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Properly Breathing House by H&P Architects

Properly Breathing House by H&P Architects

Location: Dong Anh Town, Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Architect: H&P Architects
Architect in Charge: Doan Thanh Ha & Tran Ngoc Phuong
Team: Chu Kim Thinh, Nguyen Hai Hue, Ho Manh Cuong, Hoang Huu Nam, Nguyen Van Thinh
Completion date: 12/2015
Photographs: Nguyen Tien Thanh

A “suffocating” situation

Just 15 kilometers far from the center of Hanoi, the suburban district Dong Anh has witnessed pervasive urbanization – one of the major causes for a trend towards a maximum use of volume and quantity of construction areas. Lesser importance has been attached to the quality of used space and surrounding scenery. This has resulted in a large number of “suffocating” buildings as often found in newly planned, stuffy urban areas characterized with land plot subdivision for building row houses in Vietnam.

A “properly breathing” solution

Featured in both living and working space, a “properly breathing” house serves as a solution to the quality improvement of used space by creating a natural sense of breathing rhythm in monsoon tropical conditions, which is attributed to the two built-in functions: The Inside and outside.  The inside offers many voids while the outside has double-skin facade including the inner layer as all-glass panels; the between as corridor for movement; the outer layer as recycled ceramic bricks (40cmx40cm). Pot plants are also randomly arranged to absorb the humidity and mitigate calorific radiation. 

Together with the inner duplex, the layer of ceramic bricks is to purify dust and smoke, suck in fresh air and take heat away through open panels alternated with pot plants on the facade. This filter helps revitalize the architectural space by balancing the breathing of human and nature, and promoting the connection and interaction between the inner and outer scenery, roofs with creepers above and pot plants and vegetables below, sunlight and shade,…      

As a breathing space is only considered an existence; therefore, a properly breathing space is required so that it can breathe properly towards a healthy life in both natural and socio-cultural habitat particular to each region. In this sense, the properly breathing house is expected to contribute to highlighting the local architecture in a current global context.