Architects: 1+1>2 Location: Tả Phìn, Sa Pa District, Lao Cai province, Vietnam Project Architects: Hoang Thuc Hao, Pham Duy Tung, Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy Project Manager: Red Dream Project Project Year: 2012 Photographs: Courtesy of 1+1>2
The project site is at Unit 1, Xa Seng village, Ta Phin commune, 17km far from center of Sapa town, a popular tourism attraction in the north of Vietnam. The project is a multi-functional community house, which will contribute to the local economic growth, enhance tourism development and maximize the local potentials. The project is also developed toward sustainable development for the local community by preserving natural resources and environment, as well as enhancing the local cultural diversity and traditional handicrafts. The action program will include training strategies for local people in sustainable agriculture, tourism, and project management.
The community house will be incorporated with an herb garden, and will include a working space, an exhibition room for local handicraft product, a small library, a communication center, as well as a studio for training program. All the above activities have been supported and advised by not only the local people but also the authorities and other community associations.
The building form is inspired by the traditional red-scarf of the Dao minority woman, as well as the form of the mountainous topography of Sapa. The building uses local labor and material such as stone, recycled wood, adobe brick… and other sustainable green technologies such as: rain-water filter system, solar energy, 5 compartment septic tanks, energy saving fireplaces, utilizing extra heat from the fireplace.
The location of the community house has also been well considered: It is in the center of the commune, next to the elementary school and public rice milling station, therefore it can maximize the use of all the above center and is easy to be recognized by tourists.
The community house has just been opened for a short time, however it is getting many compliments and supports from the local community. We do hope that in future, the same idea will be applied for other communities, especially for minority communes.