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A beautiful communal house rises from rubble in north Vietnam

By Thai Binh    December 7, 2018 | 05:28 am PT
Using mountain debris and abandoned scaffolding, a group of creative architects have built a stunning public building in Ha Nam.

The mega recycling has also cut construction costs by 40 percent.

It uses rubble from the famous Kem Trong eco-tourism area which has already lost a chunk of its mountain to illegal exploitation.

Photos by Nguyen Tien Thanh 

Photos by Nguyen Tien Thanh 

The building, which has a mezzanine floor, offers open, natural and aesthetically pleasing spaces for community activities, including culture and art shows, not to mention a great coffee shop ambience in Dong Van Town, Ha Nam Province.

Located in a recently developed urban area with high construction density, about 1 km from a large industrial park, this is a great place for locals to relax and enjoy fresh air.

- 1

The national heritage site of Kem Trong (located between Ha Nam and Ninh Binh provinces) is being illegally exploited, and one side of one of its mountains has already disappeared.

The loss prompted architect Doan Thanh Ha and colleagues at H & P Architects to gather the pieces of stone left behind, waste from craft villages and construction sites as the materials for the new building.

- 2

In addition to mountain debris, the facility has also reused steel scaffolding pipes and bamboos. This massive recycling effort has reduced the total cost of the building, which has area of 300 square meters and a garden of 420 square meters, to just over 1 billion ($43,111), about 60 percent of average construction costs in the market today. 

- 3

It took a year and a half for the architects and contractors to design, build and decorate the building.

- 4

The walls are 0.4m thick and 3.4m tall.

- 5

The building’s light roof and mezzanine have been built with steel pipes formerly used as scaffolding, with bamboo and wooden furniture and flooring.

- 6

The transparent polycarbonate roof has a sprinkler system and mist spray to wash the roof and keep the building cool on hot summer days.

- 7

The outer space has a shallow pool and different varieties of trees, adding to the cool, natural feel of the place.

- 8

The design team, has named it S Space (S, standing for Save the Stone & Scaffolding) to warn of indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources, which has destroyed many precious mountains in the country.

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