Seoul architecture biennale to feature Vietnamese houses

By Long Nguyen   August 27, 2021 | 10:31 pm PT
'Ngoi Space' and 'Brick Cave' designed by architect Doan Thanh Ha will be introduced at the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021.

Both buildings, located in Hanoi's Dong Anh District, will be showcased in the Guest Cities Exhibition section of the biennale. Ha, working at H&P Architects, was invited by South Korean curator Choon Choi to attend the event, together with many renowned architects like Thom Mayne, Alejandro Aravena, and Norman Foster.

"As a suburban district of Hanoi, Dong Anh has been experiencing rapid urbanization. Vegetable gardens in the village and orchards in the town have been turned into terraced houses in close proximity to each other," the biennale wrote on its website.

"Conventional brick walls and tiled roofs have disappeared and given place to stuffy concrete boxes, glass panels, and corrugated iron roofs. In that context, H&P Architects managed to bring back bricks and tiles in the vision and direct contact of humans, breathing fresh but familiar emotions and senses into architecture," it said.

Brick Cave in Hanois Dong Anh District. Photo Archdaily/Nguyen Tien Thanh

'Brick Cave' in Hanoi's Dong Anh District. Photo Archdaily/Nguyen Tien Thanh

'Ngoi Space' reuses 20,000 roof tiles from demolished houses on the building facade, giving it a distinctive look and reducing construction waste and carbon emissions.

The building features cafes on multiple floors including the roof, and multipurpose spaces on the fourth floor. It is compared by the architect to a tree and cave in its layering of space. The design creates sheltered spaces, reminiscent of a big roof.

'Brick Cave' is a residential structure with two layers of porous brick walls that keep the house secure but open to the outside world at all times.

The design, according to Ha and his colleagues, creates an atrium-like space. The exposed bricks were chosen because they are local material and are popular in rural areas.

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism will be held from Sept. 16 to Oct. 31. The third edition of this Biennale, titled "CROSSROADS Building the Resilient City", will continue its exploration of the world's cities.

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