Back to Index
Queen Sri Bajarindra's Decoration

HM Queen Sri Bajarindra, The Queen Regent's enemelled pin

Surname grant from King Rama VI

King Vajiravudh granted the surname of Padmachinta to Luang Visal and his descendants on 16 July 1916.

Luang Visal with Princess Sirindhorn

Luang Visal Silpakarm with HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

Professor Luang Visal Silpakarm was born Chua Patamajinda on 2 February 1884 in Samut Prakarn, and was the grandson of Luang Prasitthi Artakarn, a Royal Arts and Crafts Master. He was married to Busarakam Tupvatana, and had 5 children. His eldest daughter, Samniang, married Vidya Bhiromhakdi, son of Praya Bhirom Bhakdi, the founder of the first brewery in Thailand. Luang Visal was probably the last great Thai Architect, and was bestowed the title of Luang for his contribution to traditional Thai architecture.

He was educated at the Tongsalangam Temple, and did some art studies. At 18, he was enrolled in the Department of Police, at a department that oversaw the Royal Grounds. During this time, he showed a keen interest in architecture and was involved in the building of the Merumas or Cremation Structure of Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis.

After spending time in the monkhood per the customs of Thai men in the past, Luang Visal went to work at the Arts Department and was involved in all kinds of crafts including screen-printing, works that involved the use of mother-of-pearls and ivory and was the head master leading his pupils to paint the walls of the Dusit Maha Prasart Throne Hall during the funeral of HM King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). During the reign of King Rama VI, the Arts Department became the Po Chang School, headed by HRH Prince Chudadhuj, and Luang Visal stayed on for 17 years. He first received the title of Kun then followed by Luang at this time. He then moved to several ministries that dealt with arts and architecture, as well as became a teacher of arts in many notable art schools around Thailand. His most famous works include the renovation of Chandra Kasem Palace (now the Ministry of Education), the design and building of the Science Building and Chakrabongse Building at Chulalongkorn University and many buildings at the Vajiravudh Academy, notable for its brilliant Thai architecture. He also designed the special tiles for use on the roof of the Language Department, Chulalongkorn University, which was a first by a Siamese. He also designed and built hundreds of temples, statues, buildings in Bangkok and around Thailand. Luang Visal spent some time as a teacher at Rajini School, the first school for girls set up by HM Queen Sri Bajarindra, and was awarded a pin with her initials in enamel. He was also awarded an Honourary Degree in Thai Arts, as well as notable Orders from the King of Thailand. In later times, he designed and built many buildings at the Ancient City complex, which was a place where all notable buildings around Thailand are gathered in one place. He also became a professor for HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who wrote a moving testimony in his remembrance book for his funeral. Luang Visal died on 16 March 1982, at the age of 98, having lived through 5 reigns of the Chakri Dynasty. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn attended the Royal Sponsored cremation ceremony on 24 March 1982 at (Wat) Tritosathep Temple.

Luang Visal's signed photo

Luang Visal Silpakarm's signed photo to his daughter, my grandmother, Khunying Samnieng Bhirombhakdi

Thai beers in 1935

A formal portrait of Luang Visal Silpakarm



The young Luang Visal, seated far right, and his peers at the Po Chang Art School, 1909
Luang Visal's id

Luang Visal's Teachers Council ID Card

Royal Decoration Royal Decoration Royal Decoration
Royal Decoration Royal Decoration Royal Decoration
The different Royal Decrees granting on Luang Visal Silpakam different Royal Decorations, signed by His Majesty King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) as well as King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)
Luang Visal's family
Luang Visal and his family. My paternal grandmother, Khunying Samnieng Bhirombhakdi, is seen standing second from right.
Silpakorn Degree SIlpakorn Degree
Luang Visal Silpakarm received an Honourary Degree in Thai Architecture from Silpakorn University on 23 September 1966
Some of Luang Visal's work
Luang Visal's drawing White Building at Vajiravudh College Luang Visal in action
White Building at Vajiravudh College Love this pic of him, in action, with cigarette in his mouth. Classic!
Chakrabongse Building at Chulalongkorn University Ho Com at Ancient City
Beautiful lines Chakrabongse Building at Chulalongkorn University Ho Com, Ancient City


Note: Kun, Luang, Pra and Praya are titles of the old Siamese Aristocracy no longer in used. For more information please visit the Aristocratic Titles Simplified section.





Home . Back to Aristocracy Index


Updated 7 March 2021