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  4. Low Cost House / Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Low Cost House / Vo Trong Nghia Architects

  • 01:00 - 18 December, 2012
Low Cost House / Vo Trong Nghia Architects
© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki
  • Architects

  • Location

    Dongnai Hospital, Quyết Thắng, Bien Hoa, Dong Nai province, Vietnam
  • Architect in Charge

    Vo Trong Nghia, Masaaki Iwamoto
  • Design Team

    Kosuke Nishijima
  • Contractor

    wNw House JSC
  • Client

    wNw House JSC
  • Area

    40.5 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki +22

From the architect. According to the statistics, the quantity of total housing area in Vietnam has been increased tenfold in the last decade. However, many families are still living in very small houses, some of which are less than 10 square meters. It is an important issue for Vietnam to provide houses for low-income classes.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

The aim of this project is to propose a prototype house for low-income classes in the Mekong Delta area. By minimizing the functions of the house and using low cost materials throughout, the construction cost of a house can be brought down to as little as about 3200USD. Living expenses will also be reduced by using natural resources and energies.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

Two prototypes were experimentally constructed in Dong Nai province, on the construction site of a Kindergarten project designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects. The first house, with a floor area of 22.5 square meters, was designed as a model home, the second, measuring 18 square meters, was designed as a site office for the Kindergarten, showing the flexibility of this prototype.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

On the assumption that the bathroom and kitchen are placed outside and shared with several families, the house has minimum space for living, eating and sleeping. The plan was designed to be adjustable toward the longitudinal direction, allowing for future expansion of family members and functions. Its interior is a simple one-room space, articulated by curtains and differences in level of the floor. The floor rises higher in part, creating minimum furniture such as a desk.

The other distinctive feature is the installation of folding beds, which allow the dwellers to sit on the floor during the day. These beds can also be transformed into sofas if required.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

In order to reduce the construction cost, dwellers are encouraged to participate in the construction process. The structure of the prototype house is, therefore, a lightweight steel frame, which is easy to assemble without the use of machines, nor special techniques. Considering the recyclability of materials, wet joints are avoided as possible. The roof is supported by truss-beams composed of steel bars, which minimize steel material and give ideal pitch for waterproofing.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

The envelope of the house is composed of a polycarbonate panel wall and corrugated FRP panel roof, and bamboo louvers are set inside of it. Both materials are available everywhere in Vietnam and are cheap, light and replaceable. Bamboo is rapid-growing and therefore the eco-friendly material.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

Translucent envelope and bamboo louvers filter harsh direct sunshine in the tropical climate. The interior is filled with diffused light and reduces the need for artificial lighting, dramatically reducing electricity consumption. There is also a gap between the roof and the wall, which has the function of evacuating the hot air. As the whole space is naturally ventilated there is no need for an air conditioner to be installed in this house. A pent roof was designed to collect rain water for daily use in the dry season. Utilizing blessings of nature, dwellers can save great amount of energies, resources and therefore money.

Cite: "Low Cost House / Vo Trong Nghia Architects" 18 Dec 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Burlaphouse · April 16, 2014

Strong concept, nice appearance but not really practical especially for fireproof !

Duy Khanh Nguyen · March 01, 2013

tôi thích nó..

HQH · February 15, 2013

Form fellow function. Where is the house function? This is not a house, should correct its name or finction.

Triet Le · December 27, 2012

On my second thought, this prototype does not work at all. By looking only at the roof structure, and knowing such country like Vietnam, imagine during the monsoon season, the roof will be blow away in second, not to mention natural ventilation would probably be hell since the dweller will be exposed to sunlight all day long. In other country like US, and Europe, the best thing to do is letting a lot of daylight into the space, yet, it is the other way in Vietnam, especially in province like Dong Nai, people prefer shade than sunlight. In addition, it is said the aim of the project also include flexibility and adaptability of space. This prototype does not reflect that, with land as a scared resource, expanding horizontally/longitudinally is really the worst option to provide. Oh, and did I mention there is no privacy in the space as well? putting a structure as open as that will only invite theft and murderer into their house. Sound crazy but that is the real situation in Viet Nam. The only credit I would give to his work is his effort to create structure like that, as much as I know, there has not been such thing being done in Viet Nam. I only wish he would keep going and keep create thing with People and their Need in mind, not just create beautiful little thing.

