Blog : Vietnam

Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with Nature

Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with Nature

DONG NAI PROVINCE, VIETNAM / The Ho Chi Minh City-based design firm T3 ARCHITECTS has built a bioclimatic dormitory that’s part of a green classroom program in Vietnam. It’s made of locally sourced building materials, thereby reducing negative impacts on the climate and natural environment.

Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with NatureHippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with Nature

Aptly called “The Hippo Farm”, the 218-sq-m building is designed for students and families looking to just be surrounded by bountiful nature, gain experience with permaculture, go horseback riding, and learn more about sustainable construction.
 
Basically, it’s about getting involved in activities that reconnect with the true essence of education. Plus, it furthers the progress of team spirit and the opportunity for friends and family to share happy moments amid natural surroundings.
 
By design, the Hippo Farm is bioclimatic, a performance-based approach that pays particular attention to the relationship between living organisms and the weather conditions prevailing in an area.
 
To create a comfortable microclimate, T3 ARCHITECTS, or T3, first determined how the location and orientation of the site would affect the building’s energy profile. In so doing, the design team conducted a careful investigation of wind direction both during the dry season (to get the maximum benefits of natural air flow), and the rainy season (to protect the façade from water infiltration).
 
 

Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with NatureHippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with Nature Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with Nature

Next, they decided to elevate the building site above flood level by covering it with soil and debris from old horse stables that had fallen into disrepair and subsequently knocked down. This improvement in the landscape had beneficial effects on wildlife and provided the natural home for insects that are useful at the other end of the food chain.
 
Reusing existing materials is part of a frugal approach to do more with less. The new building has a simple steel structure tailor-made near the site. The walls are built of local bricks covered with lime plastering mixed with red sand occurring naturally in the area. Roof insulation is made of Vietnamese rice husk mixed with diatomaceous earth, which helps protect against insects.
 
Formed from hard materials including silica and lignin, rice husk is humidity resistant, which makes it a suitable building material for Tropical climate. Plus, it’s inexpensive and biodegradable. The doors and windows are crafted of solid wood indigenous to Vietnam combined with woven bamboo paneling. Both are easily obtained and able to build on a budget. They are water repellent and serve as engine that drives natural ventilation. 
 
 

Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with Nature Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with NatureHippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with Nature

To save water, dry toilet systems are used. The toilet seat is made of OSB, a type of engineered wood, with a stainless steel toilet tank underneath and a lid designed for easy operation. Without using water in the toilet systems, waste matter can be added to soil to help build and improve the upper layer of earth in which plants grow. The sink or washbasin is controlled by a push button to teach kids about the importance of water conservation.
 
Handrails and pergolas are made of Melaleuca wood indigenous to southern Vietnam. It stands up extremely well to water. Solar powered water heaters are installed on the roof facing south where sunlight exposure is the highest. The surrounding landscape showcases the gorgeous range of native perennials that have evolved naturally in the region. They provide excellent shade for the building and require very low maintenance. All things considered, it’s a creative design that values frugality and simplicity emblematic of the Tropical countryside.

Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with NatureHippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with NatureHippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitory; A Place to Reconnect with Nature

Design: T3 ARCHITECTS | http://www.t3architects.com
Lead Architects: Charles GALLAVARDIN, Tereza GALLAVARDIN and Rafael LIRA
Design Team: Ta Quang Hai (Architect) and Huy NGUYEN (Interior Designer)
Contractor: Harmonie
Story: T3 ARCHITECTS / Living ASEAN
Photo: Herve GOUBAND (ALISA Production) | http://alisa-production.com

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

10 ASEAN Projects Win A+ Awards in Architecture

10 ASEAN Projects Win A+ Awards in Architecture

Our warmest congratulations to architects from the ASEAN on winning ten A+ Awards in architecture for 2019. Their outstanding works include six projects from Thailand, plus one each from Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

///ASEAN///

Story: Samutcha Viraporn / Photo: Architizer

Hosted by the online architecture community Architizer.com, the A+ Awards come in two categories; “Jury Winners” which are handpicked by reputable judges, and “Popular Choice Winners” judged by public votes. The ten A+ Award winners from the ASEAN are:

 

Commercial / Office – Low Rise (1-4 Floors)

IDIN Architects Office / Designed by IDIN Architects, Thailand

Popular Choice Winner

The home of IDIN Architects Co, Ltd is arranged in three parts; the office, the business owner’s residential unit, and a café open to the public. It’s a layout that strikes the right balance between privacy and the busy movement in Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek neighborhood. The low-rise building sits peacefully ensconced in a lush oasis. Its blackened exterior is covered in Japanese Yakisugi, cypress plank cladding traditionally charred to enhance a natural appeal. The café on the ground floor boasts a touch of Modernism that’s evident in a beautiful mix of steel, glass and concrete component parts.

