Binh Duong School
by Vo Trong Nghia

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Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Caged balconies provide open-air corridors that are sheltered from harsh sunlight and tropical rain at this school in Vietnam by architects Vo Trong Nghia.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Vertical concrete louvres and perforated screens create the cage-like facade, which shades the corridors from direct sunlight whilst letting in the breeze.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

The entire school is contained within a single five-storey building to keep both students and teachers dry during the rainy summer season.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

The walls of the building are curved to snake around two courtyards and the roof slopes up gradually from the ground to the top floor.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Binh Duong School is located in the town of Di An, just north of Ho Chi Minh City, and provides teaching facilities for up to 800 junior and high school students.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

The school is nominated for an award at this year’s World Architecture Festival, alongside a house with a vertical garden on its facade by the same architects.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

See more schools on Dezeen »

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Photography is by Hiroyuki Oki.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Here's a project description sent by Vo Trong Nghia:


Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia + Shunri Nishizawa + Daisuke Sanuki

Binh Duong, a new city which is 30 minutes away from Ho Chi Minh City, has a typical tropical climate all year round. The site is located in the middle of a flourishing forest with a wide variety of green and fruits, running rampant. This is where folks spending their time under the shade of trees. To pursuit a beautiful life, people are in harmony with the nature, making the border between the inside and the outside ambiguously. From the very first impression of the site, we tried to embed the building into the site by delivering this Vietnam-oriented generous spirit of natural land into the school design, which will eventually have 800 students.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

The building is located in 5300 square meters abundant land, consisting of a maximum height of five levels, with the intention of being surrounded by the height of the forest around. Pre cast concrete louvers and pattern walls are used for envelop of the building. These shading devices generate semi-outside space, these open circumstances avoiding direct sunlight as well as acting like a natural ventilation system for the corridor space. All the classrooms are connected by this semi-open space, where teachers and students chatting, communicating and appreciating nature.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

We designed the school as a continuous volume in order not to disturb any school activities. This fluidity concept is inspired by the endless raining of the typical tropical climate, where raining season lasts from May to November each year.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

This continuous volume has a gentle slope surrounding the two courtyards as a geographical hill, lessens the aggressive height between the building and the peaceful site.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

The school is designed as an S shape, connected to the ground at one end, curving around two courtyards with two different characteristics. Front yard is used for public space, serving for formal events such as meetings of the school. Backyard is more private, where students spend their personal time.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Teacher rooms; gym, laboratory and library are located around the front yard, while common students' classrooms are arranged around the back yard. The open space flows throughout the circulation to help teachers and students enjoy various activities of the two courtyards with rich natural surroundings.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Thus, we intended this school to be borderless between the school activity and surrounding nature and also not to destroy the current abundant forest as much as possible. In this open school, students enjoy their life learning the generous spirits of nature. This is our alternative proposal for school design in Vietnam.

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Site plan - click above for larger image

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Floor plans - click above for larger image

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

Section - click above for larger image

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

South elevation - click above for larger image

Binh Duong School by Vo Trong Nghia

East elevation - click above for larger image

  • kimnn

    Pretty, like the traditional ao dai of the school girls. I would love to see photos of the roof and the promenade.

  • max

    Vietnam seems to be a rising star on the map of international architecture.

  • dude

    I am very impressed. A nice kind of classic modernism without reverting to the obvious formal orgy that is going on everywhere in Asia. This could be the modest yet elegant way forward for architecture in Vietnam.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    A bit antiseptic for my taste —it's a school, not a hospital after all— but overall it seems a fine project.

  • http://www.davisarquitectos.com Jose Coleman-Davis

    It is fantastic to see excellent new architecture in Vietnam, a country that has suffered and struggled for so long. Outstanding examples being: this school and the vertical garden house in Ho Chi Minh City. Vo Trong Nghia: receive my congratulations and solidarity from Puerto Rico.

  • Tim

    Wow, this would never be built in the US. Everyone would, erroneously, think kids would be constantly falling to their death.

  • shahd

    The building’s s-shaped mass surrounds the two courtyards without creating a boundary between them. Its continuous volume with its gentle slope extends the open space to the green roof above, creating a geographical hill that complements the nature of the site. The vertical louvers is a smart solution because it creates a semi- open corridor with views to the courts and a natural flow of air, while avoiding the harsh sun.

  • Allan

    I like it. Such a good environment for children, I think – even without colours.