International offices HUNI Architectes has received the highest prize in an international competition to design the Da Nang City Center Square in Vietnam. Organized by the Department of Construction, the city launched its competition for the square, with HUNI beating out 15 other designs competing for first place. HUNI has experience in Vietnam-based projects, already having collaborated with OMGEVING & Partners to restore Da Nang’s riverfront.
The design adopts the symbolic shape of a typical local element: the Lotus lake. Featuring distinctive ‘Lotus flower’ and ‘Lotus leaf’ canopies, the square aims to increase bike and pedestrian access, along with decreasing water runoff in Da Nang’s rain-filled location. Using its canopy-like shade structure, the Lotus Square will host a playground, market, and water feature symbolic of its chosen motif.
Our goal is to create a unique space combining aesthetics, comfort and functionality, in the heart of Da Nang, for the people of Da Nang – HUNI Architectes.
The square’s lotus-like canopies serve as visual connections between the ground floor and the underground levels of the square. Designed as a radial steel structure supported by central columns, the canopy is comprised of single-units based on the petals of a Lotus flower leaf. 8 primary “petals” serve as the widest roof elements in the middle of the square, becoming more pointed while moving towards the edges.
The lotus-motif continues in the square’s circular flooring and new pink lotus playground, “designed to create a place for the community.” Says HUNI: “The colorful playground is visible from afar, yet it’s a world of its own. It will become a place where children can always drop by to enjoy some playtime after school.” To achieve coherency within the large area covered by the square, a pattern of granite circles knits public space together.
The new Lotus Square can therefore have an intelligent cyclic approach to water provision for the public space elements – HUNI Architectes.
Through the design of the square, HUNI Architects also sought to preserve existing buildings on site. The Han Market, though not a heritage building forms a significant part of the history of Da Nang. The project aims to keep the existing structure and refurbish the interior and the exterior parts. The market will continue to remain an “anchor point for the neighborhood”, drawing tourists and locals alike.
In an effort to reduce traffic, overground car parks are replaced with underground facilities, and the reconfigured open surface of the Lotus Square provides easy access and crossing for pedestrians. Cyclists have their own lanes shared with public transport, with bike sharing facilities forming part of proposed “Mobility Hubs” at the market hall, at a new subway station entrance/canopy, and on the first floor of the new underground parking.
Two new water features on the square will be designed as SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems). The main water feature in the square’s centre will contain over 50 fountains. Despite its large size, the water level is designed to be shallow to accommodate children using it as a playing pool. Both features can be used all year round and will feature lighting and performance sets for the fountains for the public to enjoy at events.
One of the primary goals of the square design is to decrease water runoff into Da Nang’s combined storm and waste water sewer system, says HUNI Architects on their choice of materials. Removing impervious surfaces like asphalt, and replacing them with pervious materials like permeable paving and vegetation, can substantially reduce urban runoff. A new framework of avenue trees around the square will be planted in large tree pits that collect rainwater, supporting the permeable street system.
Its design and construction will form part of Da Nang’s master plan to transform the city into Vietnam’s most modernized urban hub by 2030.
LocationHải Châu, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
Architect in Charge
CollaboratorsOMG Designer, Hydroscan, Ney & Partner
Information Courtesy of: HUNI Architectes.
'Green corridor,' 'green connections,' and a 'green program' are coming to Vietnam's third largest city, Da Nang. Antwerp-based design company OMGEVING and partners was awarded a joint first place prize - out of 39 applicants -for the design competition for Da Nang's Han Riverfront master plan that has an estimated cost of 85 million euros.