Community at the Heart of Cultural Heritage Management

Year of publication: 2016


The Community Architects Network (CAN) publication Community Voices: Preserving the Local Heritage examines different community-centered projects across Asia looking to safeguard people, places and public spaces. These projects aim to improve people's living conditions while simultaneously preserving history, identity and the dignity of local residents.

Openspace contributed a chapter entitled “Community at the Heart of Cultural Heritage Management” on the renovation of the Dancing House in Nang Lerng, Bangkok. This 80 year old house is rich in local history and its renovation into a community space through participatory processes engendered the engagement of the entire community. Our chapter illustrates how renovation of old structures, especially in the old town in Bangkok, must not only aim to preserve the heritage of the high social classes or the royal family, but must also look to safeguard the stories of ordinary people.