Official opening ceremony of the Embassy's new chancery building
On 28 March 2018, the Austrian Embassy celebrated the official grand opening of ist new Chancery building. The Director General for Administration at the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Amb. Dr. Michael Zimmermann, and the Ambassador of Austria in Thailand, Dr. Eva Hager, presented the state-of-the-art innovative building to approx. 300 guests including eminent personalities from Thai government, the business world, society and culture like NLA President Pornpetch Witchicholchai, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps as well as Austrians living and working in Thailand.
The Vienna-based architect Marlies Breuss from Holodeck Architects created a green building in the heart of Bangkok which brings together traditional Thai building techniques and materials like teak and laterite and blends them with Austrian technological innovations in a contemporary, futuristic design. This makes the Embassy building a symbiotic space which is a showcase of holistic and sustainable architecture with a high degree of energy-efficiency and comfort for its employees and visitors. At the same time it acts as a social, cultural and technological link between Austria the host state Thailand. The project was co-funded by the Internal Security Fund of the EU.
Open Air Kino 2018
The Austrian Embassy Bangkok co-hosted the Goethe-Institut Thailand's yearly outdoor movie festival "Open Air Kino" together with the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangkok. From 9 January until 27 February 2018, every Tuesday night at 7:30 PM, the Open Air Kino 2018 screened German-language quality films with Thai and English subtitles in the garden of the Goethe Institute free of admission.
Austria was represented at the opening night on 9 January 2018 with the experimental short movie "Absent" directed by Austrian animation film artist Nikki Schuster alongside with the Swiss short film "Offside" (Abseits) and the German feature film "Welcome to Germany" (Willkommen bei den Hartmanns). On 6 February 2018, the award-winning Austrian drama "The Best of All Worlds" (Die beste aller Welten) directed by Adrian Goiginger was shown - a true story of a drug-addicted mother, her child's adventurous world and their love for one another. The autobiographical movie tells the story of seven year old Adrian who is growing up in the underground drug scene of the Austrian city Salzburg. His mother Helga is torn between her heroin addiction and her love and dedication for her pre-teen son. Despite of these difficult circumstances Adrian who wants to become an adventurer has a happy childhood, the best of all worlds. Their relationship is tested to the limit when the authorities and child welfare services find out about Helga's addiction...
Kristallnacht Memorial Concert of Michael Tippett's "A Child of our Time"
The Opera Siam International and Embassies in Bangkok, including the Austrian Embassy and the Embassies of Israel and Germany, organized the Kristallnacht Memorial Concert of Michael Tippett's "A Child of Our Time" under the baton of Somtow Sucharitkul on Monday, 19 February 2018 at the Thailand Cultural Centre (Main Hall). The Salzburg-based mezzosopran Tamara Gura gave a powerful and moving performance in this musical piece which tells the events which led to Kristallnacht, the horrifying night that is considered to mark the beginning of the Holocaust. In the year 1938, the young Polish jew Herschel Grynszpan visited the German Embassy in Paris. He shot the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath. After an inflammatory speech by Joseph Goebbels, a famous Nazi and Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, the incident set off a night of pogroms, persecution, and flames which killed over 90,000 people and caused 30,000 Jews to be arrested and sent to concentration camps. 2018 is the 80th year since Kristallnacht as well as since the Anschluss, the incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany on 12 March 1938.
"Young Masters": Opening concert at the Austrian Embassy's new multi-purpose room
On 1 February 2018, five gifted young men of the "Young Masters" program gave the first concert of their Thailand tour at the Austrian Embassy Bangkok’s new multi-purpose event room. The concert marked the opening of this modern venue to a wider public. The five Young Masters Maxim Tzekov (violin), Fabian Köhring (flute), Linus Köhring (viola, composition), Severin Neubauer (saxophone) and Severin Hechwartner (vibraphone)played pieces of Beethoven, Preinfalk, Rolla, Piazolla, Corelli and two own compositions.
The “Young Masters” is a program to promote exceptionally talented young Austrian musicians which has been successfully run by the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and the Johann Sebastian Bach Music School for over ten years. In the first week of February, five of the altogehter fifteen Young Masters were on a concert tour in Thailand, which was organized and sponsored by College of Music, Mahidol University together with the Austrian Embassy Bangkok, and with the support of the Goethe-Institute Thailand, Sala Sudasiri Sobha concert hall, the Greek Embassy and Yamaha. The chamber ensemble of the Young Masters gave concerts featuring classical and contemporary music at different venues in Bangkok between 1-6 February 2018.
ASA Finissage: Contemplative Dialogues Workshop
On 20 December 2017, Ambassador Dr Eva HAGER participated in the closing session of the “Contemplative Dialogues Workshop” Exhibition at the headoffice of The Association of Siamese Architects Under Royal Patronage (ASA). The workshop was a project between the Association, 23 students in the field of architecture from various Thai Universities and the Austrian Embassy Bangkok. The new Embassy building in Bangkok had been designed by Austrian architect Marlies Breuss (HOLODECK Architects) with the explicit aim to fuse contemporary innovative design with the value of traditional knowledge. To this aim, the potential of traditional local materials as well as of sustainable Thai building methods was re-discovered and employed to maximize resource management and meet difficult climate conditions. Visiting and learning about this project was the spring-board for unusual research activities of the students with the objective to discover, outside Bangkok, traditional materials and local building methods and their possible added value for contemporary innovative architecture and design. As a result, the students projected 24 solutions which – if further developed – could fill sustainability gaps in contemporary construction. The results of the workshop are documented in a colourful and inspiring catalogue which was also presented at this event.
Lunch on Thai-Austrian cooperation in the educational sector with a focus on TVET
On 31 October 2017, the Austrian Ambassador Dr. Eva HAGER hosted a luncheon in The Mandarin Oriental's Le Normandie restaurant to explore and discuss possibilities of further cooperation between Austria and Thailand in the field of technical vocational education and training (TVET). For the Thai-Austrian Technical College (TATC) Sattahip, a vocational education school in Chonburi Province founded in the 1970s which represents the most long-standing and successful cooperation project between Austria and the Kingdom of Thailand, Director Mr. Wichai Hanplachai, former Director Mr. Vatcharin Siripanich and Mr. Pichate Meemangkhang joined the meeting. The TATC started an educational course for railway technology which has been supported by Austria through the provision of teacher training as well as know-how transfer; the railway curriculum was initiated with the support of EABC and financed by the European Union. An extension of the curriculum to railway and aircraft maintenance is envisaged.
Other participants in the luncheon were Ms. Judith Schildberger, First Secretary of the Austrian Embassy Bangkok, Mr. Günther Sucher, Commercial Counsellor, Mr. Georg Wolff, Austrian board member of the European Association for Business and Commerce (EABC), Prof. Heike Früwirth from the University of Biberach in Germany, and Dr. Clemens Grünbühel from Stockholm Environment Institute, both working in Bangkok at the moment.