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2015 Norden Fund Winner to Study “Ecologies of War and Recovery” in Vietnam

The Architectural League has named Ylan Vo the winner of this year’s Deborah J. Norden Fund travel grant for her project entitled Ecologies of War and Recovery: A Case Study in Vietnam’s A Luoi Valley.

Vo’s project explores the A Luoi Valley “as an example of the post-conflict landscape of Vietnam, with particular emphasis on understanding the ecological and social conditions surrounding toxic Agent Orange hotspots that mark the valley.” Agent Orange, also called Dioxin, is the most potent carcinogen in existence, and poses major threats to environmental health and sustainability.

Samsung Commissions Choon-Soo Ryu to Design Vietnamese Community Center

Samsung Electronics is spearheading a village development project in ThuyHoa, Vietnam, as part of a new social contribution program named “the Nanum Village.” The Nanum Village is a project where the local government cooperates with residents of a village who are willing to develop their neighborhood, improving the public infrastructure and supporting local people’s initiatives for sustainable development of the village. This new community center by Korean architect Choon-Soo Ryu will be built in 2015 as a result of that initiative.

Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 4, “Greening the City”

“Green architecture helps people live harmoniously with nature and elevates human life by embracing the powers of the sun, wind and water into living space. If the current way of thinking does not change, sooner or later citizens will actually live in concrete jungles,” Vo Trong Nghia says in this week’s episode of Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture series. An award-winning Vietnamese architect, Nghia is known for his sustainable and green designs as well as his work with bamboo. In this 25-minute episode, we follow Nghia on his mission to transform Vietnam’s attitude towards architecture and green spaces through his “Vertical Farming City,” and catch a glimpse of his project to implement low-cost housing solutions for Vietnam’s poorest communities in Mekong Delta.  

Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…

© Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera © Al Jazeera

Milan Expo 2015: Vo Trong Nghia's Lotus-Inspired Vietnamese Pavilion

Vo Trong Nghia has unveiled designs for the Vietnamese pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Inspired by the lotus, the pavilion features a number of bamboo clad, umbrella-like structures supporting trees above a pool of water, in a composition reminiscent of their Kontum Indochine Cafe.

"The Lotus is Vietnam’s national flower, a symbol of purity, commitment and optimism for the future," say the architects. "Growing from the muddy ponds it rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty. The flower is proof that patience can turn difficulties into advantages."

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

AD Round Up: Architecture in Vietnam

There are few countries as architecturally diverse as Vietnam.  To celebrate this diversity, we’ve collected five of our favorite projects from this stylistically diverse country.  These include the grove-like Kontum Indochine Café, the towering, leafy Stacking green, and the sinuous Binh Duong School, all by Vo Trong Nghia + Shunri Nishizawa + Daisuke Sanuki.  We’ve also included the striking geometry that is the Folding Wall House by NHA DAN ARCHITECT, and the inverted pyramid of the Hanoi Museum by gmp Architekten.  Enjoy!

Could Ho Chi Minh City's Architecture Be Saved by Its Economic Rut?

In this article, originally published in Metropolis Magazine as "A Time-Out," Carl Robinson reminisces about the architecture of the Ho Chi Minh City he remembers from the 1960s and discusses how the urban landscape has changed in subsequent years. As Vietnam grapples with economic downturn, he asks, how might the city to develop? 

Over the past 15 years, as Vietnam finally left its long years of war behind, the former capital of South Vietnam—Saigon—became the country’s economic powerhouse. Until fairly recently, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) was a boomtown. Even before touching down at its busy international airport, I see new buildings rising up through the sprawling and tightly packed suburbs, splayed across the city’s surrounding delta landscape and muddy meandering rivers. 

Off in the distance along the wide Saigon River, where the spires of the city’s French Colonial Roman Catholic cathedral once dominated downtown, an impressive silhouette of high-rises reach to the tropical sky. The city’s twenty-first-century feel continues through its sweeping new terminal (designed by GWA) and then down a wide boulevard past contemporary office buildings and shops. Eventually I reach the intimate tree-lined streets of old Saigon, the residential quarter created by the French more than 150 years ago.

Vo Trong Nghia named Vietnamese Architect of the Year

Stacking green / Vo Trong Nghia + Daisuke Sanuki + Shunri Nishizawa © Hiroyuki Oki
Stacking green / Vo Trong Nghia + Daisuke Sanuki + Shunri Nishizawa © Hiroyuki Oki

By popular vote on the architectural website Ashui.com, Vo Trong Nghia has been announced as Vietnam’s Architect of the Year 2012. The Quang Binh native was awarded over two other nominees after a four day public vote. A graduate of Japan’s Nagoya Institute of Technology class of 2002, Vo Trong Nghia leads an award-wining, self-titled practice known for its intricate bamboo and sustainable structures. View a selection of his work after the break.

