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Ongoing construction might violate traditional architectural style

Update: October, 05/2013 - 10:09
The typical Indochinese architectural style of the campus on Le Thanh Tong Street. Construction work is being undertaken inside the campus. — VNS Photo Thai Ha

HA NOI (VNS)  — Ha Noi's Department of Planning and Architecture will inspect the plans of a new building under construction within the campus of Viet Nam National University (VNU).

The planning department will consider the construction plans of a new science facility to determine whether it is breaking with the typical Indochinese architectural style of the campus on Le Thanh Tong Street, Hoan Kiem District.

The department's deputy director Duong Duc Tuan told Thanh Nien (The Youth) newspaper that the university, built before 1954, was a prime example of the city's Indochinese colonial architecture.

"It is a valuable piece. The university is already included in the municipal People's Committee proposed list of French colonial buildings which are in need of preservation," he said.

Tuan said that his department was not involved in granting the construction licence to the new building – Jica-VNU Biomass laboratory centre – which is intended to service the university's science department, adding that the licence was provided to the project's investor, VNU, by Hoan Kiem District's People's Committee.

Deputy Chairman of the Hoan Kiem District People's Committee Nguyen Quoc Tuan said that the project was granted a licence nearly one year ago and the construction had commenced just recently.

The Jica-VNU Biomass laboratory centre was designed as a three-floor building covering an area of more than 200 square metres and the setting of the building's foundations has already begun. The construction is expected to be completed by year end.

However, according to architect Doan Bac, the new construction was threatening to break with the Indochinese architectural style, the university is a prime example of the French colonial style of architecture in Ha Noi.

An expert in heritage preservation said that the university unquestionably deserved to be recognised as a cultural and historical monument.

President of the Association of Historical Sciences Phan Huy Le said that the implementation of the new building within the campus must be given some reconsideration.

The landmark building was designed by famous French architect Ernest Hebrard.

Safety concerns

The Ha Noi People's Committee also suspended the construction of Ho Tay International Building on 16A Thuy Khue Street, due to neighbouring residents' claims about the project's safety.

The committee then ordered that meetings be held at the district's people's committee, where an evaluation of the potential danger posed to the adjacent neighbourhood can be carried out with residents and investors present.

The committee stated that residents under threat must be relocated and the investor must make provision for the affected communities.

The project's investor was also asked to make further reports about the preparations made for the implementation of the development.

Construction on the 20-floor building, designed for residential and commercial lease or sale covering an area of 1,196 square meters, commenced in July last year. — VNS

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