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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. Vietnam
  5. VTN Architects
  6. 2014
  7. House for Trees / VTN Architects

House for Trees / VTN Architects

  • 01:00 - 20 June, 2014
House for Trees / VTN Architects
House for Trees / VTN Architects, © Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki +19

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Architects in Charge

    Vo Trong Nghia, Masaaki Iwamoto, Kosuke Nishijima
  • Area

    226.0 m2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

  • Project Architect

    Nguyen Tat Dat
  • Contractor

    Wind and Water House JSC
  • Construction Cost

    156,000 USD
  • More SpecsLess Specs
© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

From the architect. Under rapid urbanization, cities in Vietnam have diverged far from their origins as sprawling tropical forests. In Ho Chi Minh City, for example, only 0.25% area of the entire city is covered with greenery. An over-abundance of motorbikes causes daily traffic congestion as well as serious air pollution. As a result, new generations in urban areas are losing their connection with nature.

First Floor Plan
First Floor Plan

House for Trees, a prototypical house within a tight budget of 156,000 USD, is an effort to change this situation. The aim of the project is to bring green space back into the city, accommodating high-density dwelling with big tropical trees. Five concrete boxes are designed as "pots" to plant trees on their tops. With thick soil layer, these pots also function as storm-water basins for detention and retention, therefore contribute to reduce the risk of flooding in the city when the idea is multiplied to a large number of houses in the future.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

Urban context

The house is located in Tan Binh district, one of the most densely populated residential areas in Ho Chi Minh City, where many small houses are crowded together. The site is a remnant landlocked block within this suburb, accessed only by a small pedestrian lane. Resonating with this urban tissue, the house is designed as an accumulation of small fragments. Surrounded by typical Vietnamese row houses on all sides, House for Trees stands out like an oasis.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki


Fitting into the informal shape of the site, five boxes are positioned to create a central courtyard and small gardens in between. The boxes open to this central courtyard with large glass doors and operable windows to enhance natural lighting and ventilation, while remain relatively closed on the other sides for privacy and security. Common spaces such as the dining room and library are located on the ground floor. Upper floors accommodate private bedrooms and bathrooms, which are connected through bridge-cum-eaves made of steel. The courtyard and gardens, shaded by trees above, become part of the ground floor living space. Blurring the border between inside and outside, the house offers a tropical lifestyle that coexists with nature.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki


Local and natural materials are utilized to reduce cost and carbon footprint. The external walls are made of in-situ concrete with bamboo formwork, while locally-sourced bricks are exposed on the internal walls as finishing. A ventilated cavity separates the concrete and brick walls to protect interior space from heat transfer.

Cite: "House for Trees / VTN Architects" 20 Jun 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Greenly · September 02, 2015

This small block will transform the tedious urban context into the active green space. We should not ingnore an chance to create green pot for our world.

Manuel Rodríguez · June 30, 2015

Amazing project... Such a unique space. I really envy the family that can live such an incredible house. Congratulations.

giahoaltd vietnam · August 21, 2014

so good

amanda · July 06, 2014 but i can design more than that if the owner agree to give 500k$ for a such kind of house. Crazy!

Kili · November 15, 2015 01:26 PM

So you say you are a bad designer! budget was 155k. crazy!

tue pham · June 28, 2014

While I really like the experimentalist nature of this project, I take issue with the flood coping effect stated by the author. Here flood is mitigated, if any, not because of the green roof solution (rooftop soil solely serve as water detention/delay) but rather because of the density this low (meaning high pervious cover). Therefore it is quite overstretched to say this typology of green rooftop, even by a large number, can solve the city flood problem.

Nhat Ho Minh · June 27, 2014

Please delete my 2 above comments due to internet corruption. Thanks

Nhat Ho Minh · June 27, 2014

That's unique building but nice. However, my concerns are 2 issues:
1. Can the no-roof-sky-bridges, which connects toilet-stair block and bedroom blocks, be used during 6 months of rainy season in HCM city?
2. Does it has any solution for bike protection and security issue? I believe that not too much Vietnamese people prefer their bikes park outside.

Nhat Ho Minh · June 27, 2014


Nhat Ho Minh · June 27, 2014

That's unique building in Vietnam, but nice. However, my concerns are 2 issues:
1. The no-roof-sky-bridges, which connect bedroom blocks and toilet-stair block, can be used during 6 months of rainy season in HCM city ?
2. Is there any solution for bike protection and security issue? I believe that Vietnamese people prefer to park their bikes inside than outside.

Tu?n Anh · June 27, 2014

Chúc m?ng anh Ngh?a và c?ng s?!Great house!

Jone · June 26, 2014

It's nice but it's a big selfish of architect.

Hmmm · June 25, 2014

It is like Moriyama house by Ryue Nishizawa...

May · June 24, 2014

Very happy to see this project

Vet · June 24, 2014

Ok, that's nice! But do trees really need House? Or House for people, not for trees.

Ferdinand · June 24, 2014

Nice concept, but I'm not convinced that 156,000 USD is "modest".

The GDP per person in Vietnam is less than 2000 USD.

tmthuy · June 27, 2014 12:53 AM

Dude, it costs us 500,000 USD to buy a unfurnished house in the outskirt of HCM city, so this is perfectly reasonable

Simin Rezapanah · June 24, 2014

It's a very nice and different project , but linking boxes together are not suit and application.

chris · June 23, 2014

It's a very nice project, but it's not exactly a prototype for adding green space to a dense city. This home's density is WAY lower than that of the surrounding area. They could just as easily have bought two lots, built on one, and made the other a garden. Really, this is a prototype for a city that is half to a quarter as dense. Again, it's an interesting project, but it's also an unrealistic "prototype"

Chanchoo · June 22, 2014

Small park in the City!!!!!, this idea is good for Jakarta (our city) too

Sorosi Zsolt · June 21, 2014

Orinary idea

Berry · June 21, 2014

wow, nice

Alon · June 21, 2014

This is unique work

Louis · October 10, 2014 04:37 AM

Kind of Tadao Ando version


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