THAILAND. CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM
History of Architecture 3
Archt. Clarissa L. Avendaño
1ST sem AY 2009 – 2010, rev. 2012-2013
1. DOME STUPA
Visual element is dome
Sanchi is the prototype
Early stupas in India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand.
Variant forms are seen in Tibet and Japan
2. TERRACE STUPA
Dome is diminished and raised upon a podium formed
by a truncated, stepped pyramid.
Common in Tibet, Nepal, Burma, Central and Southeast
Gyantse Kumbum Chorten, TIBET
Shwedagon Pagoda, Rangoon, BURMA
3. TOWER STUPA (PAGODA)
Two main forms:
Brick of masonry which indicates
the layers by a series of relatively
windows with a finial on its
Timber which expresses its
storeys by a series of articulated
roofs with a finial on its summit.
Exemplified by Bodhgaya and
by masonry towers of China
and in Japan
MAINLAND SOUTHEAST ASIA
• Burma (Myanmar)
• Peninsular Malaysia
MARITIME SOUTHEAST ASIA
• East Malaysia
• East Timor
• Christmas Island
ARCHITECTURE IN THAILAND
History of Architecture 3
1st Sem AY 2010-2011, rev 2012
Ar. Clarissa L. Avendaño
Ruins of Wat Mahathat in Ayuthaya
Ayuthaya was Thailand's capital from 1350 to 1767.
Kingdom of Thailand
Formerly known as SIAM
Located at the centre of
the Indochina peninsula in
Burma and Laos - north
Laos and Cambodia – east
Gulf of Thailand and
Malaysia – south
Andaman Sea – west
Indonesia, India – southwest
Vietnam – North to south
Influenced by the culture and
religions of INDIA, starting with
the Kingdom of Funan around
the 1st c. to the Khmer Empire
Buddhist kingdom of Sukhothai
was founded in 1238.
Ayutthaya, established in the
mid-14th c. in the lower Chao
Ayutthaya became one of the
most vibrant trading centers in
Asia. European traders arrived in
the 16th c., beginning with
the Portuguese, followed by the
French, Dutch and English.
The only Southeast Asian nation
that has never been colonized
Ayutthaya Historical Park
1. Temples and Monasteries
3. Houses/Dwelling Units
Thai Buddhist temple
• Group of religious buildings and other features (such as
trees and lakes), surrounded by a wall, and with at least one
• Consist of two parts:
1. Phuttha-wat – temple complex
2. Sangha-wat – Living quarters of the monks
temple or monastery.
Complex - collection
of buildings, shrines,
within a courtyard
that is enclosed by a
Wat Phra Singh, the largest temple in Chiang Mai, northwestern Thailand. (Luca I. Tettoni/Corbis)
Walls - often white washed, usually encloses a rectangular area.
The wall demarcates the temple compound, called putthawat, or
the sacred enclosure.
Ideally the main entrance faces east.
Thai Buddhist temple
PHUTTHA-WAT – dedicated to Buddha
Chedi or Stupa - Reliquary Tower
Prang - Khmer temple
Ubosot or Bot - Ordination Hall
Viharn - shrine hall that contains the principal Buddha images; it is
the assembly hall where monks and believers congregate.
Mondop square or cruciform based building or shrine, sometimes
with a spired roof within a Thai Buddhist temple or temple complex.
Ho trai - Temple Library or Scriptures Depository houses the
sacred Tipiṭaka scriptures.
Sala - open pavilion providing shade and a place to rest.
Sala kan prian – a large, open hall where lay people can
hear sermons or receive religious education.
Ho rakang - bell tower is used for waking the monks and to announce
the morning and evening ceremonies.
Phra rabien - a peristyle is sometimes built around the sacred inner
area as a cloister
Most of the best known temples are in Bangkok, and these reflect the highly ornate
"Rattanakosin" style of the Chakri dynasty (late 18th century to the present day).
The main elements of the temple are as follows:
2. The Reclining
3. Main Stupas
4. Phra Mondop
5. The Gallery
6. Hermit's Ground
d. CHEDI /PRANG (Stupa/Pagoda)
• Domed edifice, under
which relics of the
Buddha or revered
religious teachers are
• Types of Chedi:
Bell – shaped style Chedi
Suwanna Chedi, Prang
Suwanna Stepped Chedi
Thai civilization‟s chief modification to
the Khmer prang was to make it more
delicate, thinner, and vertical in
1. Bell-shaped style
Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakorn
• Tallest Chedi in Thailand. with a
base diameter of around 233 m.
and a height of more than 120 m.
