Located about 45 minutes from the Ho Chi Minh city, AM house is built as a holiday home for an executive of a large corporation. When the owner bought 3,500 square metre of land in Can Giuoc, Long An province, he turned to three young local architects to create the oasis where he can immerse in Nature and cultivate harmony with surroundings while regenerating energy.
Designed collectively by the team of Bui The Long, Nguyen Huu Duy and Nguyen Duy (CTA | Creative Architects, AmDesign Architec, Time Architects, respectively), the design maximises connection with Nature through blurring the edge between indoor and outdoor. Given the generous plot size, the architects decided to keep most of its landscaping and creation of a pond, improving the overall microclimate of the plot. The house is conceived of as 5 separate blocks, which are arranged under a big thatched-roof, sitting next to the water body.
The decision to split the blocks creates opportunity in the plan to introduce abundance of daylight while improve the airflow through the house. Drawing inspiration from the vernacular architecture of Southwest Vietnam, the internal spaces arranged under a large thatched-roof make the house resemble a pavilion sitting in the garden. The thatched-roof further helps integrate the house within the landscape.
“AM House has been defined as a peaceful and joyful place, full of freedom, where clients can put the worries of the world away, to find peace of mind, cultivate harmony and regenerate energy every weekend,” explain the architects.
Once inside, the highlight of the house is the living room and dining area, which features full-height sliding doors, surrounded by koi-filled moats on two sides. The large rectangular room is free of any walls and maximises connection to the outdoors, which is heightened by the surrounding moat. A floating deck extends the living area onto the water body, providing flexibility for use. The house also has two bedrooms framing the view of the water body and the garden beyond, along with kitchen, maid’s room and service areas on the rear end of the house.
The roof is made up of sheet steel roofing system, which is covered by thatched-roof and completed with wooden finishes internally. This three-tier system helps reduce heat and naturally bring down the temperature internally. Inside, the walls and roof are covered with handmade woodgrain concrete boards to create a palate which is muted and cohesive. The flooring is built using grinding concrete floor that reduces the cost and makes people comfortable while walking on the floor.
The architects continue, “The similarity of colour and surface texture of all elements in the house create a quiet and peaceful space that harmonise with its surrounding landscape.”
The architects included several sustainable strategies in the design of the house to lower its energy usage and make it comfortable for living, without relying on air conditioning. The split rooms help increase the natural ventilation inside the house and presence of water body nearby helps cool down the summer winds before reaching the house. Large windows fill the house with natural light; further, an addition of slit in the roof helps bring sunlight into the middle section of the house.
The house is designed with one aim, to provide the family with a space where they can forget the city, while contemplating Nature. The architecture here acts as a template for increased wellbeing by letting Nature take over.
Architects: Nguyen Huu Duy, Nguyen Duy, Bui The Long (AmDesign Architects, Time Architects, CTA | Creative Architects )
Year Completed: 2017
Location: Can Giuoc, Long An Province
Ground Floor Area (GFA): 184m2
Storey: 01 floor
Construction: Local foreman and masons. Betonlab – Concrete finishing
Interior construction: Kim Quoc Co., Ltd
Suppliers: TOTO Sanitary. Viet Nhat Glass. Xingfa Aluminium Profiles Doors and Windows. Philips Lighting. Daikin Air Conditioning Solutions. Tôn Hoa Sen/ Hoa Sen Group Steel Sheet. Hoa Phat Group Steel Pipe. Ha Tien Cement
Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki