Old dormitory turned into ‘clean and cool cave’


HanoiAfter decades of use, the 70-square-meter apartment in an old dormitory in Dong Da district is seriously degraded, unable to meet the homeowner’s needs.

Not only damp, collective apartment was leaking from the upper floors, water was spilled all over the ceiling and walls. Because it is located on the first floor, it is surrounded by many tall buildings around, so the apartment is very dark.

The lack of light, pressing and leaking causes mold to multiply, furniture is wet and damaged, attracting insects. The apartment also emits a bad smell from old waterways and a musty smell that makes the owner, who is a Japanese teacher, feel uncomfortable.

To compensate for the disadvantages, the apartment has the advantage of good room-through ventilation if all the front and rear doors are opened, which are often closed to prevent flies and mosquitoes. It also has old, bold Hanoi style, different from other apartments, so the owner is determined to renovate.

Common living area before and after renovation. Image: ABlueBird Photography.

As a Japanese teacher, opening classes at home, the owner wants the apartment to be both a accommodation, a place to work as well as a place for Japanese cultural exchanges and exchanges for students. She requires private space but still has to be vibrant.

When embarking on renovating the apartment, the design team decided to keep the functional areas (bedrooms, common spaces …). The house has two bedrooms, consisting of a master bedroom with wardrobe, desk, bed and a small bedroom for guests with sofa bed, wardrobes. When needed, a small bedroom can become a living room. Common space includes a kitchen, dining room combined with living room and toilet. There is also a classroom used as a classroom.

The area of ​​the rooms is adjusted to suit usage needs. For example, the bedroom is narrowed down to the larger common area.

WC before and after renovation.  Photo: ABlueBird Photography.

Cleaning area before and after renovation. Image: ABlueBird Photography.

To solve the problem of leakage in the context of the old dormitory and the upper floors not cooperating, the design team used two-layer ceilings, including corrugated iron to carry water to the sub-area and a plaster finish. warm. The leached areas are not painted but are paved with water-resistant stone bone tiles.

Furniture in damp areas such as kitchens is plastic wood to prevent moisture and termites. Fixed windows have been replaced with flip-flops to increase room ventilation, allowing for easy air circulation in the apartment. All doors are equipped with insect repellent nets (fixed or drained) so that homeowners can open doors, increase ventilation without fear of insects.

Solid walls are converted into glass brick walls, adding light to the rooms while creating a visual effect.

Damp apartment into a clean, cool cave - 4

Main bedroom after renovation. Image: ABlueBird Photography.

The back home has about yard 16.5 m2 wide. Not expanding into a living room like many neighbors, homeowners keep the yard because there are trees “bring luck”. Not to mention, having such a yard in the inner city of Hanoi is now not easy. Thanks to it, the apartment also adds light and the homeowner has a place to gather, eat at home with friends.

After two months of construction, the apartment “damp, odor and many insects like sewers” gives homeowners the feeling of being in a cave, bright, clean and cool. The cost of home improvement except for electronic equipment is about 400 million VND.

Click to see more pictures of the project.

Minh Trang

Image: ABlueBird Photography

Design: March Architecture & Luke Nguyen Lab

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