Thai pavilion rendering

Thai Pavilion and Garden at Olbrich Gardens


Photo of Thai Pavilion

Artisans from Thailand work on Olbrich's Thai Pavilion and Garden. (Photo: Michael Forster Rothbart)

Photo of Thai students helping at Thai Pavilion site

Some of the university's Thai students help stack roof tiles. Visitors were invited to sign their names on the backs of the tiles that now cover the roof of the pavilion. "A roof is a symbol of safety and protection. It's a way to demonstrate our commitment to the values of international friendship and peace, which form the foundation of this building," says Kim Santiago, director of international relations for the Wisconsin Alumni Association. (Photo: Michael Forster Rothbart)

Photo of painter on Thai Pavilion roof

Atop the pavilion, an artisan paints roof trim. (Photo: Michael Forster Rothbart)

Photo of Thai Pavilion woodwork detail

Handpainted woodwork highlights the painstakingly reassembled pavilion. (Photo: Michael Forster Rothbart)

The gold-leaf painters demonstrated their art to visitors Sept. 22. At a ceremony marking the beginning of the structure's reassembly, celebrants tie a ribbon around the first column to be raised in construction. From left: Kim Santiago, Wisconsin Alumni Association director of international relations, Pongsak Payakvichien, president of WAA's Thai chapter, and artisan Somchai Satsuphap. The traditional ceremony, known as "Yok Sao Eak," which means "stand up the first pillar," was held Sept. 13. (Photo: Michael Forster Rothbart)


Photo of the groundbreaking ceremony

Pongsak Payakvichien, President of the Thai chapter of WAA (L) and artisan Somchai Satsuphap (2nd from L) lead a groundbreaking ceremony for the Thai Pavilion under construction at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The traditional ceremony is called Yok Sao Eak, which translates as "Stand Up the First Pillar".


Photo of detailed painting process

Thai architect Kokiart Thongphud demonstrates the fourth step in the painstaking 9-step process to create the gold leaf decorations on the columns of the Thai Pavilion under construction at Olbrich Botanical Gradens. (Photo: Michael Forster Rothbart)

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