Brick and concrete dominate Vietnam’s built landscape, but Module K is helping to usher in a new contemporary building type that’s prefabricated, flexible, and transportable. The Vietnamese design studio recently completed Serene House HCMC, a modular steel structure in Ho Chi Minh City that only took three months to realize from concept to completion. Located in the hipster district Thao Dien, this modern building mixes modernist style with Indochine influences.
Nestled between classic and French-inspired villas, the three-story Serene House HCMC is a mixed-use building with built-in flexibility to cater to the changing needs of the tenants. “We chose a prefabricated steel structure solution, quite uncommon in Vietnam where the traditional construction is bricks and concrete,” said Jade Nguyễn Kim Ngọc, design director of Module K. “It’s cost effective, easy to erect and disassemble, extremely flexible and very light and airy. We can easily break it up when our ten-year lease ends and move it to a new location for another serene house of our own. It also helps preserve the initial capital investment.”
Described as a “three-dimensional puzzle,” the interior features both double-height ceilings and lower mezzanines and currently houses a coffee shop, furniture showroom, apartments, and office space, as well as a rooftop terrace. Glazing wraps around the operable facade to let in plenty of natural light and blur the line between inside and out. Tropical plants punctuate the interior and grow around the building from the climbing plants that drape down from the roof and window planters to the ground-floor garden. Locally produced LAVA-designed furnishings and lighting are featured in the rooms.
Images by Hiroyuki Oki