 

Commercial / Showrooms

Organicare Showroom / Designed by Tropical Space, Vietnam

Popular Choice Winner

Tropical Space is an architectural firm expert in old-fashioned brick construction. Their project involved converting a 1975 brick building into a modern showroom for fish sauces and homegrown brands of organic products. Steel frames and bricks are the main materials used to improve interior and exterior design, as well as create shelving to suit every display need.

 

Concepts / Plus-Architecture + For Good

Heartware Network / Designed by DP Architects, Singapore

Popular Choice Winner

Promoting team spirits among youth organization volunteers, the design by DP Architects creates a platform of cooperation and change in behavior conducive to a positive environment that lies at the core of the Heartware Network. Its engagement ideas have enabled the charitable youth organization to connect with more than 1,500 young people per year.

 

Concepts / Plus-Architecture + Living Small

3500-Millimeter House / Designed by AGo Architects, Indonesia

Popular Choice Winner

A building 3.5 meters wide and 17 meters long is home to an architect, his wife and a son. The house walls, staircase and built-in furniture share the rigid supporting structures that enclose them. The façade that stands facing West is built of perforated metal sheets and polycarbonates to protect from the summer sun. Clever design ensures the interior living space is well lit and airy.

 

Concepts / Plus-Architecture + Renovation

Kloem Hostel / Designed by IF (Integrated Field), Thailand

Jury Winner

Kloem Hostel is built by combining three adjacent old houses into a single entity. The two Thai houses at either end are beautifully renovated. The building at the center transforms into a loft that serves as common area and relaxed hangout reminiscent of the Thai lifestyle in former times.

 

Details / Plus-Architecture + Facades

Little Shelter Hotel / Designed by Department of Architecture, Thailand

Popular Choice Winner

A small hotel in Chiang Mai boasts a façade that’s reminiscent of fine crafts. The calm and beautiful face gets its inspiration from wooden roof tiles that are symbolic of Northern architecture in olden days. A reinterpretation of handicrafts in a modern context, the intricate design of wood and polycarbonates adds a unique charm to the principal front overlooking a street.

 

Hospitality / Hotels & Resorts

Bunjob House: House of Flow / Designed by NPDA Studio, Thailand

Jury Winner

The Bunjob House is a vacation destination nestled in a family-owned coconut grove on beautiful Pha-ngan Island in the Gulf of Thailand. Its façade consists of curved concrete slabs that draw cool breezes from the ocean resulting in thermal comfort in the interior living spaces. The slabs also protect the building during a thunderstorm. Casings made of coconut trees leave their marks on the concrete texture that blends into the natural surroundings.

 

Residential / Apartments

Hachi Serviced Apartment / Designed by Octane Architect & Design, Thailand

Popular Choice Winner

The project’s most outstanding feature is the façade that’s designed to promote a healthy home life despite being in an apartment complex. The exterior architecture of the building reflects well on the type of design, balance and symmetry of the interior space.

 

Residential / Private House (XL >5000 sq ft)

Cloister House / Designed by Formwerkz Architects, Malaysia

Jury Winner

The design gets its inspiration from the courtyard house typical of long established Chinese architecture. Adapted to blend with modern tropical style, the layout consists of a framework of nine regularly spaced rooms partially open to connect with the outdoors. The building in Johor state, southern Malaysia occupies 45,000 square feet.

 

Residential / Interiors

Y/A/O Residence / Designed by Octane Architect & Design, Thailand

Popular Choice Winner

Increased natural light provides the perfect focal point in the interior reminiscent of the house with a courtyard. It’s a great way to let light create depth in the interior space. The project consists of three separate buildings; a two-level house, guest accommodation building, and car garage.

