Neilson Hays celebrates its second century

After serving readers in Bangkok for over a century, Neilson Hays Library on Surawong Road will organise a one-day celebration offering a rich variety of programmes on Saturday from 10.30am to 9pm.

Held to mark 101 years since the completion of its iconic Mario Tamagno building, the "101 Years Strong In The Heart Of Bangkok" will feature a children's story time special, a lecture on the building's design innovations, readings with an award-winning Thai-American author, an illuminated exhibition installation, and an intimate courtyard concert with an acclaimed singer.

The celebration will start with "Story Time Special" where children of all ages will enjoy interactive readings from three books, interactive rhymes, songs, and dance with Thai-American Newbury Honor author Christina Soontornvat. Colourful craft funs are also arranged.

The activities will be conducted in English from 10.30am to 11.30am. Admission is 300 baht (free for library members).

From 3.30pm to 4.30pm, Chatpong Chuenrudeemol, recipient of the Silpathorn Award in Architecture, will give a lecture on "Bastard Libraries And Chamber Secrets: Hybrid Architecture And Progressive Conservation".

photo courtesy of Neilson Hays Library

Conducted in Thai, the lecture will explore the building as an early example of architectural innovation that hybridises Western design with context and climate-inspired engineering. There is no admission fee but reservations are required.

Then, witness "Bangkok Chattana: Alchemy Of Architecture And Narrative", an exhibition of illuminated installation that combines literary narrative by Christina with architecture by Chatpong to explore how space and form can integrate culture and history and together reinvent local architectural vernacular, from 5pm to 6.30pm.

The day will conclude with "A Night At The Library", a charity concert rendering easy listening vibes by Nop Ponchamni and the Groovetomatix Jazz Band, from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets cost 1,200 baht with all proceeds going to support the building's preservation and library programming.

Visit neilsonhayslibrary.org or call 02-233-1731.

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