Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects has unveiled designs for a verdant university campus in Ho Chi Minh City, featuring tree-covered rooftops, balconies and a plant-filled courtyard (+ slideshow).
The FPT University campus will occupy a 22,500-square-metre site among the skyscrapers of the southern Vietnamese city. It is Vo Trong Nghia Architects' second project for the technology college, following another campus underway near Hanoi.
Pockets of planting will be dispersed throughout the staggered floors of the building, framing the expansive courtyard at its centre. The number of floors will increase towards the corners of the plot and fall in the flanks to create a gently undulating outline that counters the city's typically vertical blocks.
"This sprawling metropolis has a primarily flat landscape that is dominated by vertical straight buildings," said the studio, whose recent projects include a hotel covered in climbing plants and a kindergarten with a rooftop vegetable garden.
"To engage the city in a different way, FPT University appears as an undulating forested mountain growing out of the city of concrete and brick. This form creates more greenery than is destroyed, counteracting environmental stress and providing the city with a new icon for sustainability."
The greenery from the central courtyard and perimeter gardens will seep into the circulation wells of the building and continue onto balconies, walkways and into rooftop gardens.
The architects claim the greenery will provide shade and improve air quality, reducing the campus' reliance on air conditioning. They expect these semi-outdoor spaces to provide meeting, lunching and events areas for some of the 5,000 students that can occupy the campus at any one time.
"Cities, especially in thriving countries like Vietnam, are growing at such a speed that infrastructure is unable to keep pace," said the team. "Environmental stress is observable through frequent energy shortages, increased pollution, rising temperatures, and reduced greenery."
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"Ho Chi Minh City illustrates these issues, having only 0.25 per cent of the entire city covered in greenery."
Construction began on the private university's Hanoi campus last year. Similarly, it features a chequerboard facade made up of concrete slabs and tree-filled balconies.
"The combination of green devices creates a connection to nature that can be felt anywhere in the building," said the team.
"FPT University has been designed towards a harmony between humans and nature," the team added. "The building will aid the recovery of greenery that once flourished in this land and foster a new generation of thinkers."
Vertical gardens are proving a popular way to offset energy consumption and fit more green space into densely populated cities around the world. Beijing firm Penda recently released visuals of its leafy housing scheme in Vijayawada, India, while a pair of skyscrapers in Milan by Boeri Studio feature one hectare of planting.
Architect Firm:Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Principal architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Kosuke Nishijima, Hidetoshi Sawa, Tran Thi Hang
Architects: Nguyen Tat Dat, Nguyen Duy Phuoc, Takahito Yamada, Le Thanh Tung, Tran Cam Linh, Felix Ehrminger
Client: FPT University