Most Centaurs are more than seven feet long and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Traditional homes were constructed carefully to account for size and ease of mobility, and are unlike anything else seen in Lathai.
Despite most tribes being largely nomadic, Centaurs do sometimes rely on permanent settlements. This is especially true in the north where harsh winters make living in tent-like structures dangerous. The following applies to permanent structures. This could be a Northern Tribes winter settlement or a non-nomadic tribe's village. Due to the Centaur's somewhat communal society, homes are generally shared between friends or siblings. Single-family homes are impractical due to how large these structures tend to be.
Architectural MotifsA Centaur's size and shape present some unique challenges. To accommodate this, buildings are quite large and include quite a bit of "moving space". The general architectural plan for permanent buildings built by Centaur tribes are overlapping circles. There are often several entrances and exits. This can make a Centaur dwelling quite large, so often a single home will be shared by several unrelated Centaurs, who all aid in the home's construction.
Construction MaterialsResources available to Centaurs in the north, west, and east include mainly grasses, mud, and relatively small woody stems. The south relies much more on wood and their homes are constructed differently than outlined below. However, they do follow a similar general layout. Before construction, the foundation is carefully packed beneath heavy weight into a solid floor. Buildings are generally constructed of a woven wooden frame covered by a thick paste made primarily of mud. Mud also makes up the bricks used to build the fireplace and chimney. The roof is usually a wooden frame covered by thatch, arching upward toward the chimney in the center. The floor of centaur homes may look like simple dirt, they are actually carefully crafted. Construction of the floor often begins the season before the house is built because it is such an intricate process. Floor are usually built by women, who begin by digging a hole around two feet deep the entire area of the floor. Large rocks are poured in and compacted. This layer allows moisture to pass beneath the structure and prevents erosion of the foundation. This layer is followed by a layer of leaves or woven mats sealed with wax or tar, which keeps moisture from traveling up and saturating the layers above. More large rocks are poured on top of the waterproof layer and again compacted. Finally, rocky soil that has been dried in the sun for several days is added. A mixture of sand and soil (usually around twice as much sand as soil) is added to straw and moistened. This is the final layer of the floor. It is smoothed and leveled carefully. For ceremonial buildings or the homes of wealthy members of the tribe, pigments can be added to this layer. The floor is left to dry for several days before it is finally sealed with oil. A floor is considered complete when it has been given eight to ten coats of a specialized oil. This type of floor is durable but not damaging to Centaur hooves.
Example LayoutBelow is what would be a typical permanent dwelling in the north. This example home would likely be shared between two newly wedded couples, along with an additional couple that has children. This home might be shared between eight and ten Centaurs. In this example, the rooms on the left would be shared by the nuclear family. The hallway between the rooms provides much-needed privacy for parents and their children. The other rooms enter into the shared area, which includes a dining area, stove, and storage. The washroom is detached and somewhat away from the home. There is usually a roof extension and platform to house firewood. In this example the firewood storage area would be between the two bedrooms at the bottom. The fireplace is quite important to Centaurs who overwinter in homes like this. Much of the time spent indoors during the winter is spent in the common living area near the fire.
FurnishingsThe furniture within a Centaur dwelling would seem either quite tall or rather short to a Human observer. Things that tend to be handled often, such as food preparation areas, the stove opening, and hooks to hang items are up high so the occupant does not have to bend over to access them. Conversely, seating areas are essentially floor-level. A Centaur's bed is essentially an unsealed bag stuffed with cloth or straw. The stuffing is usually pushed mostly to one side, creating something of a ramp. This allows the occupant to quickly and easily rise. Interior "doors" are made of a thick woven cloth hung from the frame. This provides privacy while also allowing the occupant to move easily between rooms. Exterior doors, on the other hand, are made of wood and are split in half horizontally so half the door can open and allow the occupant to look out. Wall decorations are traditionally woven so they can fit to the shape of the wall. Colors are usually vibrant, colored with the same dyes used on clothing. These dyes are made from flowers and berries, and contribute to intricate patterns.
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