 

For a complete list of winners of the 2019 Architizer A+ Awards, please visit: https://awards.architizer.com/winners-gallery/?type=51

10 Modern Tropical Homes for Inspiration

10 Modern Tropical Homes for Inspiration

Living ASEAN presents 10 modern tropical homes for an inspiration as we celebrate another year ending and a new one beginning. They focus on a beautiful blend of indoor and outdoor spaces that translates into stylish patios, cool verandas and courtyard tropical gardens. Plus, plenty of ideas to make your yard lush!

 

PEACEFUL, SHADY NORTHEASTERN THAI HOUSE


MODERN HOUSE AMID A COUNTRY ATMOSPHERE


 

VIETNAM TRADITIONAL BRICK HOUSE


 

QUIET INTERACTION OF NATURE AND ARCHITECTURE


 

LOCAL THAI HOUSE IN A JAPANESE TRADITION


 

LOCAL, WITH A MODERN FLAVOR


 

A WHITE HOUSE MATCHING MODERN ARCHITECTURE TO ITS ENVIRONMENT


 

CANALSIDE “GARDEN HOUSE” FOR HAPPINESS


MODERN HOUSE WITH A THAI FLAVOR


SINGLE-STOREY HOUSE ON A FOUNDATION OF SIMPLICITY

 


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House Under The Pines

House Under The Pines

This modern house nestled in pine-forested hills is surrounded by green grass and tree-studded scenery that provides privacy and accents its harmony with the natural setting.

/// VIETNAM ///
Story: Sara’ /// Photography: Triệu Chiến /// Design: Idee Architects

Modern House

This house was designed by a Vietnamese team from Idee Architects whose priorities involved respecting the former environment instead of leveling the hill and responding to the simplicity of the owner’s lifestyle. This they managed with an “open space” concept in a home full of modern conveniences that still stays close to nature, washed in the sunlight that streams in through the pine woods.

Modern House

The house is built on two levels, the lower section holding a carport/garage and multipurpose room, and the upper level with living room, kitchen, and four bedrooms set atop a piney hill with a magnificent view on three sides. Interior colors are dominated by natural-looking mid-tone colors: whites, blacks, greys, browns, conveying natural warmth and tranquility. The “focus and flow” design creates points of interest with a play of straight, horizontal, and vertical lines laid against the curves of the drive.

modern house modern house

Three-meter eaves project out from the house to offer increased protection from Vietnam’s heavy rain and bright sunlight. The house is designed in the shape of a slightly unbalanced “T” with a “semi-outdoor” pathway reaching all around. Except for the outdoor shower belonging to the master bedroom, on good-weather days doors and windows on every side of the house can be opened to let the air flow through. A corridor on the west side acts as heat insulation for the bedroom, an elegant simplicity in design that creates balance between static and dynamic elements in the house.

The bedroom’s spaciousness shows dynamism, with the static element expressed through its privacy and sense of peace and quiet. The house is securely tucked away in greenery, as the building was actually designed to blend in with the trees that were already present. The big grass lawn out in front of the living room and bedrooms provides a great playground for the kids without blocking the idyllic view from inside.

modern house modern house modern house modern housemodern house modern house modern house

The house structure is primarily of authentic materials like steel, brick, and glass, whose lightness makes for easier adjustments when encountering problems combining them in construction while helping reduce living expenses and minimize negative effects on the original land. Future energy use is optimized with the wide roof’s facilitation of solar energy storage as well as through clean water and the cultivation of vegetables, all of which truly support a comfortable and relaxing lifestyle.

Link: Idee architects – Idee.vn 

A Charming Brick House in Vietnam

A Charming Brick House in Vietnam

An attractive brick house in Vietnam’s Long An Province is the pride and joy of Tropical Space, a homegrown design studio specializing in mixing traditional Vietnamese brickwork with modern architectural styles.

/// Vietnam ///
Story: Nawapat, Nipapat Dusdul /// Photography: Oki Hiroyuki /// Design: Tropical Space

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Inspired by the beauty and durability of brick, Tropical Space recently built the innovatively designed home on 750 square meters of land. The sloped roof house plan combines three separate living spaces into one modern home with strong architectural language.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

The result is a beautiful blend of the traditional and the modern. There’s something that never changes. Brick is used here because it’s inherently a Vietnamese material used in building construction, and it’s indigenous to the area.

