Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Some Concepts in Modern Thai Architecture

The word concept is a weighty and pretentious one that often invites obtuse and technical comment that leaves the layman baffled. Architecture can be very philosophical and abstract despite being a discipline that everyone is exposed to and influenced by.

Thus in this blog I don't intend to blind the reader with difficult terms and bore you with discussions of the relationships between architectural forms and society. Instead I will post a few pictures of buildings that I consider to be 'conceptual'. And by this I mean the opposite of 'generic'. The buildings are original in their design. They have an idea behind them; they are not merely re-workings of tried and tested formulas. Rather they display imagination and a desire to interact creatively with the environment.

So much of recent building in Thailand conforms to certain trends. Either it is the minimal look of 'modern tropical' or it is a re-hash of certain characteristics found in traditional Thai architecture. Or it is pure ugly and cheap functionality that is achieved. This is a great pity because there is an enormous wealth of great locations in Thailand, and an undoubted wealth of architectural talent.

So I hope you enjoy the following images, and like me can grasp the idea behind the structure.

(The comments for the photos are posted below the pictures.)

A wrap around balcony on a 'D' shaped house.

A tree house based design.

A playful variation on the multiple roof style found in Thai architecture.

A round house on a cliff edge that vaguely resembles a lighthouse.

A modern and striking restaurant using wooden posts instead of just glass and steel.

This nightclub turned out to be a failed business venture but the building is noteworthy.

This reminds me of the Pompidou Center in Paris.

An elegant interpretation of Chinese ideas of architecture.

Using the Thai idea of roofs at each of the cardinal points to make a star shape.

This is a gym. The simple glass and steel structure provides those working out an excellent view.

I'm not sure if I like this house. The roof is made from cheap materials; but it's certainly original.

This standard designed is made attractive by the upward sweep of the entrance roof.

This house sits perfectly on it's cliff- top perch. The 3 'turrets' maximize the views.

A modern and cool look created by the use of curves.

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