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VH House, Oddo architects, Hanoi

Greenery, light and air: Family home in Hanoi

The relatively narrow, 4 metre by 16 metre plot of land in the centre of Hanoi was once richly planted. The verdant character of the site was to be retained even after construction of the house for a family of four. 

A street runs along the long northern side, while the site adjoins existing buildings to the south. The VH House is made up of several components. The ground floor consists of a plain white rectangular structure that takes up the whole of the site, while the upper story is formed by three separate volumes linked by small bridges and differing in terms of dimensioning and use. Two of them, open to the sky and acting as a roof terrace and a rooftop garden, are enclosed within walls of red locally-produced brick that provides a touch of colour. Oddo Architects devised a special brick bond for these first-floor walls – in some places the brickwork is solid, at others apertures have been left, creating openings through which greenery is able to emerge. This gives the single-family house a lively and airy character.

The entrance in the east leads directly into the open-plan ground floor, where the family lives, cooks and eats; a children's room can be formed at the rear through use of a sliding door.  The western-most volume on the upper floor, which is directly accessed from below by a staircase, houses a bedroom and bathroom. All the rooms benefit from the unconventional architecture, which guarantees optimal natural daylight and ventilation and fosters communication. Sunlight reaches down to the ground floor and crosswise air circulation is also enabled. In combination with the abundant greenery this results in a pleasant indoor climate.

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