Hoi An house remains unchanged for three centuries

By Tung Dinh   April 4, 2021 | 08:00 am GMT+7
Hoi An’s much admired Tan Ky Old House has retained its architectural features for almost three centuries.
Built in 1741, the house has been home to seven generations in a family on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street in the old town of Hoi An, central Quang Nam Province.  It has been named Tan Ky since the second generation of owners, with the hope that their family would be wealthy.

Built in 1741, the house on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street has been home to seven generations of a family. It was named "Tan Ky" by the second generation of owners, hoping that would bring them wealth.

It took homeowners many years to construct the house: ten years to deliver wood to Hoi An and another three years for construction. Tan Ky Old House is the intertwinement of the Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese culture.

It took the owners many years to build the house: 10 years to get the wood to Hoi An and another three for the actual construction. It incorporates features of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese cultures.

80 percent of the wood in the house is ironwood, famous for its durability. Notably, the house’s wooden framework has no nail. Instead, all wooden bars are connected via joints.

Eighty percent of the wood used in the construction is ironwood, renowned for its durability. Notably, the house’s wooden frame was built entirely without nails. Instead, all the wooden bars are connected by joints.

The house represents Oriental philosophy, such as the triple-beam structure (stands for heaven, earth and humans), the five wooden columns (represent metal, wood, water, fire and earth – the five basic natural elements in Oriental culture).

The house is representative of eastern philosophy: the triple-beam structure stands for heaven, earth and humans, while the five wooden columns represent the five basic natural elements, metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.

Curved roof, a feature of Chinese architecture.

A curved roof, a feature of Chinese architecture.

A woman of the third generation living in the house, Currently, her descendants are living on the second floor, as the first floor is open for tourists.

A woman belonging to the third generation of the family. Her descendants live on the first floor, and the ground floor is open for sightseeing.

The tube house has a skylight that brings natural light into the house. Thanks to the skylight, the front door, and back door facing the river, homeowners and tourists never have stifling feelings.

The house has a skylight to allow in light. Thanks to it, and front and back doors that face the river, the house is filled with natural wind and light.

The eyes above the door protect the house from bad lucks.

The stylized "eyes" above the door protect the house from bad luck.

Located next to Hoai River, the house has been flooded many times. In October 2020, it suffered from nine floods.

Since it is situated right next to the Hoai River, the house has been flooded many times. In October 2020 alone, it was inundated nine times. In 1964 floodwaters reached the first floor.

Agriculture tools used from 1950s to 1972 are stored in the house. Two suitcases had been used by the first two generations form 1790, before they were used to store money and papers of the local authorities.

Agriculture tools used from the 1950s to 1972 are stored in the house. The two wooden boxes were used by the first two generations before they were acquired by local authorities to keep money and documents.

A peek of the b on the first floor.

A bed on the first floor.
Although Tan Ky is not the oldest house in Hoi An, it is one of the few old ones to keep its architecture and furniture intact. It was named a historic and cultural relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism in 1990.

 
 
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