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House in Chau Doc


Located in a suburb of ChauDoc town in AnGiang province, Southern Vietnam, this house is a sharing residence of 3 nuclear families who are kin. Although this project budget was tightened with local standards, which only allowed us to build a house with thin corrugated metal panels, we have tried to satisfy not only the regional spirits but also the rich lifestyle in which is fulfilled by sunlight, greenery and natural ventilation, as it were, living in a half-outdoor gardens.

這所房子位於越南南部安江省 ChauDoc 鎮的郊區,是 3 個有親屬關係的核心家庭的合租住所。 雖然這個專案預算因當地標準而限制,只允許我們用薄波紋金屬板建造房屋,但我們試圖不僅滿足地域精神,還試圖滿足陽光、綠化和自然通風的豐富生活方式。,就像住在半露天花園裡一樣。

Around 7 hours travelling from HoChiMinh city by long-distance bus and ferry, ChauDoc, a border town closed to Cambodian boundary, has been developed along a branch of Mekong River. Wandering around the neighboring site, what we could easily recognize is the several layers of the regional environment. The first layer is depicted by hundreds of floating houses on the river, and secondly, there are embanked roads along two sides of the river banks which turn into the main traffic for the local society, while the third layer is scattered with a plenty of pilotis houses extended from the roads by private small bridges, and the last one is painted in green by beautiful rice-field as far as our eyes could reach. Generally, pilotis houses in this area are mostly composed of stone or concrete columns on the ground and floating timber frames wrapped by thin corrugated metal panels.

從胡志明市乘坐長途汽車和渡輪約 7 小時,靠近柬埔寨邊界的邊境城鎮 ChauDoc 已沿湄公河支流開發。 徘徊在鄰近場地,我們很容易辨認出區域環境的幾個層次。 第一層由數百座漂浮在河上的房屋描繪,第二層是河岸兩側的堤防道路,成為當地社會的主要交通,第三層則散佈著大量的領航員 房屋通過私人小橋從道路上延伸出來,最後一棟被美麗的稻田塗成綠色,一望無際。 通常,該地區的架高房屋多由地面上的石頭或混凝土柱子和由薄波紋金屬板包裹的浮動木框架組成。

Due to the height limitation of the column which only can lift the house over flood water and also due to the minimum dimensions of timber frames for the local daily floor-sitting lifestyle, we could feel about the human-scaled and gentle impression from these local houses. And the more deeply we approached into their living context, the better we could understand about the harsh natural environment that they have to cope with, when all the grounds except the embanked roads used to be under the water during 4-5 months in the rainy season annually till they have completed the concrete embankments very recently. Anyone who visit this area could recognize the scent of their intelligence about how to co-exist with the large-scaled Mother Nature for such a long time.

由於只能將房屋高過洪水的柱子的高度限制,也由於當地日常坐地生活方式的木框架的最小尺寸,我們可以從這些當地人身上感受到人性化和溫柔的印象房屋。 我們越深入地了解他們的生活環境,就越能理解他們必須應對的惡劣自然環境,當時除了路堤外,所有地面在每年 4-5 個月的雨季中都被淹沒在水下,直到他們最近完成了混凝土路堤。 任何到過這個地區的人都能聞到他們關於如何與大規模的大自然共存這麼長時間的智慧的氣味。

On the other hand, ironically, we have found that their daily-life has become unstable and un-organized especially after the recent drastic changes when they compulsively eliminated floods which had given a lot of inconveniences to them. An apparent evidence is that almost all the inhabitants have abandoned their ground level with their no-use garbage or excreta from their domestic animals such as pigs, gooses and chickens. This fact could drive their living environment into bad condition since those houses have too low ceilings without insulations and too small windows for ventilations. Formerly, flood in the rainy-season would wash away all excreta accumulated in the dry-season, and the covering water would be helpful to lower the surrounding temperature as well.

另一方面,具有諷刺意味的是,我們發現他們的日常生活變得不穩定和無組織,尤其是在最近發生了劇烈變化之後,他們強制解除了給他們帶來很多不便的洪水。 一個明顯的證據是,幾乎所有的居民都把他們的無用垃圾或豬、鵝和雞等家畜的排泄物遺棄在地面上。 這一事實可能會使他們的生活環境變得糟糕,因為這些房屋的天花板太低,沒有隔熱材料,窗戶太小,無法通風。 以前,雨季的洪水可以沖走旱季堆積的糞便,覆蓋的水也有助於降低周圍的溫度。

Based on these conditions mentioned above, what we aimed is to adopt regional customs such as local materials, carpenters’ techniques and their construction methods as much as possible except 3 new architectural intentions below.

1/ To invert the roof shape from ordinal-roof into butterfly-roof in order to open the interior space to surrounding environment, and then cover all the site by 3 butterfly-roofs in different heights.

2/ To hang up rotating metal windows from end to end at the big openings between each roofs and façades to adjust the amount of sunlight and natural wind.

3/ To replace all the internal solid walls into movable partitions to create one big continuous space.

These 3 architectural principles are clearly intended to realize a half-outdoor and contemporary spaces with full of natural elements such as sunlight, wind, water, soil and plantings. However, at the same time, it is also an important theme for us to preserve the regional customs and spirits inside the house which can be listed as floor-sitting lifestyle, human-scaled dimensions and floating timber frames on the concrete columns. This theme is also consistent with its exterior design, which is to blend with the surrounding environment but to outstand by modern design languages.


1/ 將屋頂形狀從順序屋頂反轉為蝴蝶屋頂,以向周圍環境開放室內空間,然後用3個不同高度的蝴蝶屋頂覆蓋整個場地。

2/ 在每個屋頂和立面之間的大開口處,從頭到尾懸掛旋轉金屬窗,以調節陽光和自然風的量。

3/ 將內部的實心牆全部換成可移動的隔斷,形成一個連續的大空間。

  這 3 條建築原則顯然旨在實現充滿自然元素(如陽光、風、水、土壤和植物)的半戶外和現代空間。 然而,與此同時,保留房屋內部的地域風俗和精神也是我們的一個重要主題,可以列為落地式生活方式、人性化尺寸和混凝土柱上的浮動木框架。 這一主題也與其外觀設計相吻合,即與周圍環境融為一體,又以現代設計語言脫穎而出。

Nowadays in Vietnam, urban and stateless housing style starts spreading even into the rural areas and changing their unique cultures, landscapes and lifestyles of their own regions. (In fact, 5 story building is under construction on the adjacent plot). It would be one of emergent subjects for us, Vietnamese architects, to propose alternative and contemporary way of living by inheriting their cultures, not by fading out their regional spirits.

如今在越南,城市和無國籍住房風格甚至開始蔓延到農村地區,並改變了他們所在地區獨特的文化、景觀和生活方式。 (實際上,相鄰地塊上正在建造 5 層樓)。 對我們越南建築師來說,通過繼承他們的文化而不是通過淡化他們的區域精神來提出替代的和現代的生活方式將是一個新興的主題。