Architecture Installation Leisure attraction Urban design

Installation by Hanoi’s MIA Design Studio aims to connect people with architecture and heritage

February 28, 2020

Vietnamese practice MIA Design Studio has designed a public installation by Hoan Kiem Lake promenade in the historic city centre of Hanoi. Titled the Ashui Pavilion, it is a 234m² lightweight architectural structure that serves as an exhibition area, to celebrate the works of architects, investors, and suppliers who have contributed to Vietnamese architecture in 2019. The Ashui Awards ceremony was held at the beginning of the year.

Due to the high footfall along this promenade, it was required for the construction to be flexible, non-disruptive towards general public movement and the beauty of its surroundings.

The objective of the urban intervention is to reconnect people, culture and nature within an urban setting. With an overwhelming speed of development, Hanoi struggles from the same urban challenges as any big city. “Taking these two factors into consideration, we approached the project with a spontaneous awareness to protect the cultural context, which is the motivation that sustains the existing urban gaps. The top priority was to highlight the interconnection between people’s daily activities with architecture,” says lead architect Nguyen Hoang Manh.

“In order to enhance the proximity and comfort between people, the design was inspired by a sense of seasonal weather in the early days of the year, combined with the development and embellishment of the urban landscape. We then created a space where weather and cultural landscapes can express specific meanings to people. By using familiar and simple materials to describe the space, we braided thousands of small nylon cords together to create the image of a clear, white rain in the context of the lake in early spring.” – MIA Design Studio

The architecture appears as an ‘invisible box’, capturing the moment of falling raindrops, integrating into the pedestrian street without hindering the normal circulation. The exhibition space is only delineated by a passage that meanders through the artificial rain – not a straight passage that reveals the end since we intended people to slow down and take more time to enjoy the experience and exhibition as if they were captured in time immersed by the falling rain.

In the exhibition area, transparent mica displays are hung on ropes fixed to the ground along the aisle, creating a floating feeling and making the rain block purer thanks to the simplicity of the design. The remaining non-fixed ropes move freely and smoothly along with the wind and touch of the people. The exhibition terminates with the exit facing the Turtle Tower, an icon of Hanoi located in the middle of Hoan Kiem lake.

Photos: MIA Design Studio

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