Ha House Vietnam
The Ha House in Vietnam designed by VTN Architects creates one continuous garden that connects people and nature - much needed in the congested city of Ho Chi Minh.
Words by VTN Architects, Vietnam.
This is a private house project for the three-generation family located in an emerging residential area, 15-minutes drive from the centre of Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.
The newly built houses around the site form a highly dense neighborhood and they share the outer wall with each other. The site of the project is in such a narrow site of 7 metre wide x 20 metre long.
Principal Architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Tran Thi Hang
Design team: Takahito Yamada, Le Viet Minh Quoc, Mitsuyoshi Shingu
Office Credit: VTN Architects (Vo Trong Nghia Architects)
Photography: Hiroyuki Oki
Among such typical highly dense residential development areas in Asia, we decide to propose a strategy of housing that suitable for the tropical climate in which greenery and the residents live intertwined.
The client’s first request is “a large green garden” where children can play and adults can have BBQ with their family and friends. In addition, the residents also expect a big swimming pool, spaces for exercise, a grandmother’s bedroom, a living room and dining with kitchen, a sufficient parking lot – all on the ground floor. Hence, we have proposed to divide the idea of the “large green garden” into smaller connected gardens.
One continuous garden
Specifically, as the volume of the building is climbed from the ground floor, it is gradually set back while twisting. On the top floor, the house is configured to protrude a two metre cantilever to the main road. The stepped gardens of the house are intertwined with the terrace as they are connected and continue to the top floor. Depending on the type of trees, they create umbrage that filters the harsh sunlight and cool down the air for the house. In addition, each tree pots also functions as a blindfold from the main road.
On the other hand, the terraces are arranged on each floor with various sizes according to function. In some places, it is designed as a private garden that the residents can access directly from their bedroom. While in other spaces, the terrace becomes the public garden which everyone can gather. All of these gardens are individual spaces that are also “one continuous garden” where the residents and kids can go through by the steel staircase outside.
In the interior space, the ground floor and the first floor are connected by a huge central void. It attaches all of the main functional spaces such as the living room, the dining with kitchen, the library and the kids’ bedroom to become one space in which the residents can interact with each other. At the same time, through the big openings with different scales and proportions inside the house, the residents can also connect with the greenery outside the house.
Thus, we hope that the house will be a bridge that connects people as well as people with nature.
The gaps that are created by the shifted volumes allows the natural sunlight and cool wind to pass through. In such an elongated site where it is often narrow, hence we have created such open spaces for the house.
As the direct sunlight is reduced by the greenery on the facade of the house, the residents’ future electricity usage of air conditioners will also be decreased.
Because of the limited budget, we are required to reduce the finishing cost for the house as low as possible. Therefore, we apply bricks as finishes, a method commonly used in the construction sites in Vietnam while at the same time reducing the construction expenses in general. In addition, as the labour cost was small, we were able to control the quality of arranging the brick on the construction site. Since brick is also a local material, the carbon footprint from transportation was greatly decreased.
Connecting people and nature
This project is one of the latest projects of the series project “House for trees” which we have been continuing during these past few years. Among them, we aimed for not only to plant trees in houses, but also to create a new type of house for trees which the life of residents and nature are more closely intertwined.