Construction: a.Tran Dap + a.Pham Xuan Truong
When we first came here, we already felt the depth of an “aged” house which was filled with its owners’ habits and memories that originated from the very first years after Liberation.
The owners were a retired couple who wanted to renovate this house into a more spacious place to enjoy time with their children and grandchildren, particularly in some special occasions like Tet. The old house was built on a weak ground and located in a neighborhood in which residents were mainly officers.
As time went by, city replaced towns; new houses replaced the old ones. However, these two semi-detached houses had managed to preserve their original form after several restorations, not perfectly but adequately to keep the spirit of a traditional Southern house. The combination of these two semi-detached houses has put a silent note on the neighborhood’s transformation tendency.
Design method was to keep one half of the existing roof and the gutter in order to maintain the harmony for the whole neighborhood and the spirit of a Southern house. From this, the “HALF ROOF” language was applied on the rear block to create uniformity for the building. The form language beginning from the existing house would make the house modern but familiar.
The old structure was handled in a new way; the columns under gutter were retreated, steel structure was used to make a 5-meter span, which created a fully open space, the inner and the outer of the house which were separated by slide doors were connected through this space. Trees were put into groups that covered the lodge. These elements helped the house’s owners preserve their habit under the porch, around the garden but in a generous and contemporary building.
Materials, jardinières and furniture taken from the old house were selected, redecorated, reused, and cleverly organized and afterwards were reinstalled to the new house in combination with several new parts. As a result, the memories of this house, this street, and of those who had lived here were maintained.
This construction was located in the countryside of Vietnam where the living style and habit of the residents had more or less changed due to the impact of the city living style. Constructions nowadays consist of many enclosed spaces which were designed for lighting and amenities but destroyed the relations among people. Accordingly, the living habit of the local residents follows the trend toward closed environment.
In this house, we desire to preserve the values, the hospitality, and “open” lifestyle of the people in the river region: the way they share feelings to each other and to the living environment; the way they care for each other; the way they open the door to welcome visitors or the way they open their heart.
Open house, open hearts.