Transmission of Modest Buildings with Cultural Significance: Case Study of Tai Dam’s Houses in U-Thong District, Suphanburi Province

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Poomchai Punpairoj


The tortoise-shape houses are among the most prominent cultural identities of Tai Dam, an ethnic groupinhabiting in the river basin of Thailand. These houses are sometimes replicated or reproduced to demonstratethe past in traditional lifestyles of Tai Dam people. Various houses and granaries have been developed after theperiod of the tortoise-shape houses and still exist in Tai Dam communities. These Tai Dam’s houses integratedtraditional Tai Dam’s culture with Thai’s influence. At present, these houses with cultural significance areneglected or dismantled. The purpose of this research is to study the Tai Dam’s houses, which have beenevolved from tortoise-shape houses, with plural ethnic identity. The results of the research are useful for betterunderstanding of the dynamic nature of vernacular architecture. The study areas are in Sra-Yai-Som Tambonand vicinities in U-thong District, Suphanburi Province. Research methods include review of vernacular studiesand in-depth surveys. The finding reveals that building form and architectural elements have been developedinto 4 groups during the period of assimilation: 1) Tortoise-shaped houses with short cantilevered roof; 2) Gableroofhouse with traditional bamboo construction; 3) Gable-roof house with timber construction; and 4) Hip-roof(Panya style) house with timber construction. Architectural elements with minimum alteration are cruck-framecolumns and long cantilevered beams.


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