It is quite hard to see houses which have the "Thinnai".
Thinnai: A Disappearing Cultural Architecture
A multi utility airy space with a roof on the top, where one can experience cool breeze in the evening is one of those subtle threshold spaces that are disappearing from our cities; the thinnai. Neither closed nor exposed, it is a wonderful space that allows you to revel in the outdoors without doing away with the comfort of the indoors.
The thinnai or pyol in traditional house provided the privacy.
Traditional South Indian houses made it mandatory to have a thinnai in
front. A thinnai is a long narrow platform attached to the front of
the house, overlooking the road and shaded by the roof that extends
beyond the house. These platforms were levelled smooth and sometimes
had stone slabs laid over them, for comfort.
Thinnais are often given the go-by in city houses because they are considered passé, or because of want of space. But if you have the space for it, you can have a wonderful thinnai - cool, sophisticated and bright.
Travellers who needed a moment's respite from the heat could make use of the thinnai's cool shade. More often, the inmates left a paanai of water that would quench some passer-by's parched throat. In the nights, one could frequently see these wayfarers who have long distances to go, sleeping in these free ‘guest spaces'. South Indian culture made sure that even strangers-who could not be let into the house due to fear, but still did not deserve to sleep on the roads-could find a comfortable shady spot to spend the night.
It is only in the idea of enclosed spaces evolved with modern architecture has given way to problems like heat, in our dusty tropical country with limited construction budgets. Somewhere in this process, the idea of roofs without walls got a negative image as an ordinary village idea, to be neglected.
It is really sad to note that the modern day's concrete jungle has
depleted us of this very beautiful thing called ‘thinnais'. Our
ancestors found this a way to respect people and treat them with care;
but our own fear for strangers, rising crime rates and land value
deems it impossible to build individual houses with thinnais anymore.
Courtesy : metroplots.com/news/thinnai-a-disappearing-cultural-archi...