Friday, November 28, 2008

Roofs (Thai Architecture Elements Series)

These little books are published to make available unused images from Nithi Stapitanonda's book Architecture of Thailand (2006.) In each he focuses on one or two architectural elements with images and some text, this one is divided by roof type. I'd like to get copies of "Surfaces" and "Colors." There are also volumes entitled "Stairs & Railings," "Statuary," and "Gates & Fences." (Update: See also Doors & Windows, Surfaces, and Colors.)

Some notes from the text regarding pattern recognition:

Tiered roofs
-visually reduce the mass of a large-scale building, making it look slimmer and more buoant
-reflect the status of the building: more tiers=higher significance of building, owner, or dwellers
-high, vertical layering implies faith in Buddhism or the King

-in the North, where it is cooler, eaves reach down to cover the windows. "Ka Lae" are crossed pieces of wood at teh gable-top to give good fortune, and "Ka Ko" are carved pieces covering the end of purlins.
-in the Southern region with heavy rains and winds, houses on stilts are not as high as those in Central and Northern Thailand, and have a higher pitch to facilitate drainage
-Northeastern style roofs are of the lowest pitch due to dry climate & low rainfall

Multi-tiered (like wedding cake-cone form, spire)
-based on belief related to the mythical Sumeru Mountain...highest rank of roof.

Gable & Hipped
-enable good rainwater drainage and air ventilation
-builders prefer to use small roof tiles on high pitch roof planes
-tiles placed so as to make a border on each roof plane help to make the roof appear light and buoyant

Roof Elements
-Cho Fa, gable-top decoration made in bird-beak shape or fish-lip shape
-Khrueang Lamyong, gable eaves & tile end covers
-Hang Hong, gable end decorations made in the shape of Nage heads placed in a row
-Thais consider it inappropriate to decorate common buildings to be as or more elaborate than temples and palaces.

Doors & Windows (Thai Architecture Elements Series)

These little books are published to make available unused images from Nithi Stapitanonda's book Architecture of Thailand (2006.) In each he focuses on one or two architectural elements with images and some text, divided by region. See also Roofs, Surfaces, and Colors.

Some notes from the text regarding pattern recognition:

-"with windows and doors, the most common material is wood, because it is easy to work, light-weight, strong, and has good weight bearing capacity and tensile strength."
-Thai doors always open inward (and it looks like windows most often open outward.)
-spiritual themes (to ward off evil spirits, etc.) are often incorporated in woodwork on traditional doors to designate the separation between the inside & outside.

There are lots of fantastic pictures of walls & wall openings, and I wanted to note these two temples in the north (Lanna architecture) that have solid masonry bases with punched openings and wood on top:
Wat Phra That Lampang Luang.Wat Ton Kwen

Sunday, November 23, 2008

images from a bike ride on campus...

There are a lot of trees on campus (Mahidol University, Salaya) making pictures of the buildings a little challenging to acquire. These are pictures from a bike ride this evening...just some buildings that have caught my eye. This campus was founded in 1990 or so, and there have been many buildings that have gone up recently as well. The above is a good example of vertical concrete sun-shading that you see on a lot of buildings here. Below is a brand-new building with a faux-brick base, and an open ground story. (I showed another portion of it here.)
I really like the look of exterior tiles as cladding, but am not sure about their durability. I've seen them on a lot of older facades from the 60's here...and they weather really well. These were cemented on, and clearly have issues...Some more tiles from the dorms that look a little better...(red & grey)
Those are also tiles up above (white,) and still look fantastic. I think this was one of the original buildings.More tan tiles, again with problems. (sad...they are so pretty.) It looks like they hold up better nearer to the ground...perhaps because of rain & wind on the top storys?

A building under construction next to the new music looks like another music building. Interesting materials...a couple of different kinds of wood. These window "flaps" are on the Eastern side of North-facing windows. The stairs make me nervous every time I pass this building.These are South-East facing windows on a Southern exposure...the balconies are really interesting.
Speaking of roofs...

And here is the recently-completed concrete mega-structure known as the music school.
This is a nice moment where the different materials & levels come together @ the turn of a ramp. Tiles again.some punched openings...and I'm facinated by the grass...and I'm not sure if the zigzag is supposed to be a reference to happens in a few other places on the building.
We came upon this concert...another mono-pitch roof!nextdoor is this...I suppose you could point to it as an example of how wood weathers, but I should talk to someone about what the upkeep of it is.

concrete sunshading...
this is the temporary cafeteria made up in the former basketball courts. It's actually 100x nicer than the old cafeteria.
"skylights" from translucent roof panels.

These fans blow cold air out from little tubes affixed to the front of the fan...nice.And there you have it! Thanks for joining me. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Church, Bang Bua Thong

We go to a Thai church in Bang Bua Thong (outside of Bangkok) that rents 3 adjacent shophouses. They run a daycare during the week, and the pastor's family lives on the top floor. (I'm not sure what's going on there with the lack of window on the top floor, far left.) The owners of the building have gotten foreclosed on, so the congregation has been looking for a new space. They decided to build a new building not too far away, which is being funded by the mother-church in Bangkok. I love that it's orange, which makes it easy to point out to taxi drivers!
This is a little oasis of living things just outside the front door...very little space, but enough to add some greenery and fish!
This is the mother-church in Bangkok---the architecture of which is greatly admired by the pastor.
The main floor, used for daycare, church dining hall, meetings, etc. It is 2 shophouse modules, and the partition over the front makes for an interesting feeling in the space. The kitchen is in the back (a narrow sliver between the building and property wall that has been roofed over.) Bathrooms are under the stairs. I think I must have inherited my propensity to stick things to the walls around me from my Thai side. At the very minimum, most Thai buildings feature pictures of the King.
Here is the same space later (looking from the other corner,) when everyone came down to eat:
A classroom off to the side...sorry for the blurriness.
There is a mezzanine between the ground level and the sanctuary level.
This is the sanctuary; it is the only air-conditioned space in the building. It takes up the front of all three modules.
Outside the sanctuary, the stairs lead up to the pastor's living quarters.
Some drawings of the new church building. It will be similar to the current one in that the daycare and meeting space will be on the ground level, and sanctuary/pastor's quarters will be above.
Here is our pastor with one of his sons. There is a church building on his tie, which was appropriate as he had a meeting today about the new building. The congregation seems excited about the change, and really enjoy looking at the drawings.
The view out the front door...some sun-shading, ventilation.