MRTA station plan sparks city architecture row

MRTA station plan sparks city architecture row

A civil group has called on the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) to relocate an entry point into the Phan Fa station of its Purple Line to preserve century-old shophouses along Phra Sumen Road.

Rosana Tositrakul, a former Bangkok senator and president of Rattanakosin Heritage Conservation Group (RHCG), said construction of the Phan Fa station's entry and exit points would involve bringing down historic shophouses in the old area of Bangkok.

The builder plans to dismantle the old shophouses and rebuild them. However, Ms Rosana said the project threatens to devalue their architectural integrity.

She suggested the entry and exit points should be built near more modern buildings nearby. "The MRTA may have been reluctant to build the station access on land closer to the modern buildings so as to avoid a possible higher land price," Ms Rosana said.

She said the civil group has complained to various state agencies, but has yet to hear back. "We are not opposing development in the city. We want to talk to the MRTA and let them know that city development can go hand in hand with heritage conservation," she said.

MRTA governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas said the project is at the design stage. The MRTA chose to position the entry and exit points near seven shophouses because they are the most run-down buildings in the area. "Once the station access is built, the MRTA will reconstruct the architecture just like it did with Wat Mangkon station and Sanam Chai station," said Mr Pakapong.

Rejecting Ms Rosana's suggestion the entry and exit points should be aligned with two more modern buildings, he said the spot was too far away.

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