Binh House: A Vertical Stack of Gardens & Living Spaces
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Under the rapid urbanization, cities in Vietnam have diverged far from their origins as low density tropical green space. Newly developed urban areas are losing their connection with nature. Binh House by VTN Architects is one project in the "House for Trees" series, a prototypical housing design, providing green space within high density neighborhood.
VTN architects have gained recognition for our greenery-filled architecture, and Binh House follows suit. A vertical stacking has been applied to the building’s organization with the gardens and glass walls being bound between the two main concrete facades.
The inhabitants of Binh House are a family of three generations. Therefore, the challenge was to create spaces which allow its residents interact, communicate and have their privacy.
Gardens located on top of the vertically stacking spaces; bounded by sliding glass doors.
The vertical stacked garden strategy not only improves the microclimate by using natural ventilation and daylight in every room, but the alternately stacking openings also increase visibility and interaction between the family members.
Palms and plants form the different courtyards that link the continuously open living room, dining, bedrooms and study. The natural ventilation is constantly maintained throughout the tropical temperature of Vietnam.
Living, dining, bedrooms, study room are continuously opened.
From one room, people's sightlines can reach beyond to the other rooms via the gardens.
Service areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs and corridors are located in the west to limit heat radiation exposure towards frequently occupied areas. The vertical variation of spaces creates a lopsided pressure difference. Thus, when the surrounding houses are built, natural ventilation is maintained. Thanks to these passive strategies, the house always stays cool in the tropical climate. Air conditioning system is rarely used.
The roof gardens host large trees for shading, therefore reducing indoor temperature. Vegetables can also be planted on a rotating basis to serve its resident's daily needs. On the exterior, a distinctive character has been created with the few rectangular fenestrations revealing glimpses of the overgrown nature inside.
This vertical farming solution is suitable for high-density housing whilst also contributing to Vietnamese way of life.
Binh House's rooms are spread across a series of stepped levels interspersed with gardens and planters. Sliding doors enhance the connection between these indoor and outdoor spaces.
This strategy not only improves the microclimate by using natural ventilation and daylight in every room, but the alternately stacking openings also increase visibility and interaction between the family members.
The staggered arrangement of the living room, dining area, bedrooms and study provides views between these spaces that are always filtered through foliage. This irregular vertical configuration also helps to maintain airflow through the building when other planned residences are completed alongside the house.
On the ground floor, the property's entrance opens onto a lounge space separated from a dining area by trees and shrubs growing from a gravel garden. Beyond the dining space, an open-air atrium lined with sliding glass doors contains tall palms and stepping stones leading to a bedroom suite.
Two further suites are accommodated on the level above, with the upper level providing space for a study and a spa with an outdoor Jacuzzi.
At street level, the planting ensures shade and privacy for the living areas, while large trees on the roof also help to prevent direct sunlight from overheating the building.
In addition to filtering views between the interior spaces, the vegetation also provides privacy for the spa area.
A garden on the roof of the dining area can be planted with fruits and vegetables to provide a source of food for the family that recalls the traditional Vietnamese lifestyle.
Service spaces including the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs and corridors are positioned along the western edge of the house to prevented unwanted heat from reaching the most frequently occupied areas.
Using sustainable materials such as natural stone, wood, exposed concrete combined with the microclimate, this house reduces greatly operational and maintenance cost. As of this date, residents have never used furnished AC. The architecture is not only to meet the functional and aesthetic concerns, but also as a means to connect people to people and people to nature as part of VTN's Green Architecture strategy.
In 2017, VTN Architects won the ‘House – Completed Buildings Award’ for Binh House at the World Architecture Festival.
See more photos of Binh House.