Jackie · December 21, 2012

Simple and smart!

Ipad · December 20, 2012

But we can see alot building of him, it is very good.?i love stacking green and bin duong school.

hatharch · December 19, 2012

mr nghia, i wonder why don't he ashamed of himself ? he is blabbering about the building of himself with vietnamese..all building of him just mediocre building. he cost alot of money for PR skills. please don't post his building in this site anymore .. plz..!!

Andrew · December 19, 2012

yeap! I love this I have been to Mekong delta. I can image how good it is.

Saito · December 19, 2012

mr. Ngia. In general, very good design. Green and simple! He alway has strong concept. Vietnamese people still not understand fully about him!

vie · December 19, 2012

I see Mr.Nghia design VietNam house expo in sanghai - China and this , i dont like only cafe is ok

Patrick H · December 19, 2012

The quality of interior light is amazing. It would be interesting to see someone adapt this wall system to a more western style home.

cad · December 19, 2012

A tent would be more practical, if money was an issue.

Kim Võ · December 18, 2012

It would be nice for temporary workplace. Doesn't look very practical for house, no WC, no kitchen, and costs 3200 usd, i really don't think the design makes any sense

Chi'_Tr · September 21, 2014 05:11 AM

B?n có ??c h?t bài vi?t không mà ?ã nh?y vào comment? Trong bài nói rõ ràng là nhà ???c thi?t k? v?i gi? thi?t là v? sinh và b?p dùng chung cho nhi?u nhà ???c xây riêng bên ngoài. Thêm r?t nhi?u ki?m chác xu Vi?t Nam anti-VoTrongNghia vào auto ch?i ? phía d??i n?a. M?i l?n tôi ??c nh?ng comment ki?u này là l?i th?y sôi máu lên. Khi ng??i ta thi?t k? m?t c?n nhà thì h?n là ?ã c? g?ng ??t ra các gi? thi?t và yêu c?u ??u vào và c? g?ng ??a ra ph??ng án t?i ?u. N?ng, gió, nhi?t ??, bão, l?t, ánh sáng, tính riêng t? ....các b?n ngh? ra ???c ch?ng nh? VTN không ngh? ??n, nh?t là ?ây l?i là ?i?m m?nh c?a VTN và anh là m?t ng??i sinh ra và lên lên ? m?t vùng n?ng nóng m?a bão quoanh n?m. Thi?t k? t?t hay không ph?i ???c ??t trong s? so sánh v?i yêu c?u và nguyên nhân hình thành nên thi?t k? ?ó. Tôi không ph?i là m?t fan c?a VTN và có lúc thích hay không thích các thi?t k? c?a anh nh?ng nh?n xét v? m?t thi?t k? hay b?t c? th? gì thì ph?i có trách nhi?m và suy ngh? th?u ?áo, và quan tr?ng h?n là có logic và mang tính xây d?ng. M?t b? ph?n ng??i Vi?t th?t k? l?, suy ngh? h?p hòi và hèn h? ??n m?c không th? ch?u n?i n?u có b?t k? ai làm ???c ?i?u gì ?ó t?t h?n mình. B?n thân ch?a làm ???c gì nh?ng lúc nào c?ng ch? ch?m ch?m chê bai dìm ng??i khác (ng??i Vi?t) xu?ng ?? ch?ng t? mình h?n ng??i, còn g?p n??c ngoài dù là h?ng r? rách thì c?ng dúm dó s? s?t. ??t n??c ?i v? ?âu v?i nh?ng d?ng ng??i nh? th? này. Ngh? mà th?y ?iên c? ng??i, ch? mu?n ch?i m?t tr?n cho ?? t?c.

Toan · December 21, 2012 10:17 AM

wondering whether you read the article or not. This is a prototype of housing, which mean that it can be modified to suit to user's needs. I have not seen any architect can design a house which can please everyone in this world.

319 land ngoc · December 19, 2012 02:11 PM

Prison cell


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