At the same time, with a deep understanding of Vietnamese culture and climate, the architects at Tropical Space are committed to the use of environment-friendly building practices and sustainable material selection.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

The brick house in Long An is designed for a warm and humid climate. To maximize ventilation efficiency, the architects divide the sloped roof into two parts and put a courtyard in between them. There are corridors connecting the two parts of the house. Meantime, perforated brick walls allow breezes to pass through and around the building.

Traditional Vietnamese design provides continuous functional spaces that stretch from the front to the back of the house. Boundaries between spaces are marked by the different quantity of light that varies from place to place. It’s a brilliant layout that keeps the interior living spaces cool all year round without air conditioning.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

The front yard floor is covered in brick pavers with holes capable of draining storm water fast and keeping ambient temperatures cool in summer. Next to the yard is a buffer space designed to create a beautifully transitional room from the yard to the living room, dining room and bedroom.

The kitchen is on the north side of the house plan along with other functions. It’s ideal for traditional Vietnamese cooking and offers very relaxing family rooms.

There are two bedrooms on the mezzanine with plenty of space for a quiet reading room and relaxation. The architects also put in stairs on both sides to easily connect with other areas inside and outside of the house. This not only gives the children a play area, but also enables them to move around unhindered by solid walls.

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

Vietnam Traditional Brick House

 

Link: khonggiannhietdoi.com

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3 Apps to Check Air Pollution Levels

3 Apps to Check Air Pollution Levels

Despite the omnipresence of the Internet in society today, there seems to be a disconnect between the impact of pollution and access to the information needed to protect public health. Strange as it may sound. According to a 2017 estimate by the environmental tech company Plume Labs, only 0.246% of the earth has access to that vital information.

/// ASEAN ///

 

 As air pollution levels rise from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok to Yangon, and Phnom Penh to Jakarta, it’s wise to stay abreast of the latest developments. There are many websites and apps that measure the concentrations of both PM2.5 and PM10 and other pollutants. Here are three useful apps to check air quality wherever you are.

An example page of the Real-time AQI app.
An example of Real-time AQI’s advisory page showing air pollution values, concentrations of airborne particulates, and protective mask recommendations by Greenpeace.

– Air Quality: Real-time AQI App –

The Real-time AQI app for Android and iOS shows air quality information from more than 10,000 monitoring stations in over 60 countries, including mainland China, Korea, Japan and countries across Southeast Asia. It provides, among other things, data about the concentrations of smaller airborne pollutants (PM2.5) and larger particulates (PM10). The former refers to extremely small particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter or about 3% the diameter of human hair.

Updated hourly, the same information is linked to the developer website http://aqicn.org along with data on harmful gases and other readings such as temperatures, pressures, and humidity. The site also publishes visualized maps and protective mask recommendations from the global independent campaign organization Greenpeace. Get to know three types of masks to protect you from PM2.5 that ordinary surgical masks cannot. Whether it’s on the mobile app or the website, good infographics are worth a thousand words and a good place to start researching.


 

Plume Air Report provides air pollution levels in Yangon and Phnom Penh, which are not listed in the AQI app.
Flow, a portable instrument for checking air quality values and weather maps by Plume Air Report.

– Plume Air Report App –

Plume Air Report on the iPhone is a reporting and forecasting app that tracks real-time air pollution levels for every city in the world. The environmental tech company (website https://plumelabs.com) is the maker of “Flow,” a mobile personal air tracker that measures harmful pollutants indoors and outdoors. Real-time data including air quality indices, temperatures, UV levels, winds, and humidity are updated hourly along with pollution forecasts for the next 24 hours and statistics for the past 7 days. Flow makes it possible to track harmful air pollutants even in cities without AQI monitoring stations. The device is open for pre-order. Check the website for availability.


 

An example page of the AirVisual app showing unhealthy air pollution levels in cities across the globe. The information is updated hourly.

– Air Quality: AirVisual App –

AirVisual is a real-time and forecast air quality app that provides AQI indices for over 70 countries worldwide. Available on both Android and iOS, the free app gathers information from more than 9,000 locations via global networks of government monitoring stations and AirVisual’s own sensors. By giving historical, real-time, and forecast air pollution data, AirVisual is a pocket guide to avoiding harmful airborne particles. The AirVisual Earth Map is a good place to start tracking pollution levels and weather conditions with hourly updates.

