Nanoco Head Office Ho Chi Minh: Award Nominee at World Architecture Festival
Located in a newly developing area in Ho Chi Minh City, the Nanoco Head Office and Showroom, designed by VTN Architects for this electrical corporation, aspires to express its own identity as a new icon within the region.
The building is formed by alternately-stacked boxes wrapped with glass blocks, creating terraces in between to accommodate trees. This facade functions as a filter which optimizes climatic and visual conditions. It diffuses intense direct sunlight in the daytime, creating an ideal luminous environment for interior.
On the contrary, at night, the building turns into a beacon lighting box illuminating the neighborhood. Glass blocks reduce thermal transmission due to its low solar heat gain, contributing to low energy consumption compared to typical glazed facade. Taking into account the high density surroundings of the area in the near future, the glass blocks are meant to blur and calm the view to the outside, while the trees provide green ambiance throughout the building.
Greenery, one of the most significant features, is also a response to the wider urban context. In the center of Ho Chi Minh City, green coverage ratio is only 0.25%, which is remarkably low in comparison to other Asian megacities. This lack of greenery causes various social problems such as air pollution, overheating, and floods. Therefore, with this project and many others, VTN Architects Green Architecture strategy aims to bring green space back to the city by accommodating as much greenery as possible our buildings. This project has been designed towards achieving a harmony between humans and nature, in turn providing a better working environment. Taking advantage of its high visibility, the building is expected to present well as an exemplary architecture example for sustainable development.
The 10 stories volume accommodates a large series of showrooms in the lower 4 stories, and offices in the upper 6 stories. Unlike stereotyped showrooms, it was required that the former included a communal area to serve as a platform for creative community events and activities. Thus, the space was designed to be integrated, without separating it by walls or floors, featuring several unique architectural elements. The entrance with a huge opening reveals activities inside, attracting people passing by. Right after the entrance is a multi-functional zone where various events and exhibitions could be held. Staircases within the vertical void, which penetrates through the floors, connect several kinds of the showroom and communal area and enhance interaction between them.
A Greener Vision
Under the rapidly-growing economy, the cities in Vietnam has been developed without long-term perspective or pursuing physical quality. However, in the end, it is extremely uneconomical and makes a huge negative impact on the environment. The challenge of the project was to improve its maintainability and quality of construction, aiming for durable architecture that could last for hundreds of years.