AD+studio architects has designed a 150m² house in Binh Duong, a province in the south of Vietnam and located just north of Ho Chi Minh City. While the town has seen rapid industrial development, it has also led to other urban problems such as air and noise pollution, and traffic congestion, all of which impact the quality of life. The house is located close to three large industrial parks.
Under such general disadvantages coming from the context, at first the initial design plan aimed to seclude this house from surroundings, focusing only on improving the inside living environment quality. This solution, however, was incongruent with the lifestyle of the resident family comprising three-generations, who have long had a strong connection with this street’s community.
The design team used “The Boundary” as the underscoring theme of the project. The vertical boundary outlined the partition between interior space and the outside one. Instead of the original idea about the façade – completely closed as a straight, solid wall – it was later developed into a semi-space limited by a solid-and-void brick “curtain” wall and inner room’s walls. These room walls work as the second layer of façade, together with greenery and stairs put in between the two, all which have created a transitional buffer zone.
This combination forms a double skin structure, minimising environmental impact such as heat while ensuring effective ventilation, day-light, and especially preserving the interaction between the building and the front alley. Fired bricks, a local material with the ability to form flexible shapes, are used for the “curtain” of the facade.
Its transition of colour and porosity describes the privacy level and intention of the spaces arranged behind, graded according to height and function. The interaction gradually diminishes as one ascends the top floors. The architects chose this space for the family’s newly-wed couple’s ensuite bedroom as well as a creative workspace for the husband, who is a graphic artist.
While the vertical boundary is a way of communicating between the building and context, a horizontal strategy has been used in the inner spaces. Through the diversity of height created by different slabs – replacing the continuous ones often found in typical tube houses – there is increased activity among the family members. The open spacious plan, together with flexible stairs system which runs around the house, mitigates the small space by opening up the house spaces – all in the limited construction area of 4×8 meters.
Photos: Hoang Le