Binh Duong House

Architect
K59 Atelier
Location
Thuận An, Binh Duong, Viet Nam | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Private Houses

Binh Duong House

K59 Atelier as Architects

Thuan An town is a border area between South Binh Duong and North Ho Chi Minh City. This area is famous for its orchards and typical products of the peaceful countryside. Because this is a peripheral area, it has low construction density with many trees and gardens. In recent years, with rapid urbanization, many residential areas have sprung up with a variety of “city architecture” types. Gardens and orchards are continuously erased and replaced by roads and housing plots which will become typically row house projects (4mx16m, 5mx14m…) Binh Duong House is an interesting project when we had to change the land and design plan (row house  ) when the Covid-19 epidemic broke out. Because of the economic issue, the client had to sell the housing plot near the main road and chose to build a house inside their own restaurant’s garden.   Through the survey, we decided to choose the location at the end of the land to ensure privacy and quiet for the owner, also reviving the forgotten location. (A place to store garbage and scraps from the restaurant).

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

At the site, we were impressed by the eleven existing trees and open views. Through the process of surveying, measuring,and drawing to record the position and size of the tree canopy, we found that Indian laurel trees have strong vitality with complex underground roots and sub-roots spreading on the ground. The design team must pay attention to the foundation infrastructure and the tree root that they can damage each other.Based on observations about the characteristics of each individual in the family: activities, personality, needs ... along with the surrounding context, we begin to imagine the hidden spaces under the trees canopy, looming behind the huge walls at the end of the road; so that when stepping there- between the opening of two walls, other cool spaces reopened again.

DESIGN CRITERIA AND THINKING 

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

1/ DIALOGUE BETWEEN HOUSE & RESTAURANT; REVIVING A FORGOTTEN AREA

The first criterion for us to choose the site is to ensure privacy and quietness for the family –not only avoid view from restaurant’s guests and noisy activities but also ensure the convenience of the owner's private life. The second criterion  is to revive a forgotten area . We solve the problems of the existing area: place of collecting garbage from the backside restaurant  and wastewater from the existing toilet pollutes the water canal supply for the garden orchards.According to observations, the advantage of this location is the quiet private and quiet area which connects to the banana garden of the neighbor, This place has cool air thanks to the large trees - which were brought in by the owner for a very long time .

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

The front and back entrances of the house all pass through the existing restaurant location, the cleaning and renovation of the entrance inadvertently improved the views of the restaurant on the west and east wings of the restaurant, which was originally the favorite spot of guests because of large tree canopy and fresh view.

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

2/ PRESERVING ELEVEN EXISTING GREEN TREES

The most special thing for us in this project is eleven trees exist in the land - there are three-star fruit trees and nine Indian laurel trees that were planted 20 years ago by the owner.Nowadays, they are 11 meters tall and have large canopy covering the whole land. We believe that trees are like humans, they have their own souls , community  ,and voices, so we decided to keep all the trees that are available for a long time on the land. Through the process of surveying and measuring, drawing, and recording the position and size of the canopy, we found that Indian laurel trees are plants with strong vitality, the root system is complex and spreads on the ground level.

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

The design team must pay special attention to the foundation infrastructure (choosing the option of pressing anchor piles instead of making raft foundations) to avoid expanding the size of the foundation, they will harm the life of the tree as well as the spreading root system below. We also consider the reverse influence of the tree’s root on the building foundation in near future. The process of keeping trees for construction is a difficult battle when we have to directly supervise the process of pressing anchor piles day by day to minimize the damage to the root and main branches of the tree.

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

3/ TRADITIONAL SPACE IN MODERN LIFE

The house space is divided into three areas (compartments of a country house): the middle is the living room, dining room and worships place. The two sides are the bedroom area for family members: Right side is the parents' room and the grandfather's room for convenient care; Left side is the bedroom of two brothers and shares toilet facilities. Interspersed between spaces are courtyards, which are shaped by existing trees.  All activities have the same view towards the main courtyard : where there is a sprawling aquarium, four large trees ,and a banana garden far away .

