‘House for Trees’ is a prototypical house designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects in response to the rapid urbanization of Vietnamese cities and their deviation from their origins as rampant tropical forests. Built in the Ho Chi Minh city, which apparently is covered with a mere 0.25% area of green space, the project aims at creating more green spaces in the city and also to reconnect the urban dwellers with the natural environment.
Built withing a tight budget of US$ 1,55,000, the scheme consists of five individual concrete boxes envisioned as planters. As a result of the unit’s thick layer of soil, the dwellings also function as storm-water basins for detention and retention, therefore contribute to reduce the risk of flooding in the city when the idea is multiplied to a large number of houses in the future. Mostly locally sourced and natural materials are employed throughout the design. External walls are made from in-situ concrete with bamboo formwork, with internal finishes exposing locally-sourced bricks.
The five units are positioned around a central courtyard, creating an additional green space that also encourages social interactions between the neighbours. Large glass doors and operable windows at the ground level provide abundant daylight and ventilation. The common areas such as the dining room and library are located at the lower storey, while the upper floor consists of private bedrooms and bathrooms.
Interior View with large glass door and operable windows
Ground Floor Layout
First Floor Layout
Photography by Hiroyuki Oki