In Southeast Asia, notably Bangkok, Chiangmai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Jakarta, thick haze of air pollution isn’t going away any time soon. As the fight for clean air continues, it pays to be in the know and avoid places with high concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10. The mobile apps mentioned above are three of many technologies designed to get the message across in the interest of public health and safety.

 

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Air Quality around the ASEAN

Air Quality around the ASEAN

Air pollution is just one aspect of the wider environmental and health problems in major cities around the ASEAN. It’s a wake-up call among city dwellers from Bangkok to Jakarta to Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Traffic jam in Bangkok, Thailand
PM2.5 Level, Hanoi and Jakarta, 14 February

The crux of the matter is the high concentrations of small airborne particles (known as PM2.5) that enter the body through the nose and mouth. They pose greater health risks than larger particles (known as PM10), which the body is capable of eliminating through coughing, sneezing, and swallowing.

Technically speaking, PM2.5 refers to particulate matters with a mass aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 micrometers. They are capable of traveling deep into the body causing anything from mild symptoms such as nose and throat irritation to more serious conditions like lung and heart problems, even lung cancer.

To get the information across to the public, a monitoring system was devised. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a number used to communicate how polluted the air is in real time, and how bad it is forecast to become. AQI readings above 150 are considered to have direct impacts on the health conditions of sensitive groups of people.

While industrial pollution left cities across China and India in the smog, countries in Southeast Asia have become alert to the man-made problem and begun taking action to reduce PM2.5 levels.  Let’s hope that it’s not too late.

PM2.5 Level, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, 14 February
Highest PM10 Level, Saraburi in Thailand, 14 February

A few weeks into the new year 2018, it was a terrible shock to find thick haze of air pollution blanketing the entire landscape of Bangkok Metropolis. The spike in PM2.5 concentrations that cut down visibility and posed a threat to public health was blamed on a mix of humidity and seasonal inactivity in the air flow.

The same also happened to Chiangmai in the northern part of the country, and the haze hasn’t fully lifted. While local governments called on farmers not to burn their fields in preparation for the new planting season in Chiangmai, Bangkok authorities were looking for ways to free up traffic snarls and reduce air pollutants from industrial plants.

In Jakarta, where traffic jams were just as bad, the need to reduce air pollution has been a hot topic for quite some time. Jakarta’s problems stemmed from rapid increases in vehicular emissions in the city and industrial pollution in the northern part of the city. A recent study showed that over 60% of the population of the Indonesian capital were facing increased risks in respiratory and pulmonary disease.

Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City were no exception when it came to air pollution from vehicular emissions. Motorbikes remained the most popular means of transportation nationwide. The country with a population of 92 million had over 45 million registered motorcycles. A 2013 study showed that high PM2.5 levels were linked to about 40,000 deaths, equivalent in seriousness to a 5% economic loss.

Sources:

http://aqicn.org

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/environment/176546/how-serious-is-air-pollution-in-vietnam-.html

 

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10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia

10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia

Do you fancy a walk with Komodo dragons, or cave exploring, or taking selfies on a stunning rice terrace? Do you feel like making a trip to see snow-capped mountains? Here are ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the ASEAN that might interest you.

In all the Region is home to 38 sites on UNESCO World Heritage List. They are selected for providing, among other things, significant natural habitats, exceptional beauty of the landscape, outstanding example of human settlement, unique cultural tradition, flora and fauna, evidence of earth’s history, and the conservation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

The sites range from Komodo National Park, where Indonesia’s rare megafauna roams freely in the wild, to spectacular rice paddy terraces in Bali and the Philippines, to examples of outstanding land-use and sea-use in Vietnam. Living ASEAN presents ten sites that you might want to put on your next itinerary.

 

Photo: loveandroad.com
Photo: Bahnfrend

– Komodo National Park / Indonesia –

Komodo National Park is located within the Lesser Sunda Islands at the center of the Indonesian archipelago. The site was established in 1980 for the purpose of conserving the world’s largest lizards and their habitats. Proceed with caution. Although Komodo attacks are rare, the animal can be aggressive towards humans at feeding time. The giant lizard eats almost any kind of meat. They scavenge on carcasses of animals especially deer. The volcanic islands have been named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.


