Every space added to the whole

January 31, 2021 - 09:05

A house in the outer city's district of Hà Đông is 35m long and only four-metre wide, but it was designed in a way that creates more living spaces despite the limited width.

By Bảo Hoa, Vân Nguyễn & Kiều Trinh

Located on Quang Trung Street in Hà Nội’s outlying district of Hà Đông, from the outside house number 106 looks just like any other dwelling in the area.

But take a step inside and you’ll be blown away by the natural light and fresh ventilation.

“CH House”, as it’s called by its architects, is 35 metres long and just four metres wide, and one of the many typical long, narrow “tube houses” found around the dense streets of Việt Nam’s capital.

But it was designed in a way that creates more living space from its limited width.

“The owner wanted to have a house that would connect all of the family members,” said Nguyễn Đức Trung from ODDO Architects. “That, in a way, surprised us.”

“We took inspiration from the country’s traditional houses, in particular the house at 87 Mã Mây Street in the Old Quarter, where the inner courtyards are its soul, allowing natural light to come in and providing good ventilation.”

FREE PASSAGE: The kitchen, living room and recreation area are on different levels, creating an open continuous space. VNS Photos Bảo Hoa

“For CH House, we created a lot of common space for the family, which is in one continuous space,” Trung said.

“Different ceiling and floor heights give the house a certain rhythm.

“And family members can see each other from every corner, and that’s a visual connection at least. For example, parents can watch their children play in the recreational area through their window.”

“We aimed to create a cycle of connection within the house,” he added.

Real trees are planted inside, with plants placed sparsely on the balcony, outside the bedrooms, and on the rooftop.

The local context and surroundings were taken into consideration when the house was being designed, according to Mai Lan Chi of ODDO Architects.

BLENDING IN: “CH House” looks like any other house along the street from the outside.

“For us, architecture is something that’s put into a natural landscape. So we consider nature as being an important element,” she said.

“We always try to make our designs fit with the natural surroundings instead of pushing it away.

“We also try to include trees and other greenery in our projects, not only to have a nice and relaxed feel in the house but also to somehow create a good relationship between the inhabitants and the house itself.”

CH House won Best Interior Design on the Australian TV programme “Habitus House of the Year” in 2020, which honours exceptional residential architecture and designs across the Indo-Pacific region.

It was also selected as one of the best houses of 2020 by the architecture news website ArchDaily.

GREEN LIVING: Real trees are planted inside the house and plants placed sparsely around.

And no one could be happier than homeowner Nguyễn Việt Hưng.

“When I thought of building this house, my first idea and wish was to have a cosy place where, at the end of the day, everyone in my family - my parents, my children, and my wife and I - could gather together and enjoy each other’s company,” he said.

“After the house was completed and we moved in, I could feel that the design met my expectations.

“It allows our family to connect with each other very well.

“For example, at the end of the day, when we have all come home, my wife can interact with our kids upstairs while preparing dinner. I’m so happy with the house, because it’s doing a great job of bringing the family closer together.” VNS