expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

14 October 2009

The Pavilion of Thailand

The Thai pavilion at Expo 67 was a marvel of classic Eastern architecture. Located on Île Notre Dame, Thailand sought to present an image of traditional grace and refinement, in an atmosphere of oriental beauty.

The pavilion's 2 seperate buildings, clearly illustrated by this artist's conception.

Thailand's participation at Expo 67 was composed of 2 main structures:

The first was a replica of an ornate 18th century Buddhist shrine. A pagoda-like roof was covered in gilded tiles and crowned by a tall, delicate spire. Each tile had a tiny bell suspended from it, meant to tinkle in the breeze and ward of evil spirits.

Thailand's 18th century Buddhist temple.

Inside the shrine, the atmosphere was tranquil. Tall, stained glass windows were flanked by sumptuous red draperies. Religious items, temple furniture, traditional costumes and statues were on display in this area. A magnificent altar of carved wood, adorned by precious stones, was located towards the rear of the shrine. Large pewter vases on the altar held 2 elephant tusks forming an arch from which was suspended a brass gong.

Long lineups to enter the Buddhist shrine were frequent.

The second structure of the pavilion was also of traditional architecture, yet considerably larger than the former. It housed a long hall under its gabled roof, flanked on each end by smaller versions of the intricate Buddhist shrine top. As with the temple, red, green and blue lacquer adorned the exterior, with motifs inspired by mythological symbols.

A closer look at the Thai pavilion's ornate exterior.

Despite the traditional outward appearance, the second building's interior was a tribute to modern Thailand. Remarkable works of craftsmanship were on display: decorative objects such as world-renowned Thai ceramics and porcelains, bronze and silverware, exquisite silks, teak furniture, figurines and costumed dolls, as well as exotic jewelry and precious gems.

Thai ceramics, considered some of the world's finest.

An area devoted to export products showed different kinds of rice, tapioca and corn, as well as samples of rubber, minerals, and forest products.

The pavilion's boutique offered visitors handmade jewelry, traditional dolls, ceramics, and a vast assortment of lavish Thai silks.

A Royal Barge was on display outside the pavilion.

In an adjacent pool outside the pavilion floated a replica of a Royal Barge. These vessels were traditionally used in processions of royal and religious significance.

The Thai pavilion, as photographed by Lillian Seymour.

Michèle Richard, posing in front of the Thai pavilion.

A night view of the Thai pavilion.

The Thai pavilion at Expo 67 glowed during the day and glittered at night.

images: (1-2) flickr.com
(3-5-7) Bill Dutfield
(4) gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com
(6-11) personal collection
(9-10) the Lillian Seymour collection
(12-13) courtesy DC Hillier



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason! Your entries are always most interesting and well done. Snowball

8:45 am  
Blogger jason67 said...

Thanks, Snowball! I'll try to post more regularly... :-)

8:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This pavilion was first used at the 63 world's fair if i well remember. It was still there for Man and his world?

5:58 pm  
Blogger jason67 said...

The pavilion was indeed used at the 1964/65 New York World's Fair. It was dismantled and used in Montreal for Expo 67.

I'll be writing about that in a future post...

7:42 am  

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