Photo: Chris Wary
Photo: pixabay.com

– Kinabalu Park / Malaysia –

A beautiful place to go climbing in Southeast Asia, Kinabalu is among Malaysia’s first national parks. The 4,095-meter-high Mount Kinabalu is the centerpiece of the park. It was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 for its outstanding universal values and biological diversity. Located in Sabah State in the northern part of Malaysian Borneo, Kinabalu National Park attracts thousands of mountaineers each year.


Photo: sondoongcave.org
Photo: sondoongcave.org
Photo: vietnamtourism.com

– Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park / Vietnam –

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in north-central Vietnam is known for its pristine mountain landscape, tropical forests, rich wildlife habitats, limestone karsts, and a vast network of caves. Son Dong, the biggest cave, was discovered by a local named Ho Khanh in 1991. A joint Vietnamese-British team explored the caves in 2009. The national park was open to the public for the first time in 2013.


Photo: thingstodoinbali.com

– Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Bali / Indonesia –

The Jatiluwih rice terrace in Bali showcases one of the most complex methods of agriculture and water management systems that have existed since the ninth century. Cut into the mountainside, the beautiful paddy fields get its water supplies from a system of canals and weirs, known as Subak. It’s the living embodiment of a traditional philosophy known as Tri Hita Karana, or the three reasons of prosperity; namely, harmony among people, harmony with nature, and harmony with God. It’s a truly amazing place to visit if you are nature lovers.


 

Photo: indonesia.biz.id
Photo: xplorea.com
Photo: xplorea.com
Photo: xplorea.com 

– Lorentz National Park / Indonesia –

Lorentz National Park in Papua, Indonesia, was named after the Dutch explorer who visited the island in the early 1900s. The largest protected area in Southeast Asia, Lorentzt was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 for a wealth of graphic evidence of earth’s history. It’s one of the most ecologically diverse parks in the world encompassing a full array of ecosystems from marine sanctuaries and mangroves to tidal and freshwater swamp forests, as well as rainforests, tundra, and equatorial glaciers.


 

Photo: panthera.org

– Dong Phayayen – Khao Yai Forest Complex / Thailand –

The vast forest complex that covers six provinces is home to four national parks and a wildlife sanctuary. The site stretches from the Cambodian border in the east, to Khao Yai National Park in the west. Khao Yai itself lies largely in Nakhon Ratchasima and includes parts of nearby provinces such as Saraburi, Prachinburi, and Nakhon Nayok. The complex ecosystems provide natural habitats for 2,500 species of flora and 800 species of fauna. Recently a streak of 18 tigers were discovered and photographed by hidden cameras. Parts of Khao Yai National Park have been set aside for tourism and has facility for wildlife watching at night.


Photo: visitphilippines.org 
Photo: visitphilippines.org

– Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park / the Philippines –

Tubbataha Reefs is a marine park at the center of the Sulu Sea. Its two reefs are said to have existed for 15 million years. The North Reef spans 15 kilometers that serves as nesting sites for sea birds and marine turtles. The South Reef is 6 by 3 kilometers. The pristine coral islands boast extensive lagoons that serve as habitats for marine species, such as whale sharks, sting rays, spiny lobsters, leopard sharks, giant jacks, barracudas, parrot fish, hammerhead sharks, guitar sharks, snappers, lion fish, tortoise, clownfish, grey reef sharks, and manta, a devil ray that’s sometimes seen leaping high out of the water.


10 Inspiring Modern Tropical Houses

10 Inspiring Modern Tropical Houses

Living ASEAN has selected our favorite houses in the ASEAN for 2017. Of course, all of them present practical solutions for living in the hot and humid climate of Southeast Asia, including a bamboo house in Thailand, a concrete block house in Thailand and a modern tropical house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Check them out!


