An industrialist’s baroque dream: Visit to Amata Castle

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger
All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger

There are many ways millionaires spend their money. Some buy fancy cars, others prefer downtown luxury penthouses, a yacht or a private jet, or pearls and diamonds for their mistresses.

Vikrom Kromadit is different. The Thai industrial tycoon and founder and CEO of industrial estate developer Amata Corporation built himself a castle, Amata Castle, in Thailand’s southeastern Chonburi province, in the midst of his own industrial park.

Amata Corporation, founded 27 years ago, made Vikrom rich. Forbes puts his wealth at some $170 million, and most of it he turned over to his Amata Foundation. which promotes arts and culture. And the foundation is also the developer of Amata Castle, the project of Vikrom’s lifetime for which he spent $50 million alone.

The building, meant as both one of his private homes and art museum, also serves as location for events and exhibitions. It is, however, hard to label when it comes to architectural style. If something like neo-Siamese-baroque would exist, it would describe it probably best.

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger
A mixture of Asian and Western elements: Amata Castle

Architecturally, the massive structure merges historical European castle style and citations of French cathedrals with Siamese and Buddhist figurative elements to an ornamental landmark that is unseen elsewhere in Southeast Asia, let alone in Thailand.

Reactions to the building are diverse: While some, especially Thais, are genuinely flabbergasted by its monumental presence and dainty shape, others would rather liken it to a manifestation of moderate architectural taste, some sort of a Las Vegas kitsch-copy of a medieval fortress embellished with Thai decor.

In fact, the building is a work in progress. Construction began around 2008, and the castle was supposed to be finished by 2010. However, finishing works are still going on, and the building is currently closed to the public (which didn’t Investvine hold back from visiting it).

At a closer look, it is also pretty much of a shell to the outside, with mainly unrendered concrete floors and walls inside. But there are also a lot of artistic and architectural details, at least on the rooftop garden, that caught our attention.

Altogether, in terms of its unfinished, work-in-progress status, the structure in its artistic ambitions reminds of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, although it of course is far from reaching the latter’s richness of detail and colossal artistic brilliance. In terms of scurrility, Amata Castle comes rather close to Duwisib Castle, a grand pseudo-medieval looking fortress build by a quirky German aristocrat in 1908 in the Southern Namibian desert when the county was a German colony.

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger
Water-free rooftop swimming pool at Amata Castle.

Amata Castle stands amid Amata’s industrial park, slightly elevated on a hill at the center of the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, halfway between Bangkok and Pattaya on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. The 25,000 square meter-building has four floors, of which the two lower floors are occasionally being used for exhibitions and events, and the third floor comprises of a large banquet room and more gallery space. Floor four is made up of Vikrom’s private chambers, and on the rooftop there is an idyllic garden, another reception room, a swimming pool (without water) and a couple of battlement-style balconies with panoramic views over the adjacent golf course and the entire estate.

Each year, Amata Foundation in the castle holds a ceremony and awards a lifetime achievement prize to a writer and prizes to six young visual artists. The castle will eventually host a permanent museum for local works of art and literature and serve as a performing arts center.

“Vikrom wants to give back something to society after all his achievements, and our company would also like to express our hospitality towards visitors, artists and our clients” explains his brother Viboon.

“At the bank account, money is just a number. It is better to spend it for something real, something that can be touched and lasts,” he adds.

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger

There are many ways millionaires spend their money. Some buy fancy cars, others prefer downtown luxury penthouses, a yacht or a private jet, or pearls and diamonds for their mistresses.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger
All pictures © Arno Maierbrugger

There are many ways millionaires spend their money. Some buy fancy cars, others prefer downtown luxury penthouses, a yacht or a private jet, or pearls and diamonds for their mistresses.

Vikrom Kromadit is different. The Thai industrial tycoon and founder and CEO of industrial estate developer Amata Corporation built himself a castle, Amata Castle, in Thailand’s southeastern Chonburi province, in the midst of his own industrial park.

Amata Corporation, founded 27 years ago, made Vikrom rich. Forbes puts his wealth at some $170 million, and most of it he turned over to his Amata Foundation. which promotes arts and culture. And the foundation is also the developer of Amata Castle, the project of Vikrom’s lifetime for which he spent $50 million alone.

The building, meant as both one of his private homes and art museum, also serves as location for events and exhibitions. It is, however, hard to label when it comes to architectural style. If something like neo-Siamese-baroque would exist, it would describe it probably best.

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger
A mixture of Asian and Western elements: Amata Castle

Architecturally, the massive structure merges historical European castle style and citations of French cathedrals with Siamese and Buddhist figurative elements to an ornamental landmark that is unseen elsewhere in Southeast Asia, let alone in Thailand.

Reactions to the building are diverse: While some, especially Thais, are genuinely flabbergasted by its monumental presence and dainty shape, others would rather liken it to a manifestation of moderate architectural taste, some sort of a Las Vegas kitsch-copy of a medieval fortress embellished with Thai decor.

In fact, the building is a work in progress. Construction began around 2008, and the castle was supposed to be finished by 2010. However, finishing works are still going on, and the building is currently closed to the public (which didn’t Investvine hold back from visiting it).

At a closer look, it is also pretty much of a shell to the outside, with mainly unrendered concrete floors and walls inside. But there are also a lot of artistic and architectural details, at least on the rooftop garden, that caught our attention.

Altogether, in terms of its unfinished, work-in-progress status, the structure in its artistic ambitions reminds of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, although it of course is far from reaching the latter’s richness of detail and colossal artistic brilliance. In terms of scurrility, Amata Castle comes rather close to Duwisib Castle, a grand pseudo-medieval looking fortress build by a quirky German aristocrat in 1908 in the Southern Namibian desert when the county was a German colony.

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger
Water-free rooftop swimming pool at Amata Castle.

Amata Castle stands amid Amata’s industrial park, slightly elevated on a hill at the center of the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, halfway between Bangkok and Pattaya on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. The 25,000 square meter-building has four floors, of which the two lower floors are occasionally being used for exhibitions and events, and the third floor comprises of a large banquet room and more gallery space. Floor four is made up of Vikrom’s private chambers, and on the rooftop there is an idyllic garden, another reception room, a swimming pool (without water) and a couple of battlement-style balconies with panoramic views over the adjacent golf course and the entire estate.

Each year, Amata Foundation in the castle holds a ceremony and awards a lifetime achievement prize to a writer and prizes to six young visual artists. The castle will eventually host a permanent museum for local works of art and literature and serve as a performing arts center.

“Vikrom wants to give back something to society after all his achievements, and our company would also like to express our hospitality towards visitors, artists and our clients” explains his brother Viboon.

“At the bank account, money is just a number. It is better to spend it for something real, something that can be touched and lasts,” he adds.

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

Amata Castle_Arno Maierbrugger

 

 

 

Do you like this post?
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