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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. Vietnam
  5. VTN Architects
  6. 2013
  7. Green Renovation / VTN Architects

Green Renovation / VTN Architects

  • 01:00 - 5 August, 2014
Green Renovation / VTN Architects
Green Renovation / VTN Architects, Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki +27

  • Architects

  • Location

    Hanoi, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Architect in Charge

    Vo Trong Nghia, Takashi Niwa, Tran Thi Hang
  • Project Architects

    Ngo Thuy Duong, An Viet Dung
  • Contractor

    Wind and Water House JSC
  • Area

    387.0 m2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

Green Renovation / VTN Architects, Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects

From the architect. Vietnam’s fast development raises many urban problems; less green space, electricity shortages and flooding. The increasing number of motorbikes are causing traffic jams and serious air pollution. “Greenfall renovation”, a prototypical single house renovation in Hanoi, was designed against this backdrop, returning greenery to the city and encouraging a comfortable living environment to both the resident and the neighbors.

Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects

15-year-old existing house, located in the city center, at a corner of a street on South-west and an alley on North-west, had suffered from dim, dark, wet and moldy environment, which is a typical condition for many of the older houses in Hanoi. The house had been secured and closed by security bars and shutters, making balconies unused space.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

To remedy this situation, the house is renovated to live with green and abundant light.  Existing massive concrete staircase was replaced with slender steel stairs, creating a triangle light well, through which natural light and ventilation are introduced from skylight. Walls of this light well are finished by lumpy marble stone to reflect and diffuse the light. Another void was cut into first floor slab to connect the dining space (GF) with a study (1F), which encourages communication of residents and brings sunlight through the green façade deep into the house. The ground floor was raised to install air ventilation layer beneath, to prevent rising damp and condensation, a frequent problem in Hanoian houses at the turn of seasons. 

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

The house is characterized by green facade named “Greenfall”, a pleasant green waterfall which attract both from interior and from exterior. Old security fences were removed and replaced with galvanized steel trellis, attached to existing balcony, on which climbers grow. So the unused balconies are transformed into space for greens, keeping the privacy and security for the residents. From the interior, every room can enjoy the view of green and get fresh air through it. This green façade is not only for residents but also for neighbors, providing attractive leafy-scape to the streets.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

The green facade and the roof garden function together to reduce energy consumption: they protect the building from harsh West sunlight. Many kinds of vegetables and flowers are planted on the green roof, as well as a tree. Thanks to plenty of greenery, the residents became more aware of environment and started to take actions to reduce unnecessary energy.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

This system of green façade and roof is prototypical and applicable to all buildings in tropical climates. It can be a seed to realize a potential Green City in tropical countries, offering solutions for their serious urban problems. It can reduce the risks of flooding, where the layer of soil function as retention basins, as well as reducing the urban heat island effect through the increase greenery, while locally the building promotes social interaction through sharing the green-scape and its food products. It is hoped that this project will be a modest model to greening tropical cities, where benefits of a healthy green home can be shared by not just the occupant but have a wider positive impact on the city.

Cite: "Green Renovation / VTN Architects" 05 Aug 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Cheryl Wood · January 08, 2015

I wonder if the art deco facade is still visible beneath the bars. It's not clear from the photos.

majchers · December 12, 2014

Very nice reno indeed. Classy. Modern. Fresh. Airy. :)
And then... I saw the "before" elevation. Why would one want to ruin such a classic art deco beauty?! :(

Prach · August 30, 2014

Steel bars: preventing crimes, yes.
Like in Bangkok, steel bars is one of the MUSTs for houses, for security.
Yes, everyone hates that it looks like prison, but only if we have better choices...
Here the greenery made the bars look more friendly. I say, Nice Job.

THU TRANG · August 16, 2014


Th? · August 14, 2014

Hình t??ng này em th?t s? mu?n nó ???c chau chu?t thêm, n?u nhìn t? góc th?i gian. C?m ?n anh ?ã là m?t hình t??ng ?? h?c t?p

Sunnydays · August 10, 2014

I lived in China when I was little, and I confirm that it's a security concern. Where I lived, everybody who lived on the 1st and 2nd floors of high-rise buildings had their windows barred to prevent break-ins. I like this concept, and I think that adding foliage to existing bars could be a cheap and easy way of improving the streets capes where I used to live! I'll keep it in mind the next time I go home!

Lelong · August 08, 2014

It is funny, only because of some steel structure everybody talks about prisons.
I guess it is not so much of living inwards, but living safe. Most Cities in Asia have a have problem with crime. We (in Hong Kong) get even a call from our landlord if we leave our windows open for being 10 minutes at the beach. Looking from the Asian point of view (I am native European) it is a great project. Safe, green, clean, inward ... everything that Asians in polluted areas want. Great job.

TQC · August 07, 2014

Thân g?i KTS Võ Tr?ng Ngh?a:
Em th?y g?n ?ây nh?ng h?ng m?c này, các công trình c?a cty anh luôn có "v??n xanh" trên mái(2015 Milan Expro, House for trees...). Có th? ?ó là nh?ng d?u hi?u cho th?y cty anh ?ang b?t ??u th? nghi?m tham v?ng mu?n "làm xanh thành ph?", và tôn ch? hàng ??u c?a cty anh là "Ki?n trúc xanh"(ai c?ng th?y rõ ?i?u này qua nh?ng công trình c?a cty anh), nh?ng e th?y ?ôi khi nh?ng cái "mái xanh" c?a anh khá là l?c lõng(quan ?i?m cá nhân), n?u có 100, 1000... mái nh? th? ??ng c?nh nhau thì ok, nh?ng ti?c là gi? nó ?ang ??n l?. Ví d? nh? House for trees, hay công trình này thì cái v??n trên mái "h?i phí", t?i sao phòng khách không ???c mang lên t?ng 4? di?n tích t?ng tr?t gi?i phóng?
(còn m?t vài ý ki?n nh?ng em ?ã vi?t h? dài r?i). Em không ??c bi?t thích m?t công trình c? th? nào c?a cty anh, nh?ng em ?n t??ng v?i tinh th?n dám ngh? dám làm mà anh và cty ?ang theo ?u?i, ??n lúc n?n KTVN c?n l?m nh?ng con ng??i nh? anh. Mong ch? m?t ngày mai t??i sáng cho KTVN. Thân.

ppunkk · August 07, 2014


Huy Do · August 07, 2014


Jose Duran · August 06, 2014

Well, from our western point may look a prison, but have to experience the urban environment in South Asia to understand their designs. Many citizens in China, Vietnam...prefers to live inwards and not facing a caothic, exausting, noisy and polluted road.

vahid · August 07, 2014 09:45 AM

This architect is so Smart...

le nguyenhung · August 06, 2014

gi?i pháp r?t hay, ch? ??u t? ch?u ...nghe

mnms · August 06, 2014

Can i like it and not like it at the same time? It looks like a cool place, but then again it looks like a prison too. A cool green prison.

ppunkk · August 07, 2014 08:39 AM

could you forget , it s on " at a corner of a street on South-west "
. in a tropical country . South-west is hostest and into serious air pollution condiction be lived in a " A cool green prison" is happiness

vahid · August 06, 2014 02:26 PM

I like this prison..


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