When a young family asked Sanuki Daisuke Architects to design a light-filled house with access to nature in Ho Chi Minh City, the local architecture firm knew from the get-go that it would be crafting a townhouse that was far different from the city norm. Located in a high-density residential area, the long and narrow property wasn’t large enough to accommodate a spacious garden, so the architects decided to bring the outdoors into the home instead. Dubbed the VOM House, the three-story townhouse opens up to the outdoors on the first and second floors to let daylight, wind and even rain inside for an indoor-outdoor living experience like no other.

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gray sofa and wood coffee table

Named for the Vietnamese word that means arch, the VOM House comprises three floors defined by large arched and column-free spaces. Because the clients, a couple with a daughter, made the somewhat unusual request for only two bedrooms — most Vietnamese clients ask for more, according to the architects — the bedrooms were placed on the top floor. As such, the two lower floors can be used as “outdoor rooms.”

Related: Villa in Vietnam prioritizes natural light and green space

built-in wood bookcase near white staircase
small wood dining table near gray sofa

Despite the site’s small size, the architects managed to carve out a small front garden and back garden that bookend the home. The front garden flows seamlessly into a double-height “outdoor living space” on the ground floor that connects to the combined kitchen and dining space in the rear. The clients plan to turn the ground floor into a coffee shop in the future. A small study space that overlooks the downstairs living area is on the floor above. The bedrooms also connect to a roof terrace. To reinforce the connection with nature, trees and plants grow throughout the home.

white bed in room with large square window
large white bed on wood bedframe in room with gray walls and ceilings

“Although the house is located in a tight residential area in Ho Chi Minh City, many ‘Outdoor Rooms’ create an open and rich living space,” the architects explained. “We proposed a tropical living space where the family can always feel close to nature under these large arch spaces.”

+ Sanuki Daisuke Architects

Photography by Hiroyuki Oki via Sanuki Daisuke Architects