Missionary Museum (Phrae)

Programme Category: Archaeology
Type: Restoration/Training/Workshop
Date: October 2011 – September 2012
Venue: Thailand


As a follow-up to the Community-based Architectural Heritage Preservation project in 2009-2011, this proposed project will assist the Phrae Christian Hospital in restoring a 100-year old building, and setting up a museum, using the funding from the Foundation of the Church of Christ in Thailand (FCCT).  During the process, the building site will be used as a case study on architectural restoration and exhibition design for the region.  It is expected that the restoration project can be submitted to the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation.

Background Information

During the implementation of the Community-based Architectural Heritage Preservation Project in Phrae, Thailand, in 2009-2011, an old missionary house located in the Phrae Christian Hospital became known to those involved in the project.  The house was built by Presbyterian missionaries who settled in Phrae in the early 20th Century, and served as one of the stations in north Thailand for the missionaries.  The house is estimated to be 100 years old, and its architectural style is different from other old buildings in the province; it was built in an American colonial style mixed with local traditional style.  It is believed that the house was constructed by Chinese builders as there were Chinese writings on many pieces of timbers.  The Director of the Phrae Christian Hospital requested SPAFA to help develop a conservation plan to restore the house, and to turn it into a museum.  At present, the Foundation of the Church of Christ in Thailand has approved the decision, and asked SPAFA to assist them with the restoration and the museum project.


  1. To assist the Phrae Christian hospital in restoring the old missionary house, and establishing a community museum and management plan for the museum
  2. To develop the museum as a learning centre on local history and on the Presbyterian mission
  3. To allow students of Southeast Asian architecture and design to take part in the workshops relating to exhibition design and building restoration, using the Missionary house as a case study
  4. To engage the local community in the preservation process


Target group/Beneficiaries

The local community in Phrae, especially the Christian community, will directly benefit from the project while others, including architecture and design students in the region will have an opportunity to learn from the project.



The project will consist of the following:

  1.  Restoration of the building
  2.  A community consultation process regarding exhibition design and museum management which will consist of a number of meetings.  Targets include hospital staff and school children.
  3.  An exhibition design workshop and a building restoration workshop for students of Southeast Asian design and architecture
  4.  Training activities on museum management and collections care to be carried out by Thai experts and experts from the region.
  5.  A follow-up process to ensure the sustainability of the project


  1. Restored building
  2. Training activities for the community
  3. Workshops for design and architecture students from the region
  4. The Missionary Museum


  1. The Christian community will be able to manage the museum and the collections.
  2. There will be a sharing of knowledge between regional experts, students, and the community.
  3. The museum will become a learning centre for Thailand and the region on the history of the Christian Presbyterian mission.

Post-Activity Report

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