Plans to renovate the century-old mansion known as the Standard Chartered Bank House were announced by Governor Norraphat Plodthong at a meeting with Vice Governor Thawornwat Kongkaew and relevant officials at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Jan 5).
According to Gov Norraphat, renovation plans include both outdoor and indoor works aimed at reaching three specific objectives.
“The three objectives of the Standard Chartered Bank House renovation are as follows: 1. To use the buiding as a place to welcome important visitors. 2. To turn it into a historical tourism destination. 3. To make it a place for tourists to enjoy and relax,” Gov Norraphat explained.
The living room of the Sino-Portuguese house will be turned into a “historical and local life multimedia room”, while the outdoor area will become a place for people to take photos and enjoy the beaty of Phuket's architecture.
“The Phuket office of the Treasury Department have already received funds to renovate the Standard Chartered Bank House in 2018 budget year, but the money are sufficient for only some fundamental work. Today's meeting is aimed at seeking additional funds for further renovation. The plans for the first stage of the renovation shall be designed by Jan 15. Architects have to survey the Standard Chartered Bank House building (both inside and outside) by this date and propose an estimated budget,” Gov Norraphat said.
The Standard Chartered Bank was the first foreign bank permitted to operate in Phuket. The Phuket branch opened in early 1900s. An eye-catching Sino-Portuguese building was erected on Phuket Rd for the branch's offce and a separate house was build on Damrong Rd. for the manager. Since 2012 the main building is home to Phuket Peranakan Museum (officially called the “Chalermraj Center”). The manager's house hasn't been put to any use so far.