Kaomai Tea Barn: Timeless Revival in Chiang Mai

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A Legacy Transformed

Chiang Mai, Thailand, unveils the Kaomai Museums and Tea Barn, a transformative project by PAVA architects. This adaptive reuse initiative breathes new life into a sixty-eight-year-old tobacco processing plant estate owned by Kaomai Estate 1955, reviving the forgotten industrial hub and preserving the architectural and ecological heritage.

Crafting a Timeless Tapestry

The architectural genius behind the project conceived a masterplan and symbiosis framework, orchestrating a delicate dance between the old tobacco drying barns, mature trees, and contemporary functionalities. This thoughtful balance ensures the co-existence of tradition and modernity, economically, ecologically, and respectfully.

Museums Resurrected

The first museum underwent meticulous preservation, with original elements like brick surfaces, gable roofs, and tobacco hanging sticks meticulously repaired and reinstalled. A second museum seamlessly integrated into the existing structure, showcasing a steel timeline panel as an homage to the estate’s rich history. Informative signs in front of the barns serve as tangible evidence of time, narrating the evolution of this historic space.

The Tea Barn Experience

Reimagining the dilapidated Tea Barn, the architects employed reused bricks and subtle steel insertions, creating a space for public use and shaded relaxation. A sunken area with open glass walls fosters a connection with surrounding programs and offers a close-to-nature experience. The Tea Barn introduces a commercial program, ensuring the estate’s sustainability. Local artisans and former workers played a crucial role, sharing historical insights and traditional construction methods, reinforcing the project’s commitment to local inclusion.

Sustaining Heritage for Generations

Kaomai Museums and Tea Barn not only revitalizes a bygone era but also actively involves the local community in preserving its legacy. With a commitment to sustainable practices and a blend of tradition and innovation, this project stands as a testament to the power of thoughtful design intervention. As Kaomai Museums and Tea Barn opens its doors, it welcomes visitors to experience the spirit of the past while embracing the promise of the future.

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