The house was designed for a middle-aged newsman who has been working for Vietnamese architectural magazines for years. The site is located on the outskirts of a new city, where it is surrounded by a variety of housing architecture styles. Therefore, both the architect and client came up with the idea that the new house should be green without compromising comfort, and that, in paricular, it should not be too differentiated from its next-door neighbors.
Given the budget constraints, a light structure in steel and sheet metal was used instead of bricks and concrete as usual. Moreover, recycled furniture that has been abandoned but is still in good condition, is used as an appropriate solution for most parts of the house. This not only reduces construction costs, but also gives the house a distinctive look: the beauty or serenity of old items that comes with age.
Without a doubt, using a steel structure not only makes the foundation requirements lighter, it also helps shorten the construction period, while saving on costs as well. The house frame is made up of 90x90 steel columns and 30x30 steel beams connecting to metal sheets. The structure is then covered or filled in by plants so, from a distance, the house looks like a green box. Among these “cool-metal” bars, the natural elements are defined.
Typically, the house is structured into two vertical parts: two private bedrooms on the upper floor, with the kitchen and living room on the ground floor and open onto nature without any doors or windows. This blurs the boundary between inside and outside.
In addition, by diminishing the living spaces to what is just sufficient and leaving the rest uncontrolled, the architect attempts to convey the sense that the natural environment outside is larger and closer. In any of the views from the house, the trees can be observed in their full beauty. In the other words, the trees are used as the building’s walls, and the house provides a variety of links between trees and people.
Finally, the idea of the house – beyond the organization of spaces and the structural flexibility of uses – is to create a general housing concept for low-cost construction, which has attracted the attention of Vietnamese society. By making the most of abandoned items and creating just enough spaces for living cleverly, people can easily have a comfortable house seeped with nature and flexible for any future needs, on a limited budget.
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