The Binh Thanh House in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is the very picture of duality. One of its facades faces a busy, loud, dusty street while the other looks out over a lovely vista including the Saigon zoo, a canal and plenty of greenery. Built by Vo Trong Nghia Architects and Sanuki + Nishizawa Architects, The concrete home features a sophisticated functional checkerboard-type facade.
A multi-generational family lives in the home: an older couple, their son and his wife, and the younger couple’s child. Aside from the generational span inside of the home, there is also a sense of duality in the structure itself. It is at once modern and traditional, natural and touched by the hands of humans.
The home is composed of three floating volumes surrounded by checkerboard-style concrete blocks. The open blocks wrap around the volumes, letting in plenty of natural light and ventilation.
The volumes of the home are offset, shifted back and forth to allow for the maximum amount of light exposure and the opportunity to grow terrace gardens on each level.
Spiral stairs lead up from the ground level to the more private areas of the home. Semi-enclosed volumes tuck away the bedrooms, bathrooms and other personal areas while the open spaces are meant to be shared family places.
Modern and natural meet in the most elegant way possible here, putting traditional Vietnamese ecological sensibilities directly next to contemporary features and materials.