Thai traditional House :)

July 11, 2010

here we go,  my first house style is Thai traditional house which is my hometown country.

Even though, nowadays, it’s hardly able to find this kind of house in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, because of the civilzation, i think this house can represent the culture, behavior, weather and lifestyle of traditional Thai people thoroughly. 

here’s a great article about Thai style housing form that i’ve read it and think it’s the pretty complete information.

“The single-story, elevated wooden house is generally considered to be the template of the traditional Thai home.

The kind of wood used depends largely on your means, though increasingly it also depends on how much of that wood remains in Thailand’s blighted forests.

The resilient teakwood is the best, though redwood is also used. The wood is sometimes protected by oiling, seldom by paint. Simpler houses use readily available materials: bamboo, palm leaves, rattan, and twigs. Palm-leaf roofs have given way to ceramic tiles or galvanized metal.

Elevating the houses makes them cooler, keeps them well above floodwaters and rain-soaked ground (hence they are often called “amphibious houses”), and also keeps them out of reach of dangerous animals like snakes.

The space below the houses has its uses: it can provide storage of a harvest, livestock, and various tools, e.g. ploughs and looms. In the hot season, it also provides a cooler place to work or play.

A distinctive characteristic of the old Thai house is its modularity. As it is held together using no nails – wooden dowels and dovetailing planks serve instead – it can be taken apart in a day’s time. The pieces can then be stacked on a boat, moved elsewhere, and reassembled.

Thai houses tend to grow organically. In the old days, houses were congregations of separate units connected by walkways. As families grew, more units were added. In this way, as children were married off, the new couple could have some privacy, but also be around to care for elders. Now, two houses are often side by side and then connected by a verandah, as in the “duplex” huan kahlae of the North.

Thailand is roughly divided into four regions: north, south, central, and northeast. Each region’s houses have their defining characteristics. The bargeboards of northern houses cross at the apex to form kahlae, wing-like structures that ward off evil spirits or indicate the houseowners’ social status. Central and northeastern houses tend to be raised higher than northern and southern. But in the south, posts tend not to be hammered into the ground, but set in a foundation, so that when the monsoons come the posts do not shift in the rain-softened ground. In the north, meanwhile, houses tend to have smaller windows, because of the cooler climate.

Kahlae are not the only ornamentation. Bargeboards are often curled at their ends, apparently in imitation of the nagas (serpents) making up the bargeboards of Khmer-influenced Thai temples. Panels carved in Chinese designs appear under windows and over doors. But such ornamentation is generally a privilege of the wealthier classes.

Thai domestic architecture has other “spiritual” components. Thresholds of Thai houses tend to be raised to prevent evil spirits from entering the house at night. (The high threshold also prevents small children from tumbling into the canal by day.) Thai houses are supposed to be oriented north-south for good luck (and so that they benefit from north-south breezes.) Fitted to the lintel of the bedroom in a northern-style house is a carved piece of wood known as ham yon, or “magic testicles”, also meant to guard against evil spirits.

The most famous traditional Thai house was “recycled” in this manner: the Jim Thompson house in Bangkok. Now open to visitors, the house was built in 1959 using houses from Central Thailand for use by Thompson, an American who gained wealth through the production of Thai silk. (He also gained renown by disappearing during an ill-fated junket.)”



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