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

The functional areas are linked by large terracotta tile roof systems that fold up and down together with parallel walls forming a unique rhythm for the building.The roof system with a gentle slope of 1/3 will reduce the building height and the possibility of long wings to help limit rain and control realm light to the interior .The building roof has the highest point  in the middle and lowers on the 2 sides not only express the sacredness of the worship space but also respect the privacy of the resting space. For Asians people , the role of worship space still occupies an important, inviolable ,and inseparable position in modern life.

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

4/ USING THE LONG- TIME  MATERIALS 

A long time ago, Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces are famous for brick and tile making. We often call this area the “capital of bricks and tiles ”. From floor tiles, wall bricks to roof tiles, the traditional craft here provides enough building materials for the entire southern region. Terracotta is a traditional material and merges with the image of the people here. We wanted to reuse and transform with a diverse and flexible architecture layout. The folding up and down tile roof system will link the living atmosphere above and the small floor tiles (20x20cm) will link the entire space where we move our feet every day. The color of the tiles and terracotta tiles combined with the rustic wooden furniture keeps the house cozy and idyllic.

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

5/ DOOR AND WINDOW AS A CONNECTION ELEMENT FROM INSIDE & OUTSIDE 

The door is an extremely important element, a "stopping and linking factor" between interior and exterior space. We always think of the ingenuity of Vietnamese craftsmen, especially in steel door making, they are very good at creating different types of doors that adapt to different locations in the house and variety of uses (folding door, sliding door, revolving door, flip-door). During the working process, every 3-4 days we meet and exchange with them to edit and upgrade door details. We are especially impressed with the creativity and dedication in the details that they propose to ensure safety and convenience for users.

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

* TOGETHER, WE THINK ABOUT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ARCHITECTURE DESIGN

“Respecting the character of the land, preserving the local culture & respecting the climate and surrounding landscape, we always want to protect existing trees, species, as well as existing ecosystems that we have known and observed for a long time.” Rapid urbanization turns rural areas into suburban or semi-urban areas. Following the expansion of the city, “City architecture style” was quickly popularized and built-in existing rural houses or gardens. The system of perennial trees was cut down, canals were filled, and replaced by roads and urban houses. Disadvantages of this development: The underground freshwater source for the orchard is polluted due to the concreting process, construction waste ,and destroyed tree system. As we have known, in parallel with that development, peaceful houses in the countryside still exist next door, where people still make a living by farming and growing fruit trees (Lai Thieu area is very famous. with fruit trees such as mangosteen, rambutan, durian longan). Finally, How will it deal with the problem of urbanization when trees, groundwater, and surface water are not cared for and paid attention to?

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

Binh Duong House has two sides adjacent to canals leading water throughout the northern and eastern orchards garden . The first thing we thought about was protecting the water stream from pollution and the existing greenery system. The infrastructure uses 2 different types of underground tanks to purify dark water one is set near the toilet for containing gray water and the other tank purifies  them before flowing into the canal. We are also interested in rainwater for irrigation. These big bots are arranged at the water collection pipe to collect rainwater when it is necessary to irrigate. The outdoor trees are preserved and brought into the indoor courtyards, we use the tree position to define the house instead of doing the opposite.

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

Thinking about respecting and preserving trees as well as considering underground filter system has been invisible in general, but it plays a very important role in shaping our architecture discipline: sustainability in architecture not only from the work above but also the hidden part of the architecture (the underground part): foundation infrastructure, water supply ,drainage system, soil layers, groundwater, the system of tree root are intricately intertwined and active underneath.

We always believe that:

photo_credit Courtesy of k59atelier
Courtesy of k59atelier

“Architectural work is a response from the current state of the land, we will read local factors through the language of architectural design and structure, topography, soil layers, trees ,and local people ... the people who belong to that place will gradually shape their lifestyle habits and typical architecture. We always respect that and want to maintain it in today's era of urbanization and modernization.Binh Duong House is our conversation about new things and old values. The house seems to have no boundaries: the whole house blends into the tall trees, daily activities connect people with people, people with animals and birds. Indeed, peace and serenity are feeling every time we have the opportunity to visit again”

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Constructor and Material Supplier: Gb  Construction Company Limited 

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