This Minimalist Cabin in Vietnam Is the Perfect Forest Escape

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
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.

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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.

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"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.

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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 

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