The site has the typical challenges of many urban lots in Ho Chi Minh city: abutted by tall neighboring houses, small developable area relative to the clients’ program, and compromised access to daylighting and natural ventilation.

Due to the height restriction, the house was pushed 1 level below the ground to accommodate the large program. In an effort to solve as many issues as possible, we proposed a concrete column system hidden inside the north and south concrete wall that face the neighbors, acting as the primary structure for the house and freeing up the space in-between. These concrete walls provide privacy to the clients and their family, and open up the east and west facade for views and outdoor-indoor connection. Because the column system extends continuously from the basement to the roof, the concrete beams spanning in-between can be moved vertically without any structural concerns. This flexibility also meant total discretion to determine the elevations of the upper floors--which we intended to take advantage of.

By convention, the program is stacked floor-by-floor to maximize the usable area of a small lot which could result in monotonous and isolated spaces. We wanted to do just the opposite: visually and spatially connecting the different parts of the house together by splitting the floor plates, and then cascading them to create a multi-story atrium. In this space, life unfolds naturally; once a family member steps out of the bedroom, he/she will be in an all-connected “room”, and in the company of another member, whether that person is on the other side of the atrium or 2 levels above. In addition to spatial articulation, this atrium brings daylighting down to the basement, and--working with the 2 sunken gardens which are naturally filled with cool air--aids the stack effect by letting the hot air rises to the top. The temperature of the lower floors, as a result, becomes more comfortable.

From the outside, Cascading House looks solid as a rock that provides sturdy shelter. The interior, however, feels as porous as a sponge soaking up natural light and air, and brings family members closer together--the qualities that make this house a home.

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Family life unfolds 1 level at a time Photo 2 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

Family life unfolds 1 level at a time

Spatial continuity from the basement to the third floor Photo 3 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

Spatial continuity from the basement to the third floor

Modern home with Hallway. Light-filled atrium connecting all communal spaces Photo 4 of Cascading HouseView Photos

Light-filled atrium connecting all communal spaces

Modern home with Dining Room. Outdoor-indoor connection between living, dining room, and the gardens Photo 5 of Cascading HouseView Photos

Outdoor-indoor connection between living, dining room, and the gardens

Modern home with Office and Study Room Type. View of the bedrooms from the study Photo 6 of Cascading HouseView Photos

View of the bedrooms from the study

The east facade during the day Photo 7 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

The east facade during the day

The porous east facade at night Photo 8 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

The porous east facade at night

The west facade Photo 9 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

The west facade

Modern home with Bedroom, Light Hardwood Floor, Ceiling Lighting, and Bed. Master bedroom Photo 10 of Cascading HouseView Photos

Master bedroom

Recreational Room Photo 11 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

Recreational Room

Basement Photo 12 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

Basement

First floor Photo 13 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

First floor

Second floor Photo 14 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

Second floor

Third floor Photo 15 of Cascading House modern homeView Photos

Third floor

Interior Design
Landscape Design
Photographer
  • Hiroyuki Oki
Bedrooms
  • 4
  • Full Baths
  • 4
  • Partial Baths
  • 2
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2019
  • Square Feet
  • 2961