Nai Lert House

Nai Lert Park
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Baan Park Nai Lert

There is a saying that,

The house is not just a place but the soul and self.

Baan Park Nai Lert is an epithet of this saying.

It is not just a large teak wood house built with the architectural style of the tropical region, with just a hundred years old, but it is the heritage of the wisdom that reflects the ingenuity of the designer to choose teak for its full value and the experience on the use of the building that is suitable for comfortable living.

After Nai Lert purchased the land on the bank of Saen Saeb canal at Pratunam in Sra Prathum area to operate the white ferry and the white bus in about 1909, he purchased the land contiguously from Pratunam up to Ploenchit area bordering the eastern railway. Some parts were allocated for sale, but he kept the beautiful Ploenchit plot on one side adjoins Witthayu Road, on the other side bordering Somkit canal with the area of about 60 rai (24 acres) to build a park for a resort by making the boundary marks as the end of the cannon and the shell head is about 2 m high written clearly on it.

After 1914 he built a large resort of 20 x 20 m is a raised wooden house, the interior is empty and divided the useful area by raising the floor level. When it is viewed from the exterior is like a Western bungalow popular to build in the tropical area. When it is considered in detail found to have a difference on the selection of materials that cannot be found from any other contemporary houses.

As seen from the outside the most prominent is the double-decker roof, raised gables with ventilated gaps. In the first era it has evidence of paving the roof with the kite roof tiles, the first generation of them made by an Italian artisan. The roof is double-raised gables likely to come from the experience on the use of a large building that is a factory warehouse, which would retain the heat if the roof is not well-ventilated sufficiently. Nai Lert applied it to use with the wooden house to create shady and cool. This roof design is also consistent with the broad eaves to protect it from sunshine and rain, especially the rain at the time of starting the construction heavy winds could enable the rains to be blown into it.

As a result of this design, so the interior of the house is cool. As the time has passed almost a century found the wooden posts and the wooden house still has almost no traces of damage from sunshine and rainwater.

Nai Lert called this wooden house the House in the Park, because it was situated in the middle of the park is a terraced lawn, a well and a flower garden the type was popular in the former times. The general public was permitted to visit on Sunday until it was a catchword as –the Nai Lert Park

The design of the roof and the wooden house that is prominent of the Nai Lert House can be seen from the exterior is not so fascinated like the details on the use of the interior wood.

Nai Lert launced the ocean-going shipyard made of teak about 1915-1917 caused excess wooden lumber in large numbers. All the jack rafters, double ties, purlins and main beams that formed the roof frame all left the traces of the telltale route of this lumber have been fashioned by skilled workforce of the old artisans, not the planks processed from a wood mill.

Even more amazing is the house floor was created by the carpenters used excess wood to put in order and sewn with nails in the traverse and put the floor in the unique style and no one else could dare to do it. Because the floor range is laid adjoining independently without regard of the line to be equal that is directed by the ceiling joists.

The display of wood by Nai Lert like this did not find even a nail head on the floor, so it makes the house is very stable, even at the time of Khun Binich and Thanpuying Lursakdi Sampatisiri held parties and floor shows almost non-stop but the house floors had no sway or crashes at all.

The carpenters who can build a house by this method must be sure to have sufficient wood without worrying that they cannot pave it in full, and not just the floors only, but even the stairs, the balustrade and up to the ceiling was assembled by the similar method is the offensive paving and suitable modifications by the wood waste wholly.

From the old age the ancient people had the strict way of constructing a house and the selection of large wood to use, but the method of Nai Lert was opposite. He chose only the core of the things to show the understanding of wood and the selection of use with the correct objective. It created the Thai house that is simple, stable and comfortable but with good taste to prove itself through time almost a century already.

About 1925, at the end of the reign of King Vajiravudh, Nai Lert decided to move from Si Phaya to the Nai Lert House permanently, after selling some land on the south to the British embassy to build a new embassy. Nai Lert built a front house with the same style to have sufficient useful area. So ever since the Nai Lert House was recognizable by the contemporary people as the twin golden teak houses with a corridor connects both houses.

Later in the late Greater East Asia War of about 1944, the front house was bombed by a B 29 aeroplane of the allies that launched the attack at Makkasan railway station. The bombs missed the target and fell on the Nai Lert House and damaged them both. Nevertheless, at the end of the war Nai Lert rebuilt them without claiming any compensation for the repair of the houses by raising the roof to another tier, due to the explosion at that time damaged the roof structure and they subsided.

The repair of the Nai Lert House occurred periodically during the various times after that. The roof tiles were changed to the earthenware tiles of the enamel type from the white bus terminal, later it became part of Park Nai Lert Hotel, the terraced lawn became shady and teeming with small and large trees as seen today.

Throughout from the time of starting the construction the Nai Lert House has never been lonely, because the owner has many friends and loved partying until the time of Thanpuying Lursakdi Sampatisiri was still the bustling houses from parties and social activities all the time, while they are the houses everyone can live together with compassion.

The day and time have come to commemoration of the century in 2015, the houses in the park of Nai Lert has passed through both the difficult and the memorable times, the life goes on from one generation to another. The great restoration occurred in 2014 is the attempt to conserve the original spirit as in the first construction both the unique style and the atmosphere that cannot be found again Bangkok metropolis.

On the endeavor to preserve the valuable heritage inherited from the ancestor, not only to make the teak wood houses continue to stand up to the next century. On the other way it causes the discovery of important value used to remind all the hearts not to forget the true meaning of the word of the house...

The house does not mean only its body, but the atmosphere of love and bond – it is the first thing to think of and the last thing to make sure you can sleep with happiness upon returning home.

Because the house is not just a place,

But still means the soul and manifestation.