D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

 

At first glance, it’s difficult to work out what’s actually happening with this residential project in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Although its immediately clear that the large, visually arresting elliptical void commands all the attention, and is, without a doubt, the hero of this home renovation.

Local architecture practice KIENTRUC O was commissioned to renovate a friend’s 1940s house, located on one of the busiest roads in the heart of Vietnam’s largest city. The original house is a two-storey brick building that later expanded with an additional four-storey-high steel extension at the back, which was constructed in the late 1990s.

The design team approached the project by pondering, “to what extent will the architecture of a house seek to become in a constant changing contemporary context?”

Fast changing society puts architecture in a state of having to change quickly, in order to adapt to the demands of new functions or commercialisation, making the frequency of these changes both unclear and persistent. “If a place is defined just by the focus on values, to what extent will the house support the ambivalent reality of economic value and function, while retaining its core architectural one, which is nurture, stability, and permanence?” said the architects.

 

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

D House in Vietnam by KIENTRUC O | Yellowtrace

 

KIENTRUC O were aware they would inevitably be confronted with an open-ended question on how a house should grow, evaluating which part of the house would act as the heart that always retained its core architectural intention, so that the remaining chunk of the building could become free for adaptations.

“Confronted with the constant chaos of the city, the house juxtaposes against its urban context by introverting itself through spatial subtraction, creating a void that denotes its noisy context, only to create a moment of internal monologue, poetic stillness, reflection, contemplation, and connection,” said the architects.

Elliptical in geometry, the void is carved along the horizontal side of the house toward the steel structure at the back. The shape then continues upward towards the roof, forming the receding pattern of the floors above, materialising the spatial abstraction of the void’s geometry.

“Architecture has changed since commercialisation,” conclude KIENTRUC O. “It does not just convey aesthetic and function, the way it used to be. It is now more commercially construed, with current logic that will expire at some point in the future – and it expires rather quickly.”

As the void sits in silence, free of distractions, it acts as the embodiment of the purity of emotion. It triggers a sense of subtlety in the Vietnamese understanding of nature, despite the initial ambiguity of its function.

 

 


[Images courtesy of KIENTRUC O. Photography by Hiroyuki Oki.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
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Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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