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As globalization
has caused a dramatic change across a wide-ranging of
socio-economic and cultural patterns over the past several decades, the urban
environments have also been influenced by global trends as people attempt to
adjust their housing designs and construction methods to fit their new needs
and desires. This study takes place in Luang Prabang
which is considered as the ancient city of Lao PDR and UNESCO has been
designated as a world heritage site since 1995. Luang Prabang city is
rich in both tangible and intangible cultural assets which perfectly reflect
traditional customs and cultures continuously inherited over many generations. The main purpose of this study is to focus on various factors that affect the
designate Lao traditional houses during three periods: the beginning era of Lao traditional house, French
colonized era and transformation houses
in the modern.


In addition,
this study also provides a glimpse of the cultural living styles and
characteristic features of Lao traditional houses in Luang Prabang.
Particularly, the architectural elements, materials and main structures of the
building which are commonly used in Lao traditional architecture, their
functions, and purposes of modifying
traditional houses for adapting to the changes of local climate. During the
French colonized period the harmonious combination of Lao traditional and
French architecture and engineering demonstrated the new values and wealth of the
city. These unique architectural and engineering styles are considered as
significant, valuable and outstanding identities of World Heritage site in
Luang Prabang. Therefore, many of these accommodation styles and identities are
still conserved until today. But many historical buildings have been adapted
and modified based on the needs of socio-economic development factors.

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After Luang
Prabang city become a world heritage site and the traditional houses have been
pressured by the growth of socio-economic needs, the pace of change has
accelerated. This study also emphasizes on finding out the main reasons for transformation and modification of Lao
traditional houses and its affecting
factors for transforming and adapting traditional houses for fitting in the
globalization trend.  In this study, the
conservation of the characteristics of traditional houses, cases studies of
traditional houses in Luang Prabang is
also examined for finding out and identifying the modification and
transformation through each period especially analyzing the basic spatial
formation, components, and elements in
modifying and transforming traditional houses in Luang Prabang.


 The study reveals that the transformation and
modification of traditional houses are influenced by a number of factors. The
globalized trend, regulations, socio-economic factors play a key role and are
main causes in this transformation and
modification in traditional houses in Luang Prabang city.  The case study also specifically indicates
that these changes in traditional houses are motivated by the benefits of
income generation as a survival strategy for the low and middle-income people
in Luang Prabang as well as the growing in housing demands. Additionally, the
study shows that the new styles of accommodation and living space are designed
and modified based on general functions in daily life which have combined people needs and conserving
characteristics of traditional houses during the transitional period.

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