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ARCHITECTURE OF THAILAND

Group 3

Introduction

Thailand
(Ratcha Anachak Thai or Prathet Thai) officially the

KINGDOM OF THAILAND and formerly known as

SIAM

Thailand
The country is a kingdom with most recorded reigns

in the world. A constitutional monarch with King Rama IX. The King is officially titled Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the defender of all Faiths. It is the worlds 50th largest country and the 21st most populous country

Bangkok is the largest city, the capital, which is also the countrys center of political, commercial,

industrial and cultural activities 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% Chinese origin and 3% is ethnically Malay, and the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers, and various hill tribes. Thai is the official language. Buddhism is the primary religion.

Etymology:
Siam
identified with the Sanskrit syama meaning dark

or brown

Thai
derived from Tai meaning freedom

Prathet Thai or Mueang Thai or simply Thai. Mueang


nation

Ratcha Anachak Thai


Kingdom of Thai

Ratcha
from Sanskrit Raja meaning king, royal, realm

Ana from Pali


authority, command, power

Chak
from Sanskrit cakra or cakram meaning wheel.

INFLUENCES
Geographical
is bordered on the north and

Geological

west by Burma and on the North-east and east by Laos and Camboadia.

Rich in durable and decorative

timbers teak and ebony, suitable for all types of construction work. Brick, stone was little used, except for foundations and during the years of Khmer influence.

Climate
Is Tropical, with monsoon rains and winds.

Historical
6th century, the Mon people from Lower Burma,

imposed their authority over what is now central Thailand and founded the kingdom of Dvaravati. 11th century, the Khmers annexed Dvaravati and their influenced become paramount in central Thailand. Thai Syam migrants from southwest China, established a semi-independent state with its capital Chiengsen. A gradual fusion of Mons and Thais led to infiltrations southwards.

13th century, expulsion of Khmers and the creation and consolidation of the Kingdom of Sukhothai.

14th century, Ayudhya became the capital.


1767, the city destined to be renowed throughout the Indo-Chinese world for wealth and luxury was

destroyed by Burma into Siam. 1555, Ayudhya had falled into Burmese hands. Foreign domination has always been short-lived and, apart from the Japanese occupation during the Second World War

Thailand remains unique among the countries in South-East Asia in maintaining a considerable measure of independence throughout her national history. Thailand

had managed to evade colonialist occupation by the European countries. 1782, Bangkok was founded to take place of Ayudhya. Buddhism came via Ceylon and Burma. Superimposed upon the indigenous animism.

Architectural Character

1). Dvaravati Period


Central Thailand
characterized by Burman Buddhist Forms

(16th Century)

no archl remains, except for fragments of foundations w/c

give some idea of the plan Nakhon Pathom-earliest known capital Constructed of brick and stone-limestones/ quartsize, these plinths, w/ mouldings similar to those of Buddhist structure from Ceylon to north India of the 1st millennium have granite bases w/ mortise holes for pillars w/c must have supported timber superstructures.

DVARAVATI PERIOD
Ex. The Wheel of the Law-Buddha's first sermon in the deer park at Benares

Nakhon Pathom
earliest known capital-30

miles west of Bangkok With its enormous stupanearly four hundred feet high, the highest in Asiacovered with orangeyellow Chinese tiles, it is still an important place of pil-grimage and a site of great beauty. It is here that the earliest Mon inscriptions have been found. And it is in the region of Nakon Pathom, in a ruined temple covered by the jungle, that our Buddha is said to have been discovered.

DVARAVATI PERIOD
EX. Famous monumental

quartzite sculpture of the Buddha


seated in European fashion -

that is now the main icon of a temple at Nakon Pathom originally came from the Wat Pra Men and is probably of the ninth or tenth century, the same period as our bronze. There once were four of these statues adorning the central niches of the outer wall fronts and facing the four cardinal points.

