Text description provided by the architects. The Coalimex building is an office building with an area of about 10’000m2 divided by 10 shop and office storeys. Located at 33 Trang Thi Street, in the centre of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, this building stands amidst many commercial centres and historical places. The particular congested context coupled with the will to produce an eco-friendly building brings multiple concerns: noise management, direct view optimisation, natural ventilation principles and how to be an iconic building respectful of its neighbourhood.
In order to produce a sustainable way to organize the offices, each floor must be flexible and be divided into different office spaces of different sizes. In this way, the narrow building manages to offer multiple differing areas and atmospheres. The facade is adapted to the different contexts of the plot. The main façade, which is directly in contact with the street, gives its strong identity to the Coalimex building and deals with its constraints. It is made of double-layered glass. On the second layer, a pattern that interprets the meeting of the trees of the Hanoi streets and the coal (symbol of the client) is printed on the glass.
The density of the pattern allows for sunlight to be guided throughout the building and offers more privacy to the office space. This layer is a protection from the noise of the street; it creates efficient natural ventilation and protects the building from the rain. The back facade, which has to deal with a completely different context, is made of successions of windows and loggias which create a grid able to manage the extreme proximity of the next door building. The loggias act as interior gardens; they offer a real “release” for the user, bringing the outside inside and providing natural ventilation to the office space.