The house ‘makes friends’ with squirrels and birds


HCMCThe house is located in an alley in Go Vap district, three sides border with people’s house, east front facing old factory fence with many old trees.

Not only creating shade, the old trees in the old factory area are also home to birds and squirrels. When passing by, people can easily see squirrels climbing and birds perching on power lines.

Realizing that this is the factor that creates “identity” for the area, the young couple and architects decided to build a house close to nature on a land of 4.3 x 15 m.

Building facade impresses with “shell” of carpentry brick combined with green trees. Image: Quang Tran.

The house is backed into 4 meters, leaving a yard wider than 17 m2, planting many kinds of trees, especially star fruit. The roof is covered with a green vegetable garden, providing daily food for the homeowner and creating “breathing space” for the house. The green patches in the front yard and the roof garden are also intended to invite birds and squirrels to visit.

The vegetable garden on the roof is designed steep, helping the building cool and the concrete on the roof is not cracked or absorbed.  Photo: Quang Tran.

The roof vegetable garden is designed to be steep, keeping the building cool and the concrete on the roof not being cracked, absorbing and attracting birds and squirrels to visit. Image: Quang Tran.

The host couple are busy people, living in a minimalist style, so the house is not fussy either.

On the ground floor, outside of the garden courtyard, the design team arranged an empty room called a multi-purpose room for the homeowner to decorate and use according to their needs, such as teamwork or party organization without influencing to the other person. This room is also considered as a reserve area in case the family has more members, it is necessary to expand the living area.

The main function rooms are pushed up so that the homeowner overlooks the space and surrounding greenery.

On the second floor, the living room, kitchen and dining room are connected. The kitchen is a place where homeowners spend a lot of time after hard working hours, so it is located right below the floor space, above with a glass roof and portable wooden bar to get light and good ventilation. Standing in the kitchen, homeowners can also see the trees, the sky.

The living room places a small altar to recall the home space in the North, the husband’s hometown.

The space inside the house is simply designed with the main materials of rustic brick, bare concrete, and wood.  Photo: Quang Tran.

The space inside the house is simply designed with the main materials of rustic brick, bare concrete, and wood. Image: Quang Tran.

On the third floor, the bedroom looks straight out onto the green trees that hang down from the roof through the front floor. Carpentry tiles prevent direct sunlight in and with greenery, space for cooling, ensure privacy for the bedroom.

The working room on the terrace also overlooks the green space of the vegetable garden.

Thanks to the two-layer architecture alternating with green trees and glass roof at the back of the house, the building is airy and less hot, the homeowner almost does not need to use air conditioning. Materials such as brick, bare concrete, wood are environmentally sustainable and increase proximity to nature.

See the technical drawings of the project here.

Click to see more pictures of the project.

Minh Trang

Design: THIA Architecture

Image: Quang Tran

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