2. Square Chedi
balances a smaller
dome on a high square
base, each side has a
• Sits on a terrace or
platform, often with an
enclosed walkway for
devotees to make
Wat Jed Yod, Chiang Mai
3. Indented Chedi
• Small dome balanced
on a square base with
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn),
4. Suwanna Chedi - Prang
• Ayutthayan or Khmer style of reliquary, found all over
central Thailand from the Khmers..
• Shaped like a corn cob standing on top of a square or
cruciform building, with an entrance on one side.
Phra Prang Sam
5. Suwanna Stepped Chedi
• Found in Northern Thailand
Chedi Liem, Chiang Mai
Phrathat Haripunchai, Lamphun
Wat Chamathevi, Lamphun
Square stepped base, with 5
tiers above, each of the four
faces containing 3 Buddha
Consecrated ordination hall of a Wat,
where new monks take their vows.
Has six boundary stones (Bai Sema)
that define the limits of its sanctuary.
Usually open only to the monks.
Faces east and usually houses an altar
and one or several Buddha images.
Ubosot at Wat Doi Suthep/
Wat Phra Boromathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai
Mural Paintings depicting Ramakien epic
(Thai version of the Hindu epic, Ramayana)
b. PHRA RABIENG
Cloister like-galleries around the Bot/Ubosot
Along the walls of the Phra Rabieng are Buddha images
and some times religious furniture.
• Sermon hall and is usually the busiest building in a Wat and
open to everyone.
• Holds an altar and one or several Buddha images.
• Inside the viharn is a Buddha image either
• Located at the far end of the hall and face east, for that is
the direction that Buddha achieved Enlightenment.
• Composed of three superimposed tiers, with the lowest tier over
• Number of tiers range from one to four, with three being the most
common and each tier may comprise of two or three sections.
• Lowest section is close to the ground, and spreads out like a
mother hen spreading her wings to protect her chick.
• Bargeboard that covers the end of the gable, preventing the
tiles from falling off.
• Decorated like a downward sloping body of the naga, with
its head rearing up.
• The naga's scales which project up is called the bai raka.
CHOFAS “Sky Cluster”
• Horn or bird-like finials
seen on the roof ridges
little bells that tinkle in
• Design is in the form of a
stylised garuda, which is
meant to be grabbing the
tail of the naga that flows
down both sides of the
bargeboard, pan lom.
• Front gable of the viharn is usually highly decorated.
• May also be divided into rectangular panels.
HU CHANG “Elephant
• Eave-brackets along the
outer wall of the viharn.
• Triangular piece of wood
• Design can be in the form
of intertwining naga, the
monkey king Hanuman, or
the mystical bird kinnari or
other mystical beast.
NAGA - Nak Sadung and Makara
Representation of a mystical serpent that according to the
holy scripts sheltered the Buddha while he was meditating.
Temple – found on the edge of the roof or especially in
Lanna (North of Thailand) temples, flanks the staircase that
ascends to the Viharn or Bot.
Sculptures - it is depicted sheltering the head of the Buddha
with its own.
• Also called sum khong,
arch over and framing
• Pair of lions guarding the entrance of a viharn.
• Chiang Mai - often made in the Burmese style.
Myanmar - named chinthe
• Bejeweled sacred umbrella
that sits at the topmost part
of the chedi,
• Burmese influence to the
• CHAT - Gilded parasols
also adorn the four corners
of the walkway surrounding
filigree parasol that are
usually installed at the
corners of the railings
enclosing the chedi.
e. MONDOP (Mandapa)
Square, open-sided pavilion with a multi-tiered pyramidal roof
rising to a peak.
Baldachin structure that has in some temples been erected
above the library with the sacred Buddhist scripts.
f. HO TRAI
(Library or Manuscript repository)
• Handwritten Buddhist manuscripts are stored.
• Usually very small, same style as the viharn and ubosot, but
lavishly decorated building.
