LocationHo Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Architect in ChargeAnh Dung To
From the architect. The house is a well conceived small sized residence located in HCM city where the building is the highest in South Vietnam. The challenges of the design carefully considered the conflicts between the need for privacy and a desire for an internal / external communication, all within a compact footprint that addressed the local vernacular within a dense city fabric.
The house questions the idea of being able to live within a 3x10 square metre footprint that provides a spatially dynamic environment.
The building consists of a layering strategy that releases the normally constraints of domestic living. Thus, the exposed structure takes on an aesthetic appeal that provides a legibility of how the architecture responds to both the spatially strategy and also the internal scale and openness within the house.
The bi-fold facade, floating ceilings and internal lighting contribute to the spatially interplay while at the same time utilizing natural cross-ventilation and natural daylighting. The internal voids between storeys helps to keep a connection between the inside and outside even when the doors are closed.
Throughout the day the architecture provides an interplay between light and shadow, offering a durational experience of the passing seasons. The light is also considered as it reflects onto the steel panels from the east in the morning to the side of the staircase located to the west aspect in the afternoon. This consideration of the steel as a metaphor of transparent garments to connect space, helps to delineate between the internal and external border by the use of transparency.
The domestic program with numerous volumes had to be playful and flexible in its design conception. The kitchen, toilet, storage, stair and bookshelf merge into a unified whole which is assumed as a multi-function box with the constraints of 3 x 3 square metres.
The bedroom takes on a spatial compression enhanced by a tunnel like experience framed by the concrete ceiling which is a green garden above. In the morning the sun provides a wonderful experience as its interacts between the glazing and random steel panels defining a threshold between the inside and outside space.
The soul of the house is the most important element defined by such atmospheres. Worship symbolizes the purification and connection between human and nature and the architecture facilitates this sacred interaction. From the worship doorway, the grey path of raw stones is designed for bare feet as a walkway, taking you through the garden to the bench for meditation. You reach a scene in which the moonlight illuminates a romantic setting helping the body to relax within the nature of a dense city.