Of all the beautiful colonial-style buildings they came across in Yangon, the one they admired the most was the residence of the Thai ambassador, describing it as the epitome of architectural conservation.
On their return, these same architects nominated the Thai residence to the Association of Siamese Architects for the prestigious Historical and Architectural Conservation Award. And in May, the association officially announced the residence as the winner.
The awards presentation was held recently and presided over by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, with Norachit Sinhaseni, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, receiving the award on the behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He says the ASA picked the building for the award because of its architectural and historical value.
"Members of the judging panel were actually in Yangon on a completely different mission. While there, they were invited for dinner at the residence and discovered the beauty of the place. They found the building was quite old and well taken care of. On their return, they nominated the building to the association," Dr Vasu says.
The Tudor-style building that was to become the Thai ambassador's residence was originally owned by EM De Souza, a Portuguese-English businessman who purchased this house in 1902. Souza was a renowned importer of medicine during the colonial period where he operated a pharmacy at the De Souza building on Mahabanddoola Road just west of the Sule Pagoda.
The Thai government purchased this property as the residence of the Thai ambassador in 1948 when diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Thailand were established.
Source: The Nation