“Nhà phố” – a kind of architectural feature of Ho Chi Minh city has been built rapidly in bulk in the correspondence with the city’s development and the society’s need. In addition to the intended use, some of the townhouses are being used as a business base; they come out in a rush and are operated almost the same based on the constructors and investors’ using habit and living environment. It has led to the result that there is little change in the building’s plan: the atrium and stair are arranged in the middle of the house, dividing the house into two separate parts. This arrangement since then has created many problems in terms of ventilation and lighting as well as the privacy of the surrounding living spaces but there is still no reasonable solution. This is the project for which AD+ is chosen to renovate a townhouse like this.
Located in a closed neighborhood, it is an old townhouse with four floors arranged crosswise with the stair in the center; close to it are high-rise buildings. In the situation that three facades are covered, the basic concept is to move the atrium to the end of the house, creating the main axis for the whole building, in order to satisfy the ventilation and lighting needs as well as establish a connection between spaces.
The ground floor of the atrium is a small garden which is located in the most disadvantage position of the work. The renovation method is to design a block that changes its cote from high to low in order to optimize the nature light for the greenery at this place. From the first floor appears an extra atrium in the middle of the house, playing a role as a buffer zone for the bedrooms in the front and the common space in the back. This common space is closely connected to the main atrium by the vertical route to exploit the ventilation and lighting efficiency. On the top of the house, there is a staircase which can rotate to the roof’s slope direction and can flexibly close or open. The whole roof is a combination of kitchen garden, greenery, water and different coted-buffer zones, this roof slope gently down to the lotus pond with glass bottom, where sunlight is diffuse to spaces below.
This project is designed for a family of six – three generations living and working altogether. The variety in needs and objects is also a data that need to be handle to make the designing method more abundant and lively. The house is separated into two parts: private and common space by their height. Ground floor is used for clinic and garage performs a role as a lobby lounge at several times in a day. Kitchen and dining room – the most used spaces – are arranged in the center of the house, on the story between the clinic and living room. This is the place where family members communicate with each other directly or indirectly through the sense of hearing, smelling and seeing; it is also a place for gathering at lunch time – a time that light from the pond deeply shines into the space and moves on the raw brick wall surface at the end of the house.
Stairs change from floor to floor, around the main and extra atrium to make a lively adventure through spaces; there, the change of material, the movement of greenery, the variety of light will enrich the user’s sensation.