A Narrow Courtyard Joins a Unique Two-Family Home in Saigon

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A city home honors the local culture with communal outdoor space and reclaimed materials.

The city of Saigon inspired this creative and playful building, a response to the recent influx of Western-style spaces in the city center. The owners, two sisters and their families, wanted their home to be a tribute to tradition and a gathering place for their children, siblings, and extended family. The resulting space is a home open to the sounds and culture of the city outside, organized around comfort, nature, and shared activity.

A Narrow Courtyard Joins a Unique Two-Family Home in Saigon - Photo 1 of 10 -

A patterned steel frame serves as a front wall to the street, allowing for light and noise to penetrate the interior. The owners were adamant about the importance of integrating the culture and traditions of Saigon into their home, hoping their children would grow up with a knowledge of and appreciation for the city.

By merging typical Saigon architectural and stylistic details, architect Toan Nghiem of a21 Studio created a space that brings family together. Stacking roof layers, open flowering balconies, and an alleyway that serves as a living room, dining room, and outdoor playground are all filled with colorful, rich materials. Inside, reclaimed and second-hand furniture lend history and spirit to the home.