Friday, 15 May 2009


Columns in Thailand are things to be shown. From the traditional wooden 'stilt houses' through to modern family homes, villas, shops and commercial buildings architects in Thailand continue to make a feature of columns. Whether the columns are integral to the structure of the building or are just embellishments columns are key features in the overall look of a building. In many ways they set the tone of the building. They provide the key vertical elements of a building. Often there is an entrance gate to a building and the columns to the entrance also become a key feature in the aesthetics of the whole site.

Columns were traditionally made of wood. Houses would be raised off the ground with columns or stilts to create space under the house. The reasons for raising the house are manifold. To provide protection from flooding; to put some distance between the inhabitants and the potentially hazardous jungle floor; to create a space for livestock and agricultural produce; and to facilitate building on slopped or uneven ground.

As seen in the example pictures below, columns are often decorated. They are painted with pictures in Chinese temples. They are cladded with wood. They are shaped. They are linked with curving arches. And they are tiled.

Because balconies are important living spaces and key features in Thai architecture, the columns supporting the balcony covering are often prominent. Moreover, since Thai buildings are often without walls, the columns often become more prominent.

Thus columns are fundamental to Thai architecture. They hold the house up and are key components to the aesthetics of a building.

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