Architectural Digest, the most respected magazine covering global architecture, included Bangkok’s iconic Elephant Building in its list of the 24 ugliest skyscrapers in the world last week, alongside Trump Tower.
The article, written by the magazine’s associate editor Nick Mafi, described the Bangkok landmark by saying, “while playful in design, the structure does little to push the integrity of Thai architecture.”
In their description, the magazine also does little to credit Ong-at Sattraphan, Thailand’s national artist and the architect of the Elephant Building, but instead said the landmark was created by another famous architect, Sumet Jumsai.
Dudesweet, a famous party organizer, shared the article on its popular Facebook page and said what every Thai is thinking: “How dare you!”
For children that grew up in the in 90s, this was the only building they excitedly pointed at as their parents drove past Ratchada — “Mommy, that building looks like an elephant, our national animal!” — as they spent minutes figuring out which blocks made the elephant’s legs and tusk in the congested traffic.
Obviously, some expats also have fond memories of the Elephant Building, like Ben Lepp, an English teacher who even lived there three years ago.
“I loved living there. The back leg is where the apartments are, allowing complete privacy from the street sounds. The roof is a wonderland of exploration. Plus, the swimming pool was under the elephant’s penis.”
So…the water could be construed as an interpretation of…pee?
The magazine also includes an awesome fish-shaped building in Hyderabad, India, which is the office of the National Fisheries Development Board. It’s a fish building for a fish organization — how is that uncool?
It’s alright, folks. This seems like a matter of taste. In 2013, the Elephant Building was named one of the greatest skyscrapers by CNN, and we’ll find peace with that.