Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia
offers verdant urban living

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Climbing plants grow across a steel trellis that fronts this renovated house in Hanoi by Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects (+ slideshow).

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia
Photograph by Vo Trong Nghia

Concerned about Vietnam's rapid urban development, Vo Trong Nghia Architects wanted to create an example of how greenery could be incorporated back into the city.



A dark, damp, 15-year-old house in Hanoi city centre in need of renovation provided a canvas for the studio to demonstrate how similar properties across the metropolis could be revived with foliage and light.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia
Photograph by Vo Trong Nghia

"Greenfall Renovation was designed against this backdrop, returning greenery to the city and encouraging a comfortable living environment to both the resident and the neighbours," said the architects.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia
Photograph by Vo Trong Nghia

Situated on a rectangular corner plot, the shorter side of the building fronts a main street and the longer edge runs along an alleyway.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

A galvanised steel screen was wrapped around these perpendicular facades, covering the middle two storeys in a trellis for climbing plants to grow up and across.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

"The house is characterised by a green facade named Greenfall, a pleasant green waterfall which is attractive both from the interior and exterior," the architects said.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

The flora conceals balconies and windows behind, shading the rooms while still allowing light to filter through.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

"The unused balconies are transformed into space for plants, keeping the privacy and security of the residents," explained the architects. "From the interior, every room can enjoy the green view and get fresh air through it."

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

On the ground floor, a metal garage shutter and matching gate provide access to an enclosed roofless parking area in front of the house.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

Doors from outside lead into the open-plan living and dining area, from which the kitchen and a washroom at the back of the property are accessed.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

"The ground floor was raised to install air ventilation layer beneath, to prevent rising damp and condensation, a frequent problem in Hanoian houses at the turn of seasons," the architects said.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

The ceiling is covered with wooden slats that run the length of the room, which is naturally lit through glass blocks and down from two triangular light wells.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

These atriums make use of the awkward spaces created by the angled walls of adjacent buildings and are planted with more greenery.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

The original chunky concrete staircase has been replaced with a slender steel structure that ascends beside the larger light well, lined with textured marble.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

A double-height space above the dining area allows residents to look down from a study on the floor above.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia

The first storey also contains two bedrooms, one on either side of the balcony, and a bathroom.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia site plan
Site plan - click for larger image

Two further bedrooms, another bathroom and a large multipurpose room used for worship or extra sleeping space are found on the floor above.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia ground floor plan
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

The staircase continues up to a roof terrace, where the external trellis creates a balustrade around the garden of vegetables, flowers and a tree.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia first floor plan
First floor plan - click for larger image

A roof covering storage space and the generator room extends out to shelter a seating area beside the planting.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia second floor plan
Second floor plan - click for larger image

"This system of green facade and roof is prototypical and applicable to all buildings in tropical climates," said the architects.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia roof plan
Roof plan - click for larger image

"It can be a seed to realise a potential Green City in tropical countries, offering solutions for their serious urban problems."

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia long section
Long section - click for larger image

Vo Trong Nghia have incorporated plants into many of their Vietnamese house designs.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia north-west elevation
North-west elevation - click for larger image

A dozen layers of concrete planters create a vertical garden on the facade of a home the studio designed in Ho Chi Minh City and a spiralling stone house in Quang Ninh province features a roof covered in grass.

Green Renovation by Vo Trong Nghia south-west elevation
South-west elevation - click for larger image

Photography is by Hiroyuki Oki, unless otherwise stated.


Project credits:
Architects Firm: Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Principal architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Takashi Niwa, Tran Thi Hang
Project Architects: Ngo Thuy Duong, An Viet Dung
Contractor: Wind and Water House JSC.

  • Airborne

    We are pleased to see that Vo Trong Nghia continues with his green revolution, which is much needed in the dense urban conglomerates in south east Asia.

  • Chris MacDonald

    That is really stunning.

    • http://www.clawcalgaryroofing.com/ Calgary roofing

      Yeah, beautiful isn’t it? I would love to live in a home designed like that.

  • http://trafficticketagent.com/ Traffic Ticket Agent

    Wow, this is beautifully designed.