This Minimalist Cabin in Vietnam Is the Perfect Forest Escape

By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell

Built for an affordable $3,000, the Forest House is a 129-square-foot refuge outside Hanoi.

Designed by Vietnamese architect Chu Văn Dông, this tiny, gabled house was constructed as a personal weekend home in the Sóc Sơn District, just 19 miles outside the capital, Hanoi. Perched on a mountainside and nestled in a dense forest, this petite retreat can accommodate two people. 

The simple timber construction has a completely glazed facade that overlooks its sylvan surroundings.


The Forest House is a part of a master plan that includes two other identical dwellings on the same site. Constructed for the budget-friendly cost of about $3,000, the minimalist structure offers the all basics, as well as an air conditioner to beat the heat and a small stove for keeping warm on colder nights. A small outdoor bath sits at the rear of the property.


"This is my first house in the forest," says Chu. "I am working on a similar project on a larger scale nearby, and two additional ones in another location. I hope that the Forest House will inspire temporary housing projects from its simple construction and low cost."

Currently, the Forest House is for Chu's personal use, but he hopes to rent it out in the near future.













Project Details

Architect of record: Chu Văn Đông

Area: 129 square feet

Location: Sóc Sơn 

Hà Nội Design team: Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, Vương Thùy Giang 

Jennifer Baum Lagdameo is a freelance design writer who has lived in Washington DC, Brooklyn, Tokyo and Manila. She is…


These modern retreats lend themselves to the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest therapy.

After a tough, dark winter, the arrival of summer sends Scandinavians off to vacation homes and cabins to enjoy longer…

Sit back and get ready for a grand tour of some of the best cabins in The Americas, courtesy of our friends at The…

If Tarzan and Jane happened to be design-loving folks, they'd be right at home at any of these vacation destinations.

Nestled on a steep slope near the iconic Muir Woods in California, a pair of outbuildings offer a sublime connection to…

Inspired by tansu chests and raw materials that show patina, a pair of Sydney-based architects renovated their own…

Crosby Studios just cares about the essentials.

When you step into the headquarters of the Republic of Fritz Hansen in Allerød, northwest of Copenhagen, you are…

Minimalism is taken to the max when architect Eric Logan rebuilds his family cabin on a Wyoming mountainside.

Three small pavilions connected by a deck form a summer retreat that balances privacy with a panoramic view—all in less…

Sitting across from a deserted beach on a private plot surrounded by a pine forest is a large modernist vacation home…

According to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists, minimalism can be summed up in a single…

With interiors and an architectural style that's deeply rooted in indigenous design traditions, the recently opened…

Weary city dwellers can find serenity in this array of cabins on the Norwegian archipelago of Fleinvær, where the…

A family escapes their urban environs to a vacation home attuned to its coastal landscape.

On Waiheke Island near Auckland, New Zealand, the Tent House sits among wetlands on a patch of undeveloped land. It…

Offering high performance in a compact format, this lightweight portable steamer comes in handy for pressing everything…

The highly individual cabins, hideaways, and summer homes featured in Hide and Seek offer their owners exceptional, yet…