By Jacques Dumarcay

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They are very often made of panels of woven bamboo strips, set over the inner side of the pillars. This style can be seen on many houses in southern Asia. However, due to the generalisation of the use of the saw, it became easier to obtain planks of wood. Thus, wooden partitions were set up, particularly in Thailand (Ph. 24) and to a lesser extent throughout all of the countries of Southeast Asia. Vertical supports are used in a simple manner. They are either set directly on the ground when the home is set on the same level, or they are used as piles with an elevated floor.

The addition of corbels was rarely seen in Southeast Asia. To support a heavier load on a single pillar, builders used brackets, for example, to maintain the forward thrust of a canopy or simply the projecting section of the roofing. This technique was adopted by the Khmers. Traces of the use of wooden brackets in the stone pillars of covered galleries are quite numerous, for example in the surrounding gallery of Banten Samre (12th century). Exceptionally, the supports are diagonal instead of vertical.

In most cases, the windows are constructed without woodwork frames. They are simply rectangular openings cut into the mats. A small panel of woven bamboo serves to shut the window. It is attached on one side to the top of the outside frame of the window and held open by a “tie-beam piece” block53 that was simply removed in order to shut the window. Once the use of the saw became more common, the walls of the richest homes were constructed with planks, either attached horizontally on the outer side of the pillars, or vertically on the horizontal beams that united the pillars inside the building.

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