Siem Reap, Kralanh
‘Phteah Keung’ style house
Sino-Khmer official & rice merchant’s residence c.1900; renovated, 2010
house on present site from 2010
original location: facing the Kralanh river, Ta Dek village, Preah Net Preah district, Banteay Meanchey province
present location: Spean Chreav village, Siem Reap commune, Siem Reap-Angkor, Siem Reap province
transported distance: approximately 65km
time to relocate & renovate: approximately 8 months (2009-2010)
transport details: architect Hok Sokol resolved to move the disassembled house in entirety on several flat-bed trucks using carpenters under his direction. the journey was to a new site at Spean Chreav village where it was restored and re-sited on new land adjacent to the Aranh house.
dimensions: (main house) 11.8m length x 7.6m width 7.1m height supported on 24 columns; (exterior side wood slat walkway) additional 2.2m wide, supported on 5 columns; (kitchen) 6m x 4m x 6.8m, standing on 6 columns
architectural details: in classic and rare ‘Phteah Keung’ style, positioned on 24 shortened hardwood columns, wedged and pinned using wooden fixtures, raised to original height on hexagonal brick columns spaced on a brick-paved raised platform. the house was extensively renovated in 1940 (carved Khmer inscription on floor joist), and possibly a second time marked by the shortening of columns.
Khmer style with slight Chinese-Siamese influences - particularly seen in the large windows and door frames, interior partially sliding & hinged shutter windows secured with iron bars. the house has three doorways - front, side and rear (the last was apparently never used as originally there was no additional building connected to, or stairway at the rear of house).
original solid timber floor with replacements to damaged sections. Cambodian hardwoods used throughout the house.
wall construction of the house was ingeniously simplified by the use of prefabricated framed wall panels, which incorporated doorways and windows. these complete ‘picture frames’ were hoisted and originally locked into place by enormous hand-wrought iron pins (in use until late 19th C).
older family members recounted that the original house was once recommended by the Siamese officials of the day as a model for a well-designed Khmer house - all it lacked to be awarded a commendation, were bathroom-toilet facilities.
the kitchen is a complete replica (the original had recently been moved to another part of the village where it was being occupied by a family using it as a house). permission was sought to measure and document it for reconstruction. the kitchen and its connection to the house by a covered walkway accessed by a side door are sited according to remaining sections of the original and post-holes evident at the Kralanh site.
furnished in keeping with original style; and accessed by one newly-constructed front wooden staircase with restored side wood slat walkway access to separate kitchen. old roof tiles are used on the kitchen with newly-fired, locally produced earthenware tiles from the nearby town of Domdek used to cover the main house.
a separate bedroom-bathroom structure in brick and wood was constructed that accesses the original back doorway opening to a connecting wood slat walkway which, provides access to the house and the kitchen. this addition was completed in September 2011.
supervising architect: Hok Sokol