A Concrete Home in Vietnam Is Topped With Trees

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By Samantha Daly
With greenery dwindling in urban areas, an architecture firm in Ho Chi Minh City designs a home to bring nature back to the city—all with a budget of $155,000.

Located in the densely populated Tan Binh District of Ho Chi Minh City, this tree-topped family home designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects aims to provide a blueprint for the future of urban housing.

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In Ho Chi Minh City, only 0.25 percent of the landscape is covered with greenery.

In Ho Chi Minh City, only 0.25 percent of the landscape is covered with greenery.

Working within a budget of $155,000, the architecture firm cut costs while building the prototypical home by using locally sourced, untreated materials.

Completed in 2014, the home is made up of five concrete, flower pot-like boxes that surround a central courtyard.

The architecture firm has a history of designing buildings that incorporate plant life into the fabric of their projects.

The architecture firm has a history of designing buildings that incorporate plant life into the fabric of their projects.

This project sparks a conversation about the future of the relationship between urban development and the preservation of natural areas.

This project sparks a conversation about the future of the relationship between urban development and the preservation of natural areas.

The thick soil layers on the roofs function as storm water basins. If the concept is applied to more buildings in the surrounding area, it could reduce the risk of flooding in the city.

The thick soil layers on the roofs function as storm water basins. If the concept is applied to more buildings in the surrounding area, it could reduce the risk of flooding in the city.

Every room on the upper level has windows that face into the courtyard, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Every room on the upper level has windows that face into the courtyard, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor spaces.

The external walls are made of in-situ concrete with bamboo formwork.

The external walls are made of in-situ concrete with bamboo formwork.

The large doors on the ground floor connect the courtyard with the interiors.

The large doors on the ground floor connect the courtyard with the interiors.

The open courtyard brings warmth and light into the home.

The open courtyard brings warmth and light into the home.

Locally sourced bricks are used for the internal walls.

Locally sourced bricks are used for the internal walls.

The oasis-like abode stands out amongst the neighboring buildings.

The oasis-like abode stands out amongst the neighboring buildings.

The firm hopes that projects like these will encourage the city to switch to accommodating high-density dwellings with big tropical trees.

The firm hopes that projects like these will encourage the city to switch to accommodating high-density dwellings with big tropical trees.

The ground floor houses the common areas such as the dining room and library.

The ground floor houses the common areas such as the dining room and library.

The upper floors are connected by a steel bridge.

The upper floors are connected by a steel bridge.

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A Concrete Home in Vietnam Is Topped With Trees - Photo 15 of 20 -
A bird's-eye view of the site.

A bird's-eye view of the site.

The site elevation.

The site elevation.

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A Concrete Home in Vietnam Is Topped With Trees - Photo 19 of 20 -
A Concrete Home in Vietnam Is Topped With Trees - Photo 20 of 20 -

Project Credits:

Architecture Firm: VTN Architects (Vo Trong Nghia Architects)

Principal architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Masaaki Iwamoto, Kosuke Nishijima

Architects: Nguyen Tat Dat

Contractor: Wind and WaterHouse JSC

Photography: Hiroyuki Oki