Dezeen Magazine

ODDO Architects builds five-storey CH House on four-metre-wide site in Hanoi

Vietnamese studio ODDO Architects has slotted a spacious family home into a narrow gap between two buildings in Hanoi.

CH House – which is shortlisted for Dezeen Awards 2021 in the Urban House category – is located on a site measuring 35 metres long, but only 4.2 metres wide.

Concrete screen facade of CH House by ODDO Architects
Hollow concrete blocks front the building

To create enough space to house three generations of one family, ODDO Architects designed a 700-square-metre building over five storeys.

The lower two levels are completely open-plan, while the upper levels are made up of smaller, separate rooms connected by various staircases.

Street elevation of CH House by ODDO Architects
The house slots into a narrow gap in a busy streetscape

This arrangement made it possible to create several deep light wells. Not only do these create visual connections between rooms, but they also allow daylight to filter down to every level.

"With this project, we question what is needed for a modern living space that accommodates three generations of Vietnamese, while trying to deal with the problems in high-density housing areas," said ODDO Architects.

Interior of CH House by ODDO Architects
The interior is organised over five storeys

The design offers a new approach to the tube house, a housing typology that is common in Vietnam due to the abundance of long and narrow building plots.

While these homes often lack communal spaces and greenery, CH House features large living spaces where the family can come together and has plenty of room for plants.

"The design aims to bring a breath of traditional spirit to the modern life, and at the same time creating spaces full of natural light and ensure natural ventilation within the house," said the studio.

Facade window and trees at CH House by ODDO Architects
Tree and plants fill the house

The building's facade is designed to make the best of its location on a busy street.

The upper level is designed as a double layer, with a perforated concrete screen fronting a window wall. This makes it easier for residents to naturally ventilate their home while shading it from the sun and preventing dust from entering.

Trees inside CH House by ODDO Architects
The two lower levels are open-plan

Meanwhile, the base of the building is recessed in order to create some separation from the road.

Trees are planted in both the upper and lower parts of the facade to provide biophilia benefits, based on the thesis that humans have an innate tendency to seek connections with nature. There's also an extra large window, which gives the building a distinct identity.

"Nature is an important element, providing a positive effect on people's mental health," said the architects.

"However, the rapid development of large cities creates the lack of green spaces for people to relax. That is why planting trees and plants inside the house is necessary and helps create a peaceful living space to release stress."

Bedroom in CH House by ODDO Architects
Bedrooms offer varying levels of privacy with folding screen walls

The arrangement of rooms inside is kept simple, to maximise light and the feeling of spaciousness.

Six bedrooms are located across the three upper levels, along with extra living spaces so residents don't have to always spend their time together. There's also a terrace on the roof.

Stairs in CH House by ODDO Architects
One staircase doubles as a mini library

Many rooms are fitted with folding wooden screen walls, so they can be opened or closed at different times of day.

Other space-spacing solutions include a staircase that doubles as a mini library, thanks to bleacher-style steps that can be used as seats and bookshelves.

Family dining in CH House by ODDO Architects
CH House is home to three generations of one family

ODDO Architects is led by architects Mai Lan Chi Obtulovicova, Nguyen Duc Trung and Marek Obtulovic.

They are not the only Vietnamese architects to explore new approaches to the tube house. Other recent examples include 2HIEN by CTA and Saigon House by a21studio.

Roof terrace in CH House by ODDO Architects
A terrace is located on the roof

The architects hope that CH House will pave the way for more greenery-filled homes in the city.

"CH house is not only a home for dwellers but also a place attempting to create linkage between humans and nature, which is very often missing in Hanoi due to many environmental problems and limited green spaces," they said.

Photography is by Hoang Le.

Project credits

Architect: ODDO Architects
Structural engineer: Ngo Anh Tuan

More images and plans

Site plan of CH House by ODDO Architects
Site plan
Floor plans of CH House by ODDO Architects
Floor plans
Cross section detail of CH House by ODDO Architects
Cross section detail
Elevation of CH House by ODDO Architects
Elevation concept for CH House by ODDO Architects
Elevation concept
CH House by ODDO Architects
CH House by ODDO Architects
CH House by ODDO Architects
Staircase in CH House by ODDO Architects