Who can resist the aspirational lure of a beautifully designed tropical house? As we head into the darker half of the year in the northern hemisphere, those of us living in colder climates will be doing a lot of daydreaming about warm weather escapes. If you were to mentally construct your modern dream home in a lush, temperate place like Vietnam, it might look a little something like this.
Located in the southeast seaside city of Nha Trang, where winter tends to be dry with a steady temperature around 82 degrees Fahrenheit, “Timber House” by MM++ architects is a luxury getaway with outrageous views of nearby mountains and Nha Trang Bay. One of three vacation villas in a row, the home is carved into the hillside to take full advantage of the scenery.
For the architects, the biggest challenge in designing the home was anticipating future construction. With its white sand beaches and geography that protects it from major storms, Nha Trang is an increasingly popular place to live and visit as a tourist, and it’s likely to grow much denser in the coming decades. If they weren’t careful, all of those gorgeous sea views could have been obliterated in the near future.
While local building regulations set strict limits on how high homes can be, they also provide clear guidelines for what to expect from new construction popping up on the hillside around Timber House, so MM++ architects were able to anticipate the proportions they’d need to maintain sea views. To lock them in, they built the house up on a “podium” to the maximum height allowed by law.
Outfitted with sliding panels to open it completely to the outdoors, the main living space connects directly to a terraced swimming pool. When swimmers are in the water, they can gaze directly out at the bay, feeling almost like they can transition from one into the other. The pool also provides an additional buffer between the private interior spaces and neighboring residences—a nexus between the present and the future.
The design almost seems to spill down the hillside organically. Materials like teak timber cladding and local stone make the home feel like a natural feature of the landscape. The architects wanted the private bedroom spaces, which overhang the permeable public areas downstairs, to feel like a viewing platform made of wood, with large, operable louvers. The flow of shapes and materials, from the top level down, aim to enhance an effect of “suspension.”
Inside, everything is tailored to provide the ultimate in comfort and hospitality for guests, with plenty of room for entertaining.
From the architect: “Considering the site characteristics with the cliff in the back and the lower street level, the program is spread vertically, along multiple levels… On street level, the garage and a large home cinema in the back of the pool with an underwater window taking natural sun light trough the pool, technical and spa spaces in the back. On an intermediate level, facing the cliff, a bedroom suite with a private garden and outdoor bathroom.”
“Deck level hosts the main space where dining island, kitchen and living room are merged in one unique space in seamless connection with outdoor spaces. The high ceiling level has allowed including a mezzanine floor, turned into a bedroom suite with panoramic view over the kitchen. The timber box hosts the first floor with two bedroom suites.”
Are you ready to book your flight yet, or is it just us?