Have you been to Vietnam? Its bustling cities and the spectacular landscapes have been on the travel bucket-list for so many of us. While we travel there to find something new and different, most major cities in Vietnam face an issue common to the rest of the world – lack of greenery. However, one architect is slowly but steadily hoping to make a positive change.
This gorgeous home in the coastal city of Nha Trang caught my attention due to its unique rooftop garden. So I got in touch with the architects to find more about this home and the story behind it!
Vo Trong Nghia Architects have set out to change the urban landscape of Vietnam – one home at a time. This house is the latest in their series of ‘House for Trees’. With the mission to develop buildings that accommodate green patches and create more sustainable and eco-friendly living, this architectural firm is taking the right steps towards a greener future.
This home belongs to a young man and his parents. Since the city of Nha Trang is famous for its landscape, the owner wanted a home that complements its surroundings. It was his dream to own a house with a large garden. To fulfill all his requirements, including the garden, the architects came up with this stunning design. The young owner immediately agreed to the plan, and now it’s his favorite feature in his new home.
The plan wasn’t that easy in execution, as there were a lot of regulations that needed to be followed. For example, according to the local area code, every building must have sloped roof with almost 50% of it to be covered in gray or orange tiles. The architects designed it keeping all these rules in mind, and the result is remarkable.
The slope has been divided into parallel strips of green and tiled parts. The tiled strips have the larger parts of the house under them, like the bedrooms and the living area; and the green parts have storage spaces and bathroom under them. This is because the green parts have deep soil for the trees, leaving restricted height in the parts below.
The house has a small strip of garden running around on all sides as well. As a result, every part of the house has a garden view. This also creates a very harmonious look, as if the house has emerged out of the ground, pushing the garden up with it as its roof. The humble white exterior with brick wall finish creates a soothing effect along with the greenery.
The living room is spacious and has been kept minimal to keep the focus on the garden outside. The woodwork beautifully complements the greenery and the brick wall creates a lovely inside-out look. A void has been carved in the middle to add more light to the house and aid ventilation. It also creates a nice effect by visually connecting the living and the dining area.
I would love to wake up to this view every day! Also, knowing that there is a beautiful garden right on top might be the most effective motivator to become an early riser.
Floor length windows bring in loads of light and the trees outside provide privacy to the home owners.
The minimal furnishings keep the house clutter free and help the light seep through to all corners of the house. It must be such a delight to be in this house with a light ocean breeze coming in from all sides.
The kitchen backyard looks like an ideal place to grow some herbs and veggies. I can almost smell pho cooking on the stove, with some yummy rice pancakes!
All the four bedrooms in this house have views of the garden or a patio next to them. This bedroom looks like it’s from a luxurious resort. The owner sure loves his sisters a lot, as two bedrooms are for his two sisters for when they visit their parents and brother.
Vo Trong Nghia, the architect behind the company and the green homes says that it is important to him that in urbanizing Vietnam they add some greenery back to the motherland. He also suggests that while creating a green rooftop like this, be careful with waterproofing.
While Nha Trang is still very green, this home sets out an example for the rest of us to be more eco-friendly in everything we do. Urban planning is definitely transforming, with vertical gardens and hydroponics making their way to our homes and buildings. It’s these small measures and creative thinking that could save our cities, and pave a sustainable path to greener living.
Project: Hoan House
Design: Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Photos: Hiroyuki Oki