DVARAVATI PERIOD
Fig. 1. Buddha from Wat Khoy. Stone, Mon (Dvaravati period), probably VII century Wat Benchamabopit, Bangkok
Fig. 2 Head of a Buddha from Wat Pra Paton. From a stucco relief, Mon (Dvaravati period), probably Ix-x century National Museum, Bangkok

KHMER-LOPBURI PERIOD
a.k.a. Mon-Khmer period Central and eastern Thailand

10th -13th century

Has been described as a provincial manifestation of the

Khmer Angkor style of architecture Mirrored earlier bldgs. traditions of the Mons and Talaings of southern Burma echoes of Pagan Used of stone in place of the traditional brick or rubble bonded w/ vegetable glue. Most of the bldgs are in ruined condition, but wellpreserved survivals can be seen at Lopburi and in Sukhothai

In

Sukhothai
Chedi at Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai Historical Park

Main temple group at Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai ancient city.

Phra Atchana (Ajana) at Wat Si Chum, Sukhothai Historical Park

Detail of Hand, Phra Atchana, Wat Si Chum, Sukhothai Historical Park

KHMER-LOPBURI PERIOD
Lopburi art goes back to the 11-13th century A.D. a provincial capital during the Khmer empire. At times it

experiences periods of independence, but its art form and Buddha images display Khmer influence. Buddha images often display a cranial protuberance in the form of three tiered lotus petals. A hair band is featured, and the hair of the Buddha can be straight like human hair. The head is often decorated with a diadem of face frame. Thick lips, a smiling face, prominent earlobes are featured.

A robe is draped diagonally with a straight edged mantle over the left shoulder, extending to the

navel. Often the Buddha image is displayed on a lotus petal base. Seated Naga protected Buddha images in the meditation posture are common. Sometimes the Naga protected Buddha appears with Royal ornaments, and has a more stern facial expression

KHMER-LOPBURI PERIOD
BUDDHA IMAGES
Buddha, wearing the attributes of Royalty, in the Khmer style of the Lopburi period. With the gesture (see right hand) of preaching. Cast and enlarged from an old model. Image present in the cloister of the Ubosoth at Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok. Standing Buddha image, with the gesture of forbidding the relatives from fighting. In the style of the Lopburi period. Found in Phetchaburi province. Image present in the cloister of the Ubosoth at Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok.

National Museum Prachinburi Naga protected Buddha image. Notice the cranial protuberance in the form of three tiered lotus petals.

KHMER-LOPBURI PERIOD
Sitting Buddha with the gesture of Subduing Mara. In the Khmer style.
Found at Wat Si Chin, Thonburi. Image present in the cloister of the Ubosoth at Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok.

Standing Buddha, with the gesture of Calming the Ocean.


In the style of the Lopburi period. Cast and enlarged from an ancient model. Image present in the cloister of the Ubosoth at Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok.

KHMER-LOPBURI PERIOD
Standing Buddha image, with the gesture of Forbidding the Relatives from Fighting. In the style of the Lopburi period. Cast and enlarged from an ancient model. Wearing the attributes of Royalty. In the style of the Lopburi period. Image present in the courtyard behind the Ubosoth at Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok.

Thai Period

13th-17th Century

Subdivided in 3 Styles:
1. Sukhothai style 2. Ayudhya style

3. Northern Chiengnai style

Sukhothai
Sukhothai art architecture were not inventive, but harmoniously eclectic, employing:
o Indian
o Mon-Dravavidian o Mon-Pagan o Sinhatese o Khmer Motifs

Buddhist temple complex (Wat) normally erected on a terrace.

Sukothai -was an early kingdom in the area around

the city Sukhothai, in north central Thailand.


The Kingdom existed from 1238 till 1438. The old capital,

now 12 km outside of New Sukhothai in Tambon Mueang Kao, is in ruins and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage historical park.

