Nhà Bè House

Location : Phu Xuan Residential, Nha Be, Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam 

Designed by: Tropical Space
Architects: Nguyen Hai Long, Tran Thi Ngu Ngon
Engineer: Bach Ngoc Hoang
Site area: 12x25m
Construction area: 8x18m
Spatial structure: ground floor, an upper floor, an attic
Finished year: 2022
Photo by : Oki Hiroyuki

The house is a cosy and peaceful place for 4 middle-aged women and their mother. They wish to spend the remaining time of their life to come back and live together in a home, especially looking after their mom. That is a nice way to continue writing and filling fractured memories in childhood.

The site has the shape of a long rectangle, that contains 5 bedrooms, an open living room connected to the garden and the front yard, and common spaces attached together continuously – they embrace a central void to demand two aims: separating individual needs and bringing communication of family members inside the house.

Within the settlement, there is a palm canal crossing. Therefore, the microclimate here is satisfactory, especially on hot summer days because winds are absorbed moisture from that canal when flowing through the residential area. The outdoor environment is cooler.

The big house is designed with a pitched roof. The central void is opened to the attic, which is used as a worship space. This floor acts as a transitional gap to prevent the heat impact of solar radiation from the top at noon. Winds containing moisture evaporated from the canal move inside through openings and the layer of the brick wall, meanwhile, the hot air rises to the attic and escapes at holes in the roof. This naturally ventilated mechanism maintains coolness and satisfaction for the lower floors.

The building is planned in a low dense residential neighbourhood of a peri-urban area, so its approach is from two sides: internal and external.

The external approach includes views to outside, but still having individuality indoor and protecting the hard impact from the sun. The solution of sponge walls with an appropriate height is beneficial for protecting views from the outside, creating enough shadow, allowing air movements, welcoming a little access of sunlight, and enjoy tropical rains but not to be wet.

The internal views are towards the middle, where a square corridor around a central opening with plants is arranged. The staircase is also located here. A core space is daylit and cooled well and is relaxing with the green colour of plants. Next to it, there is a large dining table where daily conversations usually happen. It is open and connective to the living, reading, and cooking spaces and mother’s open bedroom. All indoor spaces are open to outdoor and indoor gardens to bring good emotions, energy, and comfort for occupants via the touch with nature.

Living far away inner city districts allows people to have more open spaces to breathe pure air, enjoy more plants,  a blue sky on morning and a starry night. That is the current movement of many citizens, who are boring to live in compact residential neighbourhoods of the city, especially after COVID-19.

Tropical Space | Vietnam Architecture

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