despite a very long and narrow site, sawadeesign has cleverly transformed an existing building into a light and airy family home in the center of ho chi minh city, vietnam. commissioned by a young pilot as a gift for his mother and sister, the renovation of ‘303 house’ references an airplane cabin and follows a functional layout.

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

images by quang tran

 

 

the shape of the plot is not unusual to the area, as typical townhouses in saigon are often many times longer than the width. these houses are usually also in direct contact with busy streets, meaning they suffer from outside noise, dust and pollution. this was a key factor for sawadeesign when they designed 303 house. to overcome these issues, they created layers of functional space between the crowded urban environment and quiet resting spaces. the program folds out in order of privacy, with a large social area at the front and the bedrooms at the very back. each space is also separated by partitions and big doors to lower noise from the outside as well as filter the air before entering the bedrooms, all the while maintaining an element of flexibility.

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

 

 

the single-story house is organized using a kind of airplane cabin layout to maximize the narrow 2.9m width and to reference the son’s job, and also his mother who used to work in the same aviation company. just like walking between passenger seat rows on a plane, one side of the house is lined with storage to hide all the family’s personal belongings while the other side contains functional purposes like the kitchen, seating, and laundry appliances. 

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

 

 

the front of the house is also designed to be reminiscent of an airplane with a stainless steel folding door, which is full of rivets to look like it’s been made out of an airplane shell. the barbed wire above not only acts like a safety solution but also looks the same with the fence around vietnam’s tan son nhat international airport.

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

 

 

sawadeesign eliminated many unnecessary elements in order to keep the space simple yet with enough functions to be comfortable. grey plaster was applied to the walls and grey epoxy paint to the floors. timber furniture and finishes offset the grey while adding a touch of warmth to the home. and despite the tiny façade, plenty of soft light spills down into the interior thanks to transparent roof panels. 

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

sawadeesign renovates a 2.9m wide townhouse in ho chi minh city

 

 

 

project info:

 

project name: 303 house

location: tan binh district, ho chi minh city, vietnam

architecture firm: sawadeesign

lead architects: doan si nguyen, vo thanh phat

completion year: 2020

gross built area: 968.75 ft2 (90 m2)

photography: quang tran