A sweet home with a beautiful garden is the dream of every person. However, in Vietnam, this dream seems to be only possible for people living in rural area, and hardly comes true for citizens in a big and crowded city as HCMC. As the lack of extra space is the problems of any family living in a city, Vo Trong Nghia, one of Vietnam’s most prolific 21st century Vietnamese architects, craves for providing more outdoor space for people and create extensive roof garden with trees, plants and flowers.
With his former Japanese colleague Masaaki Iwamoto, he has done the impossible in the coastal Vietnamese city of Nha Trang. What’s the solution when you do not have a space for a garden? Easy, just bring it to the roof! Obviously, this was not an easy task. One of the biggest issues was that local planning guidelines stipulated that houses in this area should have sloping roofs, with at least half covered in tiles. To get around this, the architects divided the roof up into strips of terraces and planting, then created staggered levels, positioned living rooms, and bedrooms beneath terraces giving them higher ceiling while the planters sit above bathrooms, storage areas, and corridors.
The living room, dining room, and kitchen are all lined up one side, allowing them to benefit from the highest ceilings. These spaces can also be opened out to a narrow garden along the NE edge of the site. The house also has four bedrooms, two at the ground level and the other two located on the level above, which makes it a perfect house for most families. To make the structure more consistent, Nghia has added number of small planted courtyards (two on the floor and one in the upper level) to this 235-square-metre house, which not only brings in extra daylight but also creates a visual connection between the interior and the roof garden above.
This design is based on the project that he and Masaaki Iwamoto has done before – House for Trees, which consists of five concrete boxes, each topped with plants and trees. “It is more like infrastructure or a pocket park, open to the neighbors.” Nghia shared in an interview. “Gently sloped, this roof landscape is visually connected to the surrounded mountains. In the shadow of trees, the residents can enjoy the views and spend their lives full of greenery.”