Completed in 2020
Bồ Câu House is constructed in the center of Da Lat city, located in the highland region of Vietnam. With an elevation of 1500m above sea level, Da Lat enjoys a temperate and mild mountainous climate throughout the year.
The house is designed for a couple and their young daughter, aiming to provide a spacious living area while ensuring a cozy environment for the family to gather. It serves as a place where the child can freely play, yet everything remains within close reach for the couple.
Vietnam is undergoing significant transformations in development, both in the overall context of the country and specifically in architecture. In each project, apart from applying architectural styles, we strive to explore new approaches to materials, leveraging the strengths of local resources with cost-effective materials that meet the project’s requirements and ensure efficiency.
After the French colonial period, Da Lat inherited 20th-century colonial architecture, seemingly intertwined with the development of contemporary urban planning. While the use of familiar materials like cement, bricks, and stones was common in house construction, the idea of incorporating local metal sheets (corrugated iron) faced resistance during the approval process. Almost no one, including architects and the homeowners, found this concept appealing or supportive during the research and construction permit application.
Located in the city center, as we sought to break away from the French colonial architecture and typical local houses, obtaining construction permits posed challenges and difficulties. However, the local authorities eventually approved the permit after we made adjustments to meet the necessary requirements while preserving our original architectural concept. Another challenge arose during the construction phase, where the foundation had to comply with the approved area without damaging or posing any threat to the existing pine trees in the old-growth pine forest. This was a significant challenge for both us and the homeowners in building the Bồ Câu House.
With temperatures dropping at certain times, outdoor activities were not usually endorsed by the homeowners. Nevertheless, the house needed to provide a sense of blending into the beautiful natural surroundings while maintaining a warm and cozy atmosphere inside. Combining metal sheets with glass materials helped achieve panoramic views for the family, narrowing the gap between the interior and exterior, as well as the gap between humans and nature.
Apart from translucent glass for an expansive view from the inside, large-sized laminated glass panels were used on the exterior. Through these panels, the majestic pine forest outside was reflected onto the façade of the house, cleverly integrating the Bồ Câu House into its natural surroundings and creating a feeling of familiarity and belonging to the pine forest.