This house is located in a suburban commune of Hanoi in Vietnam which has undergone a rapid process of urbanization. It has been designed by H&P Architects in a philosophy that it will help shape a place similar to the natural environment in an artificial manner. The proposed structure of the house resembles that of a cave. The overall structure is made up of and enclosed by two layers of brick wall meeting one another at an intersection, with alternate green arrangements of plants and vegetables. Bricks have long been a familiar local material and widely used in rural areas of Vietnam with a simple manual construction method.
The two built-in layers of wall function as a filter to eliminate the adverse aspects of the external environment (sunshine from the west, dust, noise) and bring nature (light, rain, wind) to where necessary inside. Above, the outer wall is tilted inwards in different diagonals to create better viewing angles towards the general landscape of the area. This, at the same time, helps users in various corners inside the house sense time and weather through shadow and air.
Brick Cave encompasses a chain of spaces interconnected with random apertures gradually shifting from openness/publicity to closeness/privacy and vice versa. The combination of close and open creates diverse relations with the surroundings and thus helps blur the boundaries between in and out, houses and streets/alleys, human and nature.
Brick Cave reminds its users of emotional pieces of both strangeness and familiarity by offering them images of corners of a yard, expanses of the sky, strips of a garden or parts of an alley, which is tentative to the use of space at different times in a typical tropical monsoon climate of the north of Vietnam. This, therefore, truly brings to users an interesting and enjoyable experience as they are accommodated in a sense of a large open space harmonized with the comfort of a safe shelter.
Design and info © H&P Architects
Images © Nguyen Tien Thanh