In their latest eco-friendly project, Vietnamese design studio H&P Architects completed an inspiring community hub built mainly from recycled waste materials. Located near a large and polluted industrial park in Dong Van town in Ha Nam province, the project aims to draw attention to the exploitation of natural resources in Vietnam — specifically illegal rock mining — while celebrating the beauty of the nation’s landscapes. Built with thick recycled stone walls, scaffolding and bamboo, the structure has been dubbed S Space (S = Save the Stone & Scaffolding) in reference to the materials used.
Open to the community, S Space offers a flexible gathering space for cultural and artistic events and even functions as a daily coffee meeting space. H&P Architects want to shine the light on illegal rock mining and the environmental problems it has created for Vietnam’s beautiful landscapes, including the area of Kem Trong between the provinces of Ha Nam and Ninh Binh.
“From this perspective, the design concept is to make use of waste (reusing scaffolding steel pipes, collecting rock debris from Kem Trong, discarded rocks from trade villages and construction sites) to express the treasure, nostalgia / regret of local people at the bygones of the landscape,” explain the architects. “The project helps raise alert at unplanned exploitation of natural resources in Vietnam today, which have wiped out many rocks with historical and cultural values, resulting in a serious imbalance between the natural ecosystem and the human one. In this sense, the message S Space conveys is: ‘Architecture bears responsibility for the natural and social-cultural environment.”
Constructed in the image of two rocky mountains with a river running in between, S Space comprises a series of zigzagging 16-inch-thick stone walls representative of a mountain landscape. The forests and river are symbolized with an abundance of greenery and the outdoor pool, which help create a cooling microclimate. The upper level, dubbed the “Big Cloud”, is built of steel pipe scaffolding combined with bamboo flooring and topped with a roof constructed from thatched bamboo and polycarbonate panels. A sprinkler system mounted on the roof sprays a cooling mist on hot summer days.
Photography by Nguyen Tien Thanh via H&P Architects