as a lasting reminder of his creative
ability and his deep love of Thailand.
from the 'Jim Thompson House' entrance leaflet)
Open everyday at
9 a.m.; Last tour begins at 5 p.m.
Entrance fee = 100 Thb
Usefull Links :
The Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson :
Thai Silk Company