Stacked Planters House: Concrete Boxes Seemingly Stacked Randomly

The Concept

As a result of rapid urbanization, many Vietnamese cities are losing large swathes of their tropical green spaces. This transformation of low-density landscapes into densely populated metropolises not only increases flood risk, but also significantly contributes to air pollution and a dislocation from the natural environment. in Ho Chi Minh City — one of the urban areas most affected by this change — VTN Architects has been developing the ‘House for Trees’ series of residential projects that incorporate green spaces as part of their design. That leads us to the story of Stacked Planters House.


Stacked Planters House

As one of the most recent projects in this series, Stacked Planters House is designed as a series of concrete boxes that is seemingly stacked randomly as it strives to bring green space back to the city and forge an intimate relationship between human and nature.

The Context

The house is located in a neatly planned urban area, where the residents built up to the maximum allowable height. Maximum living spaces were achieved here by reducing the green spaces. By bringing greens back to the house, each house serves as a small park in a dense neighborhood.

The Design

For this project, VTN Architects designed the house on a property that seeks to establish a strong relationship between nature and its inhabitants. The plot forms part of a neatly planned urban area, where maximum living spaces were achieved by at the expense of green space. Conceived as a ‘small park in a dense neighborhood’, the intent was to design a house where functions are contained within a series of stacked volumes.


Each private function is packed into a concrete box that is seemingly stacked randomly, but by design. The horizontal concrete slabs, between boxes, are the terraces where trees grow. These semi-outdoor spaces serve as living and dining rooms where people gather. As with other VTN Architect’s residential projects, the design utilizes local and natural materials with a terrazzo wall a striking feature of the design.

The Materials

In following with VTN Architect's Green Architecture strategy, the “House for trees” series always pays special attention to local and natural materials. What makes this project special, is the terrazzo wall which was a popular material back in the 80s, yet forgotten in recent years.



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