Like in many of Hanoi’s older homes, shutters and security bars closed off the original house from natural light and wind, giving rise to dark and moldy conditions. To open the house back up to daylight and ventilation, the architects knocked down walls to create an airy, open-plan layout and replaced clunky structures such as the concrete staircase and old security fences with slimmer alternatives such as a galvanized steel trellis. In addition to serving as a security precaution, the steel trellis was covered with green climbing plants to add fresh air, provide a privacy screen, and create an attractive green waterfall-like facade to be enjoyed by both residents and passersby.
To prevent the common Hanoi problem of rising condensation in humid environs, an air ventilation layer was inserted beneath the raised ground floor. Skylights funnel daylight to the space, where light-colored lumpy marble stone then reflected and diffused the light throughout the interior. The addition of a roof garden protects the building from the harsh West sunlight and provides an area to grow vegetables and flowers. Vo Trong Nghia Architects hope that the Green Renovation’s highly visible and energy-conscious design will serve as a model for greening tropical cities.
Images via Vo Trong Nghia Architects, © Hiroyuki Oki