THAILAND // A BAMBOO HOUSE EMBRACED BY NATURE

A bamboo house with contemporary appeal sits immersed in its natural surroundings. The home that’s also a medical clinic belongs to Nopharat Pitchanthuk MD, and his wife Kanyapak Silawatanawongse. Without question, his interest in the natural therapeutic concept is expressed in the warm, inviting atmosphere of the home office. The orthopedic doctor provides specialized care for the musculoskeletal system in the comfort of a peaceful country setting.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/a-bamboo-house-embraced-by-nature/

 

Concrete Block House
THAILAND // CONCRETE BLOCK HOUSE

Intanon Chantip, INchan atelier architect and owner of this HUAMARK 09 building, designed it to test theories he’d arrived at through intense study and experience. He wanted the architecture to tell its own story through the charm of materials that change over time. Intanon and his wife Tharisra Chantip bought this a 30-year-old, 80 square wa (.8 acres) property in the Hua Mark district, demolishing the old house to erect a new four-storey mixed-use building with usable space of 490 square meters and combine office, residence, and art studio.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/concrete-block-house/

 


VIETNAM // 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.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/modern-tropical-house/

 

Waterside Home
THAILAND // WATERSIDE HOME

This waterside tropical house brings back memories of Thai life as it was along Khlong Samsen in bygone times. From outside it looks straightforward and contemporary, but inside is a fascinating mix of antiques from the owners’ collections.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/waterside-home/

 

Wooden Thai House in the Lanna Tradition
THAILAND // WOODEN THAI HOUSE IN THE LANNA TRADITION

This Lanna Thai house of wood is built based on ancient local traditions. It has a simple, relaxed, and open look. Natural breezes blow all day long through its exquisite form, full of the charm of conservation-friendly Lanna craftsmanship.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/wooden-thai-house-in-the-lanna-tradition/

 

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MALAYSIA // BOX-SHAPED HOUSE WITH THE TEXTURE OF MEMORY

This box-shaped house uses architecture, architectural elements, and coordinated interior design to tell stories of the present and the past. The house is located in the Petalang Jaya district of Selangor, Malaysia. This is a district of single homes, but with little space to put up a large house. Still, architect Dr. Tan Loke Mun rose to the challenge of house owner Kenneth Koh and tore down the former structure here to build a new 3-storey home in its place.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/box-shaped-house-texture-memory/

 

Living with Cats in a Beautiful House
MALAYSIA // LIVING WITH CATS IN A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE

Ever wonder why this is a dream house for kind pet owners and their feline companions?.

“I live with my wife and our seven cats in this house,” said Chan Mun Inn of Design Collective Architects (DCA). “There used to be only four, but I adopted more cats. So I ended up with seven of them. They were the reason that we left our old apartment and built a new home in the suburb.”

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/living-with-cats-beautiful-house/

 

Brick house For a Tropical Climate
VIETNAM // BRICK HOUSE FOR A TROPICAL CLIMATE

This rectangular brick home in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is designed for “hot and humid,” open to natural light and cool from air currents constantly streaming in and out through the bricks. Mr. Tung Do and Mrs. Lien Dinh, the owners here, are newlyweds who wanted a small house with a straightforward design for pleasant living. They had seen Tropical Space’s “Termitary House,” which won, among others, a 2016 Brick Award, and admired its form and design so much that – even with their limited budget – they engaged the Company to design and build their own home.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/brick-house-for-a-tropical-climate/

 

Box-Shaped House with a Tropical Style Garden
THAILAND // BOX-SHAPED HOUSE WITH A TROPICAL STYLE GARDEN

Box-shaped design highlights a perfect blend of form and function, plus an exotic Tropical style garden. The result: A lovable livable home with a panoramic view from the bedroom.

“This house was not built to be photogenic,” said Patchara Wongboonsin, architect at POAR, when asked about his outstanding design. The 350-square-meter, modern cube-shaped house took two years in the making.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/box-shaped-house-tropical-style-garden/

 

Modern House in a Forest Setting
THAILAND // MODERN HOUSE IN A FOREST SETTING

The architect uses clever techniques to make this modern house look like it’s crafted entirely of wood. When her family wanted to build a new house in Thailand’s Northeast, Kanika Ratanapridakul was assigned the task of project architect. It was the first time she had to work directly with local builders and suppliers. Things didn’t go as smooth as planned, but the mission was accomplished – eventually. The key to success lay in being a bit more flexible to ensure things got done right and on schedule.

Read more: http://livingasean.com/house/modern-house-forest-setting/

 

 

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10 Inspiring Modern Tropical Houses
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