Dezeen Magazine

An arch divides the open plan space

Limdim House Studio calms Vietnam apartment with curved walls and arched niches

Architecture firm Limdim House Studio has renovated the Brown Box apartment in Vietnam adding curving walls, tiered cornices and terrazzo surfaces that aim to create a "calm" and "gentle" space. 

Limdim House Studio reorganised the previously "commercial" two-bedroom apartment by removing walls to convert it into a spacious one-bedroom home named Brown Box.

Brown Box has a neutral colour palette
Top: a curving arched wall divides the open plan living space. Above: terrazzo was used throughout the apartment

"The idea comes from the byname of the owner of the house, Ms Brown," studio founder Tran Ngo Chi Mai told Dezeen. "Since she also loves the colour brown, our idea was to create a living space as gentle and calm as this colour itself."

"[We] processed the space with the aim of creating a new colour, a new breath to get rid of the boredom in commercial apartments."

A kitchen island doubles as a breakfast bar at Brown Box
The island is blanketed in terrazzo

As part of the opening up of the home, the studio removed existing walls and added curving partition walls in their place.

The curved walls were surrounded by stepped cornices as a modern take on crown mouldings that remove the harshness of corners in the open-plan kitchen diner.

Wood and stone was used throughout the apartment
The studio added new partition walls

The studio used a natural colour palette throughout, employing light browns, beige and wood tones to create a peaceful yet sophisticated look.

"We choose tones around brown and beige," explained Chi Mai. "when designing with this colour tone, we want the apartment to be peaceful, plain and still full of sophistication."

Sheer curtains surround a balcony at the apartment
Circular furnishings and motifs reference the design of the apartment

A rounded island at the centre of the kitchen diner was clad in pale terrazzo to provide additional counter space in the one-wall kitchen.

An arched niche frames a sink, terrazzo countertops and a row of taupe brown overhead cabinetry which was arranged in a semicircle to fit within the alcove.

Terrazzo slabs extend across the floors of the apartment and to the living space which is zoned by floor-to-ceiling Melaleuca wood cabinetry and wooden furnishings.

The ceiling above the living area has a curved design and merges into an arched wall that visually separates the living area from the kitchen diner.

Terrazzo was used in the bedroom of the apartment
The bedroom has a light and airy look

"We use terrazzo all the way from the kitchen island, like a stream going down the floor and spreading everywhere," said Chi Mai.

"Choosing this type of material helps the colour in the house to become light and soothing."

"Physically, Terrazzo has good hardness, just enough gloss, and more heat dissipation than wooden floors, so it creates a cool feeling, especially in tropical areas."

Textural paint covers the walls of Brown Box apartment
An arched niche houses a mirror and a reading chair

An arched doorway leads from the open-plan living area to the bedroom space. Its walls were covered in a grey plaster-like finish providing a textural quality.

An en-suite next to the bedroom was fitted with a free-standing terrazzo bathtub below a large circular window that looks into the bedroom.

The apartment has an en-suite
Redbrick tiling was used in the en-suite

"The important thing when designing a space, in our opinion, is to create a new, sophisticated and especially to bring comfortable feeling to the owner," said Chi Mai.

"If the owners come back after a hard days work, they don't enjoy the life in this space, this space will forever be just a place to provide basic needs like eating, sleeping and that will be our failure in this project."

A terrazzo bathtub was placed in the en-suite
A large circular window connects the bedroom and en-suite

Limdim House Studio is an architecture, design and interior design practice based in Vietnam.

Other Vietnamese projects include this apartment by Whale Design Lab which references the work of Louis Kahn, along with this holiday home that has a thatched roof.

Photography is by Do Sy.

More images and plans

Plan of the apartment
A balcony is adjoined to the living area
A bi-folding door leads to a closet space
Pendant lights are located beside the bed
The bathroom looks into the bedroom