Architect: H&P Architects
Location: Bieu Khe Hamlet, Thuy Lam Commune, Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Principal Architects: Doan Thanh Ha, Tran Ngoc Phuong
Team: Nguyen Hai Hue, Trinh Thi Thanh Huyen, Ho Manh Cuong, Nguyen Duc Anh, Tran Van Duong
Land area: 175m2
Total floor area: 190 m2
Manufacturers: Viglacera brick
Completed: Dec. 2017
Photographer: Nguyen Tien Thanh
The house is located in a suburban commune of Hanoi which has undergone a rapid process of urbanization. It is designed in a philosophy that it will help shape a place similar to the natural environment in an artificial manner.
The proposed structure of the house resembles that of a Cave. The overall structure is made up of and enclosed by two layers of brick wall meeting one another at an intersection, with alternate ‘green’ arrangements of plants and vegetables. Bricks have long been a familiar local material and widely used in rural areas of Vietnam with a simple manual construction method.
The two built-in layers of wall function as a filter to eliminate the adverse aspects of the external environment (sunshine from the west, dust, noise) and bring nature (light, rain, wind) to where necessary inside. Above the outer wall is tilted inward in different diagonals to create better viewing angles for the general landscape of the area. This, at the same time, helps users in various corners inside the house sense Time and Weather through shadow and air.
Brick Cave encompasses a chain of space interconnected one another with random apertures gradually shifting from openness/publicity to closeness/privacy and vice versa. The combination of “close” and “open” creates diverse relations with the surroundings and thus helps blur the boundaries between in and out, houses and streets/alleys, Human and Nature.
Brick Cave reminds its users of emotional pieces of both strangeness and familiarity by offering them images of corners of a yard, expanses of the sky, strips of a garden, and parts of an alley… which is tentative to uses of space at different times in a typical tropical monsoon climate of the North of Vietnam. This, therefore, truly brings to users an interesting and enjoyable experience as they are accommodated in a sense of a large open space harmonized with a comfort of a safe shelter.