• Central Plains - often sits on columns in a pond.
• Northern Part - built raised up from the ground, to keep it
away from termites and damp.
• Recognizable because it
has a tall chimney.
h. HO RAKHANG (Bell
• The bell is struck to call
the monks to devotions, to
announce time (it is struck
for noon, after which
monks are not allowed to
eat) or to announce the
stopping of work for the
• In some big temples and
monasteries, there may
also be a gong tower, or a
combination of bell and
i. SALA GAN PARIAN
• Open-sided pavilion or preaching hall.
• Bangkok-style structure that is only found occassionally in
• Some Viharns are built in this style.
Thai Buddhist temple
Contained within the wall surrounding the temple
Living quarters of the monks
1. KUTI (Living quarters)
May also contain the following:
1. HO RAKANG (Bell tower)
2. SALA KAN PRIAN (Preaching or Sermon hall)
Kitchen building where food can be prepared by lay
people, and sanitary buildings
• Originally a small structure, built
on stilts, designed to house a
monk, with its proper size (4.013 x
• Apartment building with small
rooms for the monks - Modern
WAT PA MAHA CHEDI KAEW and its associated
building including the crematorium, Sisaket province
Use of 1 million glass recycled bottles. Mixture of green Heineken and
brown local Chang beer collected since 1984.
The Grand Palace Chakri Maha Prasat Hall
Built by king Chulalongkorn (RAMA V)
Used for the reception of foreign ambassadors.
Blend of European and Thai architecture
Wat Phra Kaew “Heaven and Earth”
Built as the royal temple within the Grand Palace, same as the Ayutthaya
tradition. The temple has no residing Buddhist monks, but was meant as
the spiritual center of the kingdom and the site for major royal ceremonies.
7. Srcipture Hall
8. Ankor Wat Model
10. Ho Phra Nak
Vinmanmek Palace (Cloud
Believed to be the world
entirely of golden teak.
Originally constructed on
Srichang Island in the Gulf
of Siam by King Rama V (
King Chulalongkorn) but In
1901, was moved to its
Royal Palace at Bang Pa-In
Dates from the reign of King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910), when
most of the buildings standing today were constructed between
1872 - 1889.
• Similar in design to those of commoners except that they were
generally closer to the ground and had more decorative features.
• Tamnak Daeng or “Red House”built by King Rama I as a residence
for one of his queens, originally in Ayutthaya style but acquired more
Rattanakosin elements during several moves.
• King Rama V presented the house to the museum as a reminder of
an architectural style then becoming rare.
Residence of Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother
“Mae Fah Luang”, Doi Tung, Chiang Rai/North Thailand
• Decorative carved element as a top roof ending.
• Mostly carved from teakwood widely used in North Thailand,
the former kingdom of Lanna.
Horns of the water buffalo.
Central plains houses
Elevated on stout round posts
Steep roofs with curved bargeboards
Paneled walls leaning slightly inward
Various components are prefabricated to enable easy dismantling
• House consists of a single unit with an outside veranda, while
those accommodating larger families might have several separate
units arranged around a central platform.
• Former name of region
of Southeast Asia
under the French
• "China" and "India", refers to the location of the territory
between China (southwest) and India (east) .
• Cambodia, Laos and three Vietnam regions (Tonkin,
Cochinchina and Annam)
• Funan - 1st thru 6th c.
• Chenla – 6th to 8th c.
• Water (Lower) Chenla – 706 to 802
• Angkor/Kambujia – 9th to 15th c.
• Phonom Penh/Lovek – 1432 to 1863
• French Protectorate – 1863 to 1887
The Devaraja Cult
proclaimed himself GODKING of Cambodia. He did
so through a Hindu ritual
involving worship of Shiva,
king of the gods.
• A royal cult developed,
involved an annual festival
during which a statue of
Shiva was paraded thru the
• The ceremony not only
proclaimed the devaraja but
separation from Java.
Ritually sanctifying a symbol
of the devaraja.
- Temple built for King
Jayavarman VII in the 12th c.
