Architecture & Design : Barrel-vault modernizes war-relic Hanoi house

Nothing is impossible when talking about architecture and design in Vietnam … Read this article … Must See In Vietnam Editor

An old home in Hanoi’s Ngoc Ha Village, famous for surviving U.S. carpet-bombings in the Vietnam War, has been revitalized by a new barrel-vault design.

The front of the 78-square-meter house on Ngoc Ha street in Ba Dinh District faces Huu Tiep Lake, where a B52 plane was shot down in 1972. The owner has a strong personality and asked the architect to turn the house into a quiet and still home that’s also filled with life.

So the architect’s primary focus was to create a contemporary aesthetic emphasizing interior design inspired by nature. The home’s defining features are its massive barrel-vault-shapes that create a long space overlooking the lake.

The absence of a clear line between the walls and the ceiling arches generate the impression that the room is larger and wider than it really is.

With no need for motorcycle parking, the 15-square-meter garden, which features a giant tree sheltering plants that prefer shade, is immediately accessible when entering the property.

The entire garden is strewn with natural black gravel as if stepping over a shallow stream bank. Large, see-through glass doors adorn the facade of the ground floor, providing another breathtaking view of the lake beyond.

On the ground floor, the guest bedroom borders a game area with a pool table, perfect for entertaining out-of-town visitors.

Together with the front garden, the building’s two skylights in the backyard and stairway ensure there’s sufficient natural light and ventilation.

The architect purposefully left a large open area between the ground and upper levels so that a mesh hammock could be set up for both aesthetic and amusement purposes.

Two strands of braiding make the mesh hammock sturdy enough to support 500 kilograms. It blocks too much direct sunlight from reaching the space between the ground and first floors. Cool air and gentle breees can be felt here, and people can meet and greet each other from different floors.

The front side of the second floor opens up to yet another view of the lake. The architect connected three separate rooms, the dining room, the living room, and the kitchen, into a single “open living” space that feels right at home. This makes it easy for the owner to enjoy the comfort of living in such a convenient house.

The second floor is like a playground for the whole family, with lots of open space in which people can talk, read, play, eat or make dinner.

With granite grit and a dining table made of natural wood, the kitchen island becomes the focal point of the common living space.

The home’s interior is minimalist, leaning toward a contemporary design aesthetic. The furniture in a room decorated in this manner is arranged in an unrestrained fashion. Neutral tones are employed to maximize the room’s natural lighting.

The architect constructs a granite cladding wall to give the house a more earthy look. Cladding not only makes a building look better, but the color of the material doesn’t change over time. This advantage shows that the architect’s goal was to make the building look as natural as possible.

The house was built over a period of six months. Construction costs were not disclosed by the owner.

By Trang Vy for

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