Staircase for Dogs / 07BEACH

© Hiroyuki Oki / Decon Photo Studio
© Hiroyuki Oki / Decon Photo Studio

The staircase for dogs, by 07BEACH, was part of the design method for this simple house in Vietnam. The architects envisioned not just a comfortable place to live, but a space where daily life will be more fun than usual. Therefore, as a unique design feature, the house represents the client’s affection for their two dogs. More images of the project after the break.

Ta Phin community house / 1+1>2

Courtesy of 1+1>2
Courtesy of 1+1>2

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

Courtesy of 1+1>2
Courtesy of 1+1>2
Courtesy of 1+1>2
Courtesy of 1+1>2
Courtesy of 1+1>2
Courtesy of 1+1>2
Courtesy of 1+1>2
Courtesy of 1+1>2

Vietnam Heats Up: New Developments

Green Tech City, Courtesy SOM.
Green Tech City, Courtesy SOM.

As billings continue to decline in the US, the nation of Vietnam is quickly emerging as a hot spot for Western architecture firms seeking new work. About two dozen North American and European firms now have projects in the Southeast Asian country, including Foster + Partners, HOK, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Some are even reportedly opening permanent offices there.

DC6 - DỰ ÁN THĂNG LONG / ICE

Courtesy of ICE
Courtesy of ICE

ICE – ideas for contemporary environments (with local architect Trinity & Associates) was awarded the 2nd Prize for its entry for DC6 – DỰ ÁN THĂNG LONG, a mixed-use Development, as a popular beach resort near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The design incorporates time share units, residential apartments, serviced apartments and commercial programs, adding up to 30,000 sqm. Read on for more information on this project.

Our Lady of La Vang Pilgrimage Center / Liberty Architecture

Courtesy of Liberty Architecture
Courtesy of Liberty Architecture

Liberty Architecture (Lib.A) shared with us their competition entry for a pilgrimage center in La Vang, Vietnam, which is a small area located in the central province of Quang Tri. The client wanted to develop the area within two decades and asked for a layout that would allow an easy development taking place in the future. Lib.A’s main concept is to re-create the original woods where the Holy Mary appeared. The Cathedral is also conceived as an artificial wood. This original concept of the wood aims to create an uninterrupted and undirected space that allows people to draw their own paths within the Only Path of the Faith. More images and architects’ description after the break.

SOM Awarded Commission for Green Tech City in Vietnam

Courtesy of SOM
Courtesy of SOM

The commission for a Green Tech City in Hanoi, Vietnam was recently awarded to Skidmore Owings & Merrill.  SOM’s preliminary master plan focuses on reducing demand for non-renewable resources while integrating local traditions and utilizing the existing green urban character of Hanoi.  At the heart of this new green district is a riverfront park.  A series of landscaped green spaces, formed from existing agricultural water channels, would connect into this linear riverfront park creating a well connected network of public parks. More information on this news after the break.

Trangtien Street / Studio 8

Main Gathering Space
Main Gathering Space

Studio 8, a group of young Hanoian architects, designed a competition proposal to transform a street in Hanoi, Vietnam.  The project earned third prize and focuses on finding a contemporary solution to bring the street life of Trangtien “to its gracefulness in the near future.” More about the proposal after the break.

KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten lands first project in Vietnam

At an official ceremony on March 23, 2010 the contract for the construction of the new Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation Headquarters was signed in Hanoi. The Cement Industry Corporation’s head office is the first project for Jürgen Engel’s architectural studio in Vietnam to be actually built. The new premises for the Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation, which comprise a five-storey pedestal building and an approx. 135-meter high tower emerged as the victor in a competition as early as April 2008.

More images after the break.

DK2 / ICE

ICE – Ideas for Contemporary Environments, became our first AD Futures ever. They have just shared with us DK2, a luxury service apartments project in Hanoi, Vietnam for which they won 3rd prize in an invited competition.

The project is located next to the West Lake in Hanoi. The competition was requesting to create a residential iconic tower of 65 floors. As the project would be naturally dominant in a city of rather low scale, it focussed less on the design of the form of the building, but rather on the quality of the units within to create a user based experience.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

RMJM designs luxury resort on Vietnam

The resort includes a range of luxury residences and a five-star resort hotel, the 200-room Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa. It is designed to resemble a traditional Vietnamese townscape, with the various buildings arranged in clusters, taking particular inspiration from the historic town of Hue, located just six miles away.

Construction has just started on the beach resort and the planned luxury residences have now been opened for sale. As well as the hotel and spa, the village resort includes 174 luxury condominiums and 27 oceanfront pool villas, covering 50 acres of land stretching along a half-mile of China Beach. The master planning has been designed by RMJM so that each villa and condominium offers maximum views of the scenic Marble Mountain and the South China Sea.

More images after the break.