Stacking Green: Building of the Year Award Winner

Updated: Aug 21

The Stacking Green House is a very typical tube house constructed on the plot 4m wide and 20m deep wide strip of land in a residential area of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The house, designed by VTN Architects embraces the Vietnamese tradition of proudly displaying nature within private residences.


Stacking Green



Stacking Green

The front and back facades are entirely composed of layers of concrete planters cantilevered from two sidewalls. These planters contain vegetation protecting inhabitants from direct sunlight, as well as noise and pollution emanating from the adjacent street. Inside the planters automatic irrigation pipes are installed to allow for easy maintenance of the plants and to supply them with water.

The greenery continues to the roof terrace where a garden provides views across the neighborhood. From an environmental perspective, the design enables natural ventilation, cooling the structure during Vietnam’s tropical seasons. Natural ventilation through the facades and 2 skylights allow the house to save a huge amount of energy in a harsh climate in Saigon.

The house itself is a typical tube house constructed on a plot 4 meters wide by 20 meters deep. The front and back facades are entirely composed of layers of concrete planters cantilevered from two side walls. The varying heights of the plants, which vary from 25cm to 40cm, defined the distance between the planters and the height of the planters as well, creating a balance between greenery and concrete where one doesn’t over power the other.

The RC frame structure widely used in Vietnam was adapted in this design. By having very few partition walls it allowed the interior to keep its fluency and provide constant views to the green façades. Varying light is cast through the building depending upon the time of day from the top-light in the center of the structure as well as through the amount of leaves on both facades. With light coming in through the leaves on the exterior, beautiful shadows are formed on the granite interior walls made strictly of stacked 2cm stones.

We named this tropical, unique and green house as Stacking Green because its facades filled with vigorous and vital greenery. The green facade and roof top garden protect its inhabitants from the direct sunlight, street noise and pollution. Concerning these ecological approaches, we referred a lot to the bio-climatic principles of traditional Vietnamese courtyard houses.


Stacking Green is a great example of how simplicity and minimalism can create great architecture, coupled with the understanding and history of the site in which it is built, that it is no wonder why it was the 2012 winner for Building Of The Year. Stacking Green is another example of VTN Architects Green Architecture strategy.



See more photos of Stacking Green.

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