Neilson Hays Library to mark 101 year anniversary with celebration festival on June 11

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Bangkok’s Neilson Hays Library is hosting a one day festival to mark 101 years since its completion on June 11. There will be a variety of programs including a children’s story time special, a lecture on the building’s design innovations by recipient of the Silpathorn Award in Architecture, readings with an award- winning Thai-American author, an illuminated exhibition installation, and an intimate courtyard concert with acclaimed singer, Nop Ponchamni.

“Though books are now readily available online, libraries are significant spaces for community and we are proud to have been serving ours for over a century,” explains Nalin Vanasin, president of the Neilson Hays Library Association. “The Neilson Hays invites everyone to experience the space, materials, and programs directly during this once-in-a-century celebration honoring our heritage and embracing our future.”

In Story Time Special with guest storyteller and award-winning author, Christina Soontornvat, children of all ages are invited to join in our birthday celebrations with interactive readings from three of Soontornvat’s books, colorful craft activities, and cupcakes.

The lecture, Bastard Libraries and Chamber Secrets: Hybrid Architecture and Progressive Conservation by recipient of Silpathorn Award in Architecture, Chatpong Chuenrudeemol, will explore the building as an early example of architectural innovation that hybridizes Western design with context and climate- inspired engineering.

The session will end with a reimagining of a new ‘bastardized’ 21st-century conceptual design for the Neilson Hays.

The evening begins with an opening of the exhibition, Bangkok Chattana: Alchemy of Architecture and Narrative, which occupies one length of the Neilson Hays’ main hall.

This installation is based on the book of the same name by Thai-American young adults writer, Christina Soontornvat, and recreates its fictional city of Chattana—loosely based on Bangkok.

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