Monday, 6 April 2009

Balconies in Thailand

Balconies in Thai buildings are very important because Thailand has a very hot and humid climate. It is often preferable to be outside rather than in. It is a communal space where people gather to socialize, eat and drink. A stunning balcony can often be one of the main "tricks" of a house. It sells a certain life-style.

Balconies are found in a variety of places on a house. Traditionally the balcony is often on the front of the building, incorporated into the main entrance of the house. This works well because Thai houses are usually raised off the ground, thus providing elevation for the front balcony.

Naturally a balcony is an ideal way to make the most of a spectacular view.

Balustrading is an important way to add ornamental beauty to a balcony. Often the balustrading incorporates wooden seating. Another nice touch is to use potted plants on the balcony to bring a "natural" feel into the house. The floor of the balcony is normally tiled or wooden.

To create shade and protection from the sun a covered balcony is preferable.

In terms of modern tropical design, balconies and decking are important architectural features which can be used to break down the distinction between 'in door' and 'out door'. Thus creating an organic unity between the inside and outside of a building.

The first four pictures are of Sri Achala House in Koh Phangan. The designer has gone for the daring option of a curved balcony that wraps around the front of the villa to truly capitalize on the sea views, and create a unique look to the house. The pictures clearly show how folding glass doors leading onto the balcony can really 'open up' the indoor space and create an uninterrupted flow between the inside and out of the building.

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