Prior to the 13th century, Tai kingdoms had existed

on the northern highlands including the Ngoen Yang (centered on Chiang Saen; predecessor of Lanna) kingdom and the Heokam (centered on Chiang Hung, modern Jinghong in China) kingdom of Tai Lue people. Sukhothai had been a trade center and part of Lavo, which was under the domination of the Khmer Empire. The migration of Tai people into upper Chao Phraya valley was somewhat gradual.

Pho Khun Sri Indraditya


First King of Sukothai Period Reign over 1279 (30

years)

replica of "The Sukhothai Viharn" (not a palace) in Muang

Boran ("Ancient City") near Bangkok, Thailand. It was reconstructed based on the viharn (preaching hall) of Phra Buddha Chinnarat in Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahath)

b). Ayudhya style


stupa is generally circular in plan, ring-based

and bell-shaped as in Ceylon

c). Chiengmai
Less conspicuous, although here too the custom of copying venerated monuments from abroad as reminders of the need for a religious observance was the origin of some of the finest architecture. E. g. Wat jet yot.

Wat Jet Yot / Wat Chet Yot


The part played by sculpture and in interiors, by mural painting is

important

d). Bangkok Style


Traditional

(late 18th and 19th century)

Many buildings and places were erected.

forms were overlaid with ornamentation of Chinese character. Introduced to Siam by refugees. Surfaces were finished with porcelain tiles. Walls are sometimes white stuccoed brick.

Gables and barge boards are decorated with Angkor-Hindu iconography: Nagas, Vishnu on

a garuda, Shiva on a bull, etc. Doors and window shutters are of carved wood, lacquered in black and gold or painted or inlaid with mother-of-pearl depicting themes of guardian divinities, enchanted forests, ferns, flowers and still life.

Wat Achi
2 Parts of a Thai Temple
Phuttha wat
Sangha wat

Phuttha wat
Contains:
Chedi also known as stupa Prang Thai version of Khmer temple towers Ubosot or Bot Ordination hall and most

sacred area of Wat. Wihan designates a shrine that contains the principal buddha image Mondop a specific square / cruciform based building or shrine

Inside the bot or assembly hall (Sanskrit chaitya) at Wat

Po.

Outside the bot is a

set of chedis, stupas commemorating Thai kings

Wat Chiang Man, Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. From left to right: Ubosot, Hor Trai, Chedi

Hor Trai (library), Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai,

Ho trai temple Library / Scriptures Depostitory houses the sacred Tipitaka Scriptures
Sala open pavilion providing shade & a place to rest

Sala kan Prian a large open hall where lay people can hear sermons / religious education
Ho rakang bell tower is used for working the monks & to announce the morning and evening ceremonies

Pra rabieng a peristyle is sometimes built around the sacred inner area as a cloister Adorned with element such as chofahs

Freshly renovated Sala in Wat Rajbopit, Bangkok.

Bell tower of Wat Rakang, Bangkok.

Sangha-wat
Contains:
Kuti Hi rakang Sala Kan Prian Functional buildings

such as kitchen

Temple Elements
Roof forms
multiple roof tiers ornamented multiple tiers for roofs on temple,

palaces, and important buildings roof

Roof Finials

attached to the barge board decorative structure called the lamyong hanghong lower finials bai raka cho fah on the peak of the lamyong

" The multiple gables indicate high rank. The distinctive chofa finial represents the head of Garuda. The hang hong ("swan tail") finials rising lower on the gables represent the heads of serpents. the comb-like teeth of the end boards (bai raka) represent naga scales.

Chofah

Hang hong

Popular temple icons


During the 10th century, Thai Theravada Buddhism and Hindu cultures merged, and Hindu elements were introduced into Thai

iconography

4-armed Vishnu

Garuda (half man, half bird)

Elephant-headed Ganesh

Eight-armed shiva

Naga

Yaksha

Examples of Wat:

Wat Mahatmat

Wat Phra Ram

Wat Phra Mahatmat

Wat Rat Burana

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

Royal palace , Bangkok