a21studio: a21house
a21studio: a21house a21studio: a21house
jul 25, 2012

a21studio: a21house

‘a21house’ by a21studio, hochiminh city, vietnam image © hiroyuki oki all images courtesy of a21studio




recently shortlisted for the house category for the 2012 world architecture festival, the ‘a21house’ designed by vietnamese practice a21studio is a residence and office located ten minutes from the center of hochiminh city, vietnam. positioned upon a small 40-square meter plot, the polygonal shape only offers a 1.5 meter wide street frontage. situated at the end of a street, the site is bordered with the tall neighboring structures, making the task of generating an airy and illuminated home more challenging. envisioned as a cage for nature, a partially open-air structure resolves these constraints, capturing sunlight, wind and rainwater.


an acute building corner is chamfered at the roofline to form a triangular opening which filters daylight through the layers of interior spaces. the wood flooring dissolves into alternating sticks at the perimeter walls, allowing light to trickle downward and an averrhoa carambola tree to grow uninterrupted from ground level to the third storey. inhabitants can sit at their dining table and hear the breeze rustling through the leaves on the second floor. a wood stair and steel reinforcement railing leads to the second floor bathroom surfaced with traditional tilework. opposing the wooden bridge, a glass-enclosed bedroom views the top of the tree canopy and peers through the unsealed skylight towards the surrounding urban context.

exterior image © hiroyuki oki

ground level kitchen image © hiroyuki oki

first level studio image © hiroyuki oki

(left) upward view of tree growing through the wood stick flooring (right) stairway to second level images © hiroyuki oki

dining area and workstatins image © hiroyuki oki

workstations image © hiroyuki oki

dining area image © hiroyuki oki

tree continues to uninterrupted through the floor boards image © hiroyuki oki

niche image © hiroyuki oki

(left) daylight enters through triangular skylight (right) view through triangular skylight images © hiroyuki oki

view from bedroom through the skylight and to the top of the tree canopy image © hiroyuki oki

bedroom image © hiroyuki oki

light filters through wooden struts image © hiroyuki oki

(left) stairway to the third level plant room (right) railing and floor board detail images © hiroyuki oki

bathroom image © hiroyuki oki

view of bathroom from third floor image © hiroyuki oki

night view through skylight image © hiroyuki oki

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level 1

floor plan / level 2



diagram of layers within the home

surrounding environment


project info:


name of project: a21house location: binh thanh district, hochiminh, vietnam building area: 40m2 materials: brick, wood, concrete, steel, green completed: jan 2012 photographs: hiroyuki oki


    maria scavarda says:
  • I cannot imagine the humidity and heat are any less in Vietnam than around Wash. D.C.
    Everything inside would be full of mold ..and my wife would not be happy with her hairdo. This would be nice in San Diego.


    Jim C. says:
  • incredible

    bobo says:
  • What a beautiful space! Loved it!
    Nice materials, nice flow and spatial arrangement. Really really liked it. I hope to have the chance some day to create something so simple and unique at the same time. My kind of place…

    Soledadvk says:
  • I love the undeniable spirit of determination; perhaps it\’s something basic to the Vietnamese culture. For me, the interstitial nature of the space generates a kind of invention that ultimately becomes its true nature. The found space, created in found material…it is process made real.
    Wholly charming and captivating…

    Chaszr says:
  • I love them!!!

    Vivien says:
  • 堪称完美!!!amazing!!!!!

    zofer show says:
  • Beautiful!

    marina urbach says:
  • i want a house like that !

    tutu says:
  • NICE!!

    Tz says:
  • parece muito brasileira

    hérico says:
  • how do legged chairs work on a slatted floor?

    LK says:
  • Yes, the narrow chair legs look a bit precarious on the slatted floor. And, as a focal point for the space, I hope the trees stay healthy! Not sure if mold is an issue in high-humidity areas in which the living spaces are so open. It’s probably more of an issue in [US] spaces that tightly closed for evironmental/temperature control.

    Amazing design, love the space!

    dt says:
  • loved it,,

    gops says:
  • A perfect home!

    blue cosmos says:

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