Blog : ho chi minh city

Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot

Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot

The homegrown architecture firm SAWADEESIGN applied innovative aircraft cabin ideas to give this narrow townhouse a complete makeover. The small family home sits sandwiched between two low-rise buildings in the heart of Tan Binh District. They named the project “303 House.”

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

Townhouse is a typical housing type omnipresent throughout urban Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. By law, places of residence with a frontage smaller than 3.0 meters are not permitted to have more than one floor.

So the only way to build is arrange all the usable spaces and functions on the same horizontal plane. The result is a renovation done right in every sense of the word.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

From the outside looking in, the entire width of the house is only 2.9 meters. With the exterior walls installed, the inside space comes to just 2.7 meters wide.

Interestingly enough, well thought-out design turns an awkward narrow plot into a single-story home that’s simple with all useable spaces giving off good vibes. The bright and airy home occupies less than 90 square meters of land.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

The design duo, Doan Si Nguyen and Vo Thanh Phat, decided against the most commonly used construction process. They proposed an alternative method aimed at reducing the amount of concrete used, an option that risked being rejected by investors from the get-go.

The house ceiling is made of rockwool tole about 150 mm thick. The coated tinplate is widely used in the storage industry and large warehouses for its excellent thermal insulation. Here, it’s used to make the interior living spaces comfortable day and night.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

The contemporary home interior features mixed materials. Among them, grey plaster on the wall proves a perfect complement to gray epoxy paint on the floor.

Together, they provide desirable elements for a calm, peaceful home. Everywhere, furniture made of plywood is a great way to bring a natural look to the interior.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

According to the architects, the secret to creating a healthy home lies in putting multiple layers of functional spaces in neat order to shield the interior from the busy street.

This is especially true in HCMC, where many homes are prone to suffer from the negative effects of outside noise and unrestricted growth of housing areas and commercial development.

Fascinatingly, aircraft cabin ideas came in handy for the townhouse built on an extremely long and narrow plot of land. It’s reminiscent to walking along an aisle between rows of seats on an aircraft. 

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh CityModern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

There’s a paved outdoor area in front of the house entrance that provides a place to socialize. Step inside, and you come into a corridor connecting to a living area, kitchen, and laundry room. Wall-mounted storage cabinets line one side of the aisle and beautifully organized functional spaces on the other.

Two bedrooms with a bathroom attached are tucked away further inside, plus a third at the rear of the house accessible by a small corridor with relaxing area. Where appropriate, clear roofing panels provide natural light for indoor plants, while openings in the wall keep the interior airy and comfortable without air conditioning.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh CityModern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh CityModern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

Not only is the house plan tailored to the specific needs of a family of three. It’s also a great way to live a green life in the midst of the city. Here, in many instances homeowners rent the space in front of their houses to small retailers and businesses. But the residents at 303 House don’t need that kind of income.

They prefer to keep the door closed and enjoy privacy in the comfort of their home. All things considered, it’s mission accomplished.

Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh CityModern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City Modern House / Modern Skinny House on a Narrow Lot in Ho Chi Minh City

Design: SAWADEESIGN / https://www.sawadeesign.net
Lead Architects: Doan Si Nguyen and Vo Thanh Phat
Story: The Architects x Nawapat Dusdul
Photography: Quang Tran / http://quangdam.com

Modern Tropical House in Ho Chi Minh City

Modern Tropical House in Ho Chi Minh City

       The architecture of this modern tropical house in Ho Chi Minh City is perfectly suited to the hot, humid climate, with an imaginative counterpoint of plants, greenery, and airy openings keeping it shady and pleasant inside and out.

/// Vietnam ///
Story: Wuthikorn Suthiapa /// Photography: Tanakitt Khum-on

Sun diversion screens: the design comes from the hollow brick concept, but uses larger units, so the breeze enters more deeply and freely while keeping intense sun and rain from indoor areas.
A spiral staircase rises to the second floor.
The Nishizawa Architects office area

Mr. Shunri Nishizawa, architect and owner of this 5-storey row house, designed the Nishizawa Architects office into the basement. Floors 1-3 are rented to a Vietnamese family with bedroom and dining room on the first floor, living room on the second, and more bedrooms on floor three. The Nishizawa family itself has its living room on the fourth floor and bedrooms on the fifth.

Levels from basement up to the fifth floor alternate between open and closed design, according to their use. Catching sunshine and natural breezes, the second- and fourth-storey balconies are edged with small gardens. This makes the tall building less constricted while allowing for easy air circulation from the front through to the back. Alternating levels extend out from the building’s frame, floors above shading the ones below. 

 

The small gardens also make residents feel relaxed, filter out intense light, and cool the breezes blowing through. Floors two and four feature concrete ceilings sculpted with curves rather than the harsh lines often found in concrete buildings, softening reflected light and creating the sensation of being in natural stone caves.

Shunri says, “This house shows a true combination of ‘tropical’ and ‘modern’ architectural design coming from understanding traditional living patterns in this hot, humid Vietnamese climate as well as how to set things up perfectly for contemporary life. It’s safe and secure living with modern comforts such as air conditioning, yet still answers our need to be close to nature, with sunlight, breezes, and open spaces connecting to garden and plants right here in the house.”

For versatility in design, Shunri draws on his experience growing up with multipurpose spaces common in Japanese homes. Areas such as the living room are strategically partitioned to block direct light and view, simultaneously giving privacy and an open feeling. Hollow blocks, a popular Vietnamese building material, inspired the design of larger outside openings for efficient sun and rainstorm protection.

More than just comfortable living, this house offers a charming blend of nature and architecture, snuggled up to natural phenomena right in the middle of  Ho Chi Minh City. This row house is actually much better described as a “house and garden” than simply a “building.”

 

 

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The Café Apartment, a Super-hip Building in Ho Chi Minh City

The Café Apartment, a Super-hip Building in Ho Chi Minh City

A cutting-edge idea: turn an old apartment building into cafés, restaurants, and co-working spaces. The Café Apartment, 42 Nguyen Hue Street (Walking Street) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is a must-see.

/// Vietnam ///

It’s all the rage in Ho Chi Minh City! We’re referring to the coolest imaginable conversion of this 9-storey former apartment building into a fantastic collection of restaurants, coffee shops, beauty parlors, fashion boutiques, co-working spaces, and a great bookshop. Here nearly 30 shops have remodeled and redecorated what were once living units to adapt to new functionalities, many removing inside walls and extending onto outside balconies.

The Café Apartment retains its mid-20th-century form: viewed from outside, it might remind you of a chocolate box. In early days it housed government workers and military personnel, later the general public. All rooms face southwest, with balconies looking out on Walking Street, the city, and the Saigon river. A stair leads up to each floor, but there’s also elevator service for 3000 Vietnamese dong (VND) – don’t worry, this isn’t anywhere near as much as it sounds – which is reimbursed when paying the bill at any café. Normal opening hours for cafés are the same as for the building itself: 8AM to 10PM. Drinks and snacks are reasonably priced, but you couldn’t call them cheap. There’s visitor parking nearby at Lucky Plaza for 5,000 dong.

You can easily spend the whole day here soaking in the history and enjoying the atmosphere. The Café Apartment has brought back the vibrant flavor of old Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City: fresh, contemporary, bustling, here is a truly hip spot where travelers from far-off lands checking into the scene can mix with a new generation of Vietnamese. You won’t find this sort of renovation everywhere: in some countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, legal building restrictions are too stringent, which makes this cool spot even more unique.

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