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Green Screen

73

Despite the lack of space, a home manages to rise above urban uniformity in populous Ho Chi Minh City as it battles the decline of green

Information courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects Photography courtesy of Hiroyuki Oki

The collaboration between architects Vo Trong Nghia, Daisuke Sanuki and Shunri Nishizawa has resulted in an inspiring, green home that is known as Stacking Green.

Investing in a better quality of life by reassessing the level of greenery in the largest city in Vietnam, Stacking Green is a prototypical private home with a refreshing twist. It aims to change the landscape of a concrete jungle. According to the architecture firm, there is an interesting custom among the people in Ho Chi Minh City, where despite living in a modernised city, they still love their plants and flowers, which are evident on the streets. Thus, with the Stacking Green home, this custom has been translated into the architecture of the home.

Greenery is the main element of the home, beginning with its façade composed of planters lined-up along horizontal louvers. This green front is definitely a breath of fresh air for the occupants, as it works to keep the home cool on hot days, thus helping to save on energy consumption. Aside from this, the green ‘curtain’ maintains privacy, while doubling up as a captivating sight for the neighbours.

The home’s green walls at the front and rear of the home are essentially layers of concrete planters cantilevered from two sidewalls. Watering the plant has been made easy too with automatic irrigation pipes installed inside the planters. In keeping with the green theme, rainwater is collected in the tank and pumped into this irrigation system. To top it, the roof garden offers even more respite from the heat as well as reducing street noise and pollution.

Rising four stories high, this home was built in 2011 for a couple in their 30s who are staying with their mother. This typical Vietnamese tube-like house is only 4m in width and 20m in length. Thus, being so narrow, the spaces in the home were sectionalised, or rather, stacked by floor.

Beginning on the ground level, there is a large bedroom with access to a courtyard at the back of the home; above are the living and kitchen spaces. On the second floor is another bedroom and stacked on top at the third level is the study room and worship room, with an exclusive space for the rooftop garden.

The firm’s measurement of the indoor environment after the homeowners had moved in confirmed that the green façades encouraged air movements, so much so that the residents hardly needed to use the air conditioner. There are also two skylights to help with air circulation, while ensuring that the home stays well lit on all floors.

In the home, furniture and furnishings were kept minimal as the greenscape takes centrestage. The coolness of the granite stone wall is the perfect companion to the warmness of the wooden flooring while full-length glass windows and doors on both ends of the home ensured that the greenery can be enjoyed to the fullest.



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