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Stone House: Sustainable Features and Locally Quarried Stone make this House a Castle

There is a torus-shaped stone house that is located in a quiet residential quarter called Dong Trieu, in route to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi. This spiraling Stone House in Northern Vietnam by VTN Architects has grass on its roof and an oval courtyard at its center.

Stone House | VTN Architects
Stone House

Locally Sourced Stone

VTN Architects wanted to avoid copying the concrete and plaster buildings that are common in the surrounding Quang Ninh province and instead create "a space that can record the changes and traces of time over the years through the aging of natural materials".

Following this concept, the two-story Stone House was constructed from locally quarried stone blocks that are stacked up in an alternating grid to give a brickwork pattern to the walls.

The Design

Following VTN Architect’s Green Architecture strategy, the house was designed to minimize energy consumption. The central courtyard contains both a tree and a pool of water, intended to naturally cool the surrounding rooms. Dark timber frames surround the windows and stand out against the muted grey color of the stone. Similarly, a thick layer of grass blankets the entire roof and is maintained by an inbuilt irrigation system.

The spiraling volume of the house gives a variety of ceiling heights to rooms on both floors. Bedrooms are stacked up on top of one another with lower ceilings, while the living room becomes a double height space. Small study areas branch off from the main corridor and slot into the spaces between rooms.

Dark wood beams create stripes across the ceilings and accommodate low-energy LED lighting. Timber also lines the walls in most rooms and was used to construct the staircase. A rising green roof and walls composed of subdued dark blue stones create a landscape, which stands out boldly in the new residential area.

The Layout

The rooms surround the oval courtyard, making a colony-like relationship with each other. Circulating flow runs around the courtyard and continues to the green roof, connecting all places in the house. This courtyard and green roof compose a sequential garden, which creates a rich relationship between inside and outside the house. Residents experience the changes of the seasons and learn to appreciate their wealthy life with nature, thanks to this sequential garden.

To create a wall with smooth curvature, cubic stones with a thickness of 10cm were carefully stacked. Consequently, the wall performs the play of light and shadow. Massive and meticulous texture of the wall generates a cave-like space, which recalls the image of a primitive house.

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