Terra Cotta Studio


Location: Dien Phuong, Dien Ban, Quang Nam Province
Architects: Nguyen Hai Long, Tran Thi Ngu Ngon, 
Year: 2016
Construction: Local workers 
Site area: 49 m.sq
Building area: 98 m.sq
Level: 02 (1 ground floor, 1 mezzanine)
Material: Clay solid brick, solid wood, concrete, bamboo
Photographs: Oki Hiroyuki 

A Terracotta Studio, located next to Thu Bon river in Dien Ban district of Quang Nam Province has a particular architectural structure. Noted for being the working space of renowned artist Le Duc Ha the studio is a beautiful art structure to engage in.  The Thu Bon river holds a strong influence on the life of the local residents as a majority of people are dependent on agriculture along with a variety of traditional craft villages such as terra cotta, mat or silk.
This project is cube-shaped building with 7m x 7m x 7m of space. Surrounding the studio is a bamboo frame platform used for drying out terra cotta products. It is further designed with two big bench for resting, relaxing and having tea. This raised platform also serves  as a fence to seperate the studio with the area of workshop. 
The outermost layer of the studio is made by clay solid brick, which reminds people about  Vietnam traditional furnace. The studio also carries the characteristics of Champa culture as the area was part of Tra Kieu, Champa Kingdom capital from 4th to 7th Century.  
The bricks were built interleaved creating holes which help the wind ventilating  and air conditioning. This layer is not the wall preventing outside environtment from inside the studio, so the artist can feel the wind, the cool from river and sound of nature in surrounding area. Meanwhile, it also creates a certain privacy for the artist.
The interior of the studio is the three-floors wood frame system creating 60-centimetre-square modules integrate shelves for displaying artworks, a staircase leading upstairs, hallways and seating benches. The height of the frame is 7 meters. Follow the hallways, people can observe the workshop, river banks and the whole garden through windows.
The centre of the studio consists of two floors.In ground floor, there is a turning table that the artist works. The artist and his works can interact with the sunlight, from the sunrise to twilight. Here, people can find the conversation of the artist and his works; and himself and his shadow in the silence.
At the same time, people can see and feel the time passing  terra cotta artworks by the movement of the sunlight. 
On the mezzanine, people can see many different space inside and outside the studio, as well as observe  the artist working by the round void in the centre.  
Flooding was also a consideration when designing the building. By encouraging the artist to put both finished and unfinished works on the upper shelves, they should remain safe if the river bursts its banks and flows into the building.
The design team desires the studio will be a place containing, contemplating and spreading emotion of the artist with his both finished and unfinished artworks. The project is a destination for people who love terra cotta to share and have the experience with the clay. 

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