Thai House and Villa Design
Thai houses are immediately identifiable by their unique design. The traditional Thai house has evolved over the centuries to fit harmoniously into the environment, whilst exploiting a number of specific techniques to ensure maximum comfort for residents and guests.
You will often see a red clay pot in front of houses in Thailand, usually with a coconut-shell ladle. This is a recognized symbol of Thai hospitality, providing fresh water for thirsty or weary travellers. The much larger clay pots are used for collecting rainwater from the roof of the house for storage and consumption during the hot and dry summer months.
The Roof of the Thai House
Perhaps the most iconic feature of a Thai villa is its roof: this is generally steeply pitched to allow not only the the best protection from rain storms, but also to channel heat up and out of the main living areas of the house. In addition to these practical elements, some Thais also believe that the sharp angles of the roof inhibit evil spirits from gaining entry to the property.
Traditional roofing materials include terracotta tiles that breathe to help keep the home cool, and that are resilient to the strong sun and heavy rains. These are the tiles used at your Thailand holiday villa Green Gecko. Wooden shingles were also commonly used, but are found less often nowadays as they present a fire risk, are less durable and are not as environmentally friendly.
Thai Houses: Form and Purpose
Houses in Thailand have generally been built raised high above the ground in the time-tested manner: this allows maximum cooling from any prevailing winds and ensures better views of the surrounding property. Historically, the lower (ground) level of Thai houses have been used to keep livestock such as water buffalo safe, and to welcome visitors. Added advantages of houses raised on stilts in such a way include protection from possible flooding and a natural barrier to wildlife.
The Thai Spirit House
Another common feature of Thai properties (be these residential houses, commercial properties, official offices, Thai vacation rentals etc) is the Spirit House. This miniature reproduction of a traditional house generally stands on a single pole erected in an auspicious position near the entrance to the property. The spirit house provides accommodation for spirits near the property, not only encouraging them to remain out of the home itself but also providing them with shelter from which to protect the residents. Offerings will often be made to the resident spirits in these houses. It is believed that the spirit house evolved over time within Thai folklore, and whilst originally rooted in animist belief systems, the adoption of Buddhism intertwined into those systems this religion's rich legends of ghosts.
Moving House in Thailand
One fascinating aspect of original Thai houses was their construction and completion without the use of nails. This enabled owners, in more nomadic times, to quite literally "up and move house", simply disassembling the wooden sections of the house prior to relocating it.