Julien BARRO

Bêtania– A residence for students in Hue, Vietnam

atelier OBJECTIFS as Architects

Bêtania is a residence dedicated to social educative needs. A series of basic archetypal framework shape up the building in a very rational, simple and economic manner. Specific lengths are given to each section of the construction reducing distances to its neighbors as its best and implementing land use. At the center, significant common spaces are displayed: an open and a covered courtyard. Around those, exteriors passageways purposely distribute bedrooms for 78 female students. The residence also hosts a low budget restaurant and a library.

The building’s structure is made of reinforced concrete and filled with painted bricks. A succession of two-sided roof covers the residence. The given rhythm slices the emanating volume into smaller entities, reminding us of the vernacular constructions that are lining up the streets all over the country.

Hue’s tropical climate required particular and specific protection from massive rain and heavy heat. These considerations shape up the building.

Rainwater is gathered in large roof collector and drops along the facades throughout large vertical canals. At the bottom, it is either directed into public water systems or towards a reservoir installed under the courtyard. Stored rainwater can be used for cleaning, watering and feed a fountain that contributes to cool down the inner atmosphere.

A thin cement triangular pattern fills the structural framework allowing easy and efficient airflows throughout the construction. This simple and proven artifact generates permanents shades on building inner facades. It also provides privacy to the residence, annihilating proximate views from surrounding construction.

The exterior has a mineral, sober and somehow abstracts appearance. Interior wooden facades give a more domestic and welcoming character. In the courtyard, a flowering tree and the fountain contribute to a suitable studious and peaceful atmosphere. Centered on it, each habited cell benefits from its quietness contrasting with the active and busy life of surrounding streets.

This construction received the gold medal at the Vietnam Green Building Award 2018, in Hanoi.

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