• distinctive because of its many
towers where the same face is
carved on all sides, over 200 faces
2. Elephant Terrace and Leper King
Terrace - a large open ceremonial areas
that faces the Royal Square, a large
reception area for pavilions where visiting
royalty could be entertained in style. The
terrace walls contain scores of carved
elephants, garudas (mythical man-bird
figures), five-headed horse, and other
relatively small 10th c.
royal palace in the
shape of a mountain
3. Bapuon - is a massive
• Built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th c.
He made the temple as a center of government and capital city.
• Center of Hindu religion. This temple dedicated to Vishnu, the
• Built with the classic style of Khmer architecture.
• Estimated time for the construction of the Angkor temple was about
• Built as a temple or as a tomb.
The world's largest religious monument and an architectural masterpiece in
classical Khmer style. The five central towers, represent the peaks of the
mythological Mount Meru, and the entire temple is a microcosm of the Hindu
Occupies a rectangular
area of about 208
hectares (500 acres)
defined by a laterite
Moat with a long
crossing it and serving
as the main access to
the monument. The
moat is 200 m. wide
with a perimeter of 5.5
kilometers (3.4 miles).
1. Built according to carefully ordered principles and base on
geometric plan with orientation to the cardinal points. Emphasis
was on the east-west axis, which associated the temple with
the rising and setting of the sun.
2. Layouts of temple and monasteries are all symmetrical
around a central axis called „centralization‟.
• provides mirrored images, profiles around a central
dominant architectural feature such as the central tower on
the grand scale or the main porticos on the axial route.
• Khmers adapted the Indian concept of a temple-mountain
draws its symbolism from Hindu mythology.
• Earthly facsimile of MOUNT MERU, the scared abode of
the gods. The temple as a microcosm of a central mountain
was an essential concept that had profound influence on
Overall, the form captures the qualities both of horizontal expanse and vertical expression in
a single composition ,
4. Causeway and Naga Bridge - combination of a causeway and a
moat provide a dramatic backdrop for naga or serpent balustrade
that appeared in Khmer architecture since 9th c. The naga
bridges link the world of man to that of the gods on the summit of
the hill. Having crossed over, the pilgrim ascends the final and
NAGA - were a reptilian race of beings who possessed a large empire or kingdom in the Pacific
Ocean region.. The Naga King's daughter married an Indian Brahmana named Kaundinya, and
from their union sprang the Cambodian people.
5. Gopura or gateway - main architecture feature of the wall that
surrounds a Khmer temple. Originated from the Pallava, India.
Placed on the principal axes which stands out in contrast to the
simple laterite walls.
6. MAIN TOWER - predominant
architectural feature of Angkor.
Form is derived from the
south Indian temple .
Base stands firm on a
platform with symmetrical
doorways on each façade.
Doorways either open or are
false, depending on the use
of the tower.
Tower begins to taper slowly
at the base, but more
pronounced towards the top
creating a round effect.
Crowned with a lotus, which
possibly served as the base
for a glided metal spire .
6. MAIN TOWER
architectural feature of Angkor.
Constructed with cantilevered
stones following the principles
of vault corbelled construction
with the exposed outer
surface being elaborately
The Five Towers
Angkor Wat‟s third and highest platform supports five enormous towers
(symbolic of Mount Meru at the center, the residence of the gods), one
on each of the four corners and one in the center; this arrangement is
called a quincunx.
While many of the earliest temples at
Angkor are made of bricks and mortar
masonry, they were replaced due to Indian
influence with stone.
1. Sandstone - primary stone used for
temple construction. Came from hills of
Phnom Kulen (20 km northeast of
Angkor); after it was quarried, it was
floated down the Siem Reap River to
2. Laterite - typically red hued due to its
high iron oxide content and sourced
from throughout the area. Used as
enclosure walls and platforms.
No mortar, consistent with
Corbelling. Structures consist
exclusively of trabeated forms
(straight horizontal and vertical
lines), such as the post and
employs the true arch, which
utilizes a keystone - No the
arch, vault, and dome
Corbelling techniques provide the only form of “vaulting” – a corbelled arch
is constructed by offsetting successive courses of stone comprising two
opposing walls so that they project towards the archway‟s center until the
courses meet and close the gap.
APSARA dancers at the Angkor Wat
BAS-RELIEF FRIEZES - inner walls of the outer gallery bear a series of
large-scale scenes mainly depicting episodes from the Hindu epics
the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, historical events of the King and