Text description provided by the architects. University of Architecture, Ho Chi Minh City (UAH) was founded in 1951 in the center of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) formerly known as Saigon at address 196 Pasteur street, district 03, HCMC. Sixty-five years ago, the university was a school which had a closed relationship with French École des Beaux-Arts. Until now, UAH has been developing rapidly from a small architecture school to become a university with many departments and subjects including architecture, urban planning, interior design, industrial design, structural engineering and infrastructural technology. At the moment, the university has welcomed more 8,000 students of all years and courses. A huge number of students is really a challenge for the capacity of the existing university campus. This problem leaded to a vital need of the new additional construction of UAH in Thu Duc district, HCMC. The campus building was opened officially in 2015
Integration of the building form and urban characteristics
•The construction site is approached from two streets with entire different urban features. According to the urban context around the site, the scheme for master plan and building massing was considered. The whole building volume is divided into 2 parts. At Dang Van Bi street, there is an eight floor block and at the rear, there is a lower block with maximum 4 floors so as to connect harmony to the neighborhood of villas
Organization of open spaces alternative with ‘Babylon gardens’
•The condition of construction site indicates some disadvantages, for example quite narrow width and deep length, limitation of view to outside, limited area for gardens and landscape.
•The design scheme is optimization of the open spaces which are organized alternative with the occupied spaces indoors to create idea of ‘Babylon gardens’
•Total area of ground floor is opened in order to cut down construction area and create strong connection between indoor and outdoor
•The open spaces are opened at many different floors of the building. Each open space owns a particular characteristic which brings interesting diverse feelings for the users according to different heights of the building.
•Using the area of rooftop not only creates the open spaces and self-studying zone for the students but also improves microclimatic condition for the building and emphasizes the friendly communication characteristic in an educational environment.
Spatial layout adapting to tropical climate
•Spatial organization at all floors responds well to local climatic condition. All classrooms face to South and North orientation whilst the serviced rooms including lifts, staircases, restrooms, corridor and technical rooms) are placed at West and East side to prevent solar gain.
•The principle of building façade design is simple and clear geometries based on combination of rectangular shape; however, their scale is diverse so as to create animation and equilibrium in the combination of movability and immobility for facades and building form.
•The atrium at 4th floor seems to be the most beautiful open space of the school. It is created by opening and solid walls that are considered profoundly for size, proportion, arrangement to glorify particularity of a strong point of the building. This atrium indicates communication characteristic clearly and provides good views for the students.
Solutions for building fabric conform to hot-humid climate condition
•The size and area of windows are designed plausible according to activities of classroom and the use of glazing to fully cover the building surfaces is avoided.
•The windows are aligned with the internal surface of wall which is to minimize the impacts of direct sunlight and allows the effectiveness of shadow on facades.
•Double layer wall structure optimizes the air convection to cool spaces indoors.