AD+ studio shifts house in vietnam to optimize natural sunlight
 

AD+ studio shifts house in vietnam to optimize natural sunlight

vietnamese architecture firm AD+ studio renovated a narrow family home in the chinatown of saigon, vietnam. the existing building, located on a street connecting two avenues, had no setback with two of its three sides blocked by adjacent three-storied houses. the client asked the architects to redesign the home for their family of five, and so they devised a ‘shifting’ concept by staggering volumes and creating a terraced facade.

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the architect’s ‘shift house’ had to be designed around two existing issues: the building’s five stories that towered over its neighboring houses, and this fact not allowing natural light to enter the lowest levels. the 15m-tall structure stood out from its environment, to which the architects wanted to relate to more to.

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in response to the limitations, the architects proposed to divide the building vertically and push the upper volume backwards. this setback changed the height of the facade, making it invisible from the street level. this made the building blend in to the neighboring houses better, since it appeared to have a lower front. moving the top volume back also allowed for a bigger void area, which brought more natural light into the building.

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the designers also inserted two voids within the house, placing one in the middle and one at the end. these spaces created atriums that enabled more ventilation and light. the central atrium occupies only a small area out of the house’s 36 sqm footprint. it is surrounded by rooms on all three floors it traverses, making the vertical space light even the lowest levels. the original house had ten major rooms, including five bedrooms, and a few supplemental spaces located along the main circulation path, which are now mostly intercepted by either of the atriums.

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the overall design maximizes the sunshine for the dining area and the kitchen in the morning – the most active time during the day. the renovation also incorporated two sets of staircases going through both atriums, that open up the spaces and allow for more visual connections between the rooms. the stairs themselves are made out of materials that allow light to pass through.

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in an attempt to design a new architecture, but keep it related to its context, the architects referenced the surrounding chinese culture for the material and color palette. they included earthy colors, geometric tiles, and ornamental banisters as part of the house’s aesthetic and paired them with more modern, arched doorways and perforated, dark metal stairs. the result is a contemporary take on an old vietnamese house, that now receives more interior light and blends into its environment as well.

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project info:

 

project name: shift house

architects: AD+ studio

location: cho lon, saigon, vietnam

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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