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Vietnamese Modernist Houses

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Vietnamese architects have evolved a sophisticated approach to modernist architecture for houses over the past 50 years, with excellent examples everywhere in southern Vietnam.

Published in: Design, Travel, Business

Vietnamese Modernist Houses

  1. 1. Modernist Architecture in Vietnam A long local evolution of modernist design of houses Mel Schenck 22 July 2008
  2. 2. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • In the standard narrow Vietnamese city townhouse, the house is all front elevation. • There is little opportunity to add spatial variation -- the design opportunity is the front facade. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 2
  3. 3. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • These houses are long and narrow. Since they usually abut houses on each side and rear, there are no windows on three sides. • The only other design opportunities are the roof tops and the interior. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 3
  4. 4. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • In southern Vietnam, Vietnamese architects like to experiment with materials, colors, textures, lines, patterns, and forms. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 4
  5. 5. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • The Vietnamese architects have an innate sense of graphic design • They design very abstract compositions • Some abstract compositions complement the interior needs, like with this house. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 5
  6. 6. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • Some house facades are a little too graphic. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 6
  7. 7. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • Some Vietnamese architects manage to add spatial variety to the otherwise flat facade. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 7
  8. 8. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • Other architects managed to provide some form by setting back blocks from the street. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 8
  9. 9. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • Other designs provide a pattern on the flat facade. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 9
  10. 10. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • Sometimes it just doesn’t work well, but the experiment in itself is interesting, since this one looks a bit like my house in San Francisco. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 10
  11. 11. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • Not all southern Vietnamese houses are modernist, although a much higher percentage are than in western countries. • There are also the usual historicist monstrosities. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 11
  12. 12. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • There is a long history of modernist architecture for houses in Vietnam • This photo was taken in 1972 of a modernist house in Saigon, probably built in the 60s. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 12
  13. 13. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • This photo taken in 1972 shows the typical Saigon townhouse block. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 13
  14. 14. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • Also taken in 1972, this photo illustrates the attention to detail that contributes to the long evolution of modernist house design in Vietnam. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 14
  15. 15. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • This old HCMC house, probably built in the 70s or 80s, exemplifies the stylistic elements of that period -- fine detail and filigree. • Modernist houses of this period used an exposed aggregate in the plaster surfaces for texture. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 15
  16. 16. • This old house in HCMC is perhaps Vietnamese Modernist Houses a little overdone, but displays imaginative choices. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 16
  17. 17. • Meanwhile in the Mekong Delta, Vietnamese Modernist Houses designers evolved this colorful patterned modernist style. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 17
  18. 18. • This Mekong Delta house exhibits a Vietnamese Modernist Houses less colorful but patterned variation of the delta modernist style Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 18
  19. 19. • This Mekong Delta house in My Vietnamese Modernist Houses Tho is an urban variation of the preceding country houses, with Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 19 Art Deco touches.
  20. 20. In central Vietnam, the country houses are Vietnamese Modernist Houses simpler in form but more colorful and patterned. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 20
  21. 21. • These urban houses in Quy Nhơn Vietnamese Modernist Houses are not as colorful, but display interesting modernist details. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 21
  22. 22. Vietnamese Modernist Houses • Design is about making choices -- choices about materials, textures, colors, lines, patterns, form. • This is a very simple house, but complex choices were made about each design element that kept this design simple and well-integrated. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 22
  23. 23. • It is difficult to say why these Vietnamese Modernist Houses decisions were made, and by whom, but the result is very intelligent. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 23
  24. 24. Vietnamese Modernist Houses •Sometimes the choices made are very artistic. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 24
  25. 25. The choices become more difficult as the Vietnamese Modernist Houses scale increases to larger buildings. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 25
  26. 26. Vietnamese architects are now extending Vietnamese Modernist Houses their unique use of modernist architecture to larger buildings. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 26
  27. 27. But modernist architecture in Vietnam Vietnamese Modernist Houses began with houses, and Vietnamese architects have built a strong foundation. Mel Schenck -- 22 July 2008 -- page 27

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