The Gills by Cong Sinh Architects


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From the architect. When I was a child, I had been living in my grandparent’s house. That is a small house in a lush garden of fruit trees. In that house, my bed room was looking out the garden; every morning, I was awakened by the gently sunbeams exposed through foliages; some night, you could hear sound of the rain fallen on leaves.

Later, when I arrived to Ho Chi Minh City for business, my first feeling about this place is a stuffy, cramped, smoky life, not as secure as my hometown, and also the living places are lacked of sunlight and wind.

Therefore, when building a house for myself, my desire is having a place to sleep which reminisce about my childhood, send me to a sound sleep like olden times. Site area of the house is 60sqm, located in a resettlement area with the general architecture cluttered and spontaneous. The house’s utilities at once have office below and living space of a couple and children above.

Vietnam have tropical climate, the dry season have high temperature with the prolonged swelter. So that, the most important criteria of this house is the sensible uses of sunlight and wind. The light come to the house should not be directly; by that way, in the hot sunny day it will have high intensity, harshly affect human health. In rainy season, rain will not be blow into the house too hard. And one more thing is solving security issue while opening the window for ventilation at night.

The solution I set is building a wall designed ventilation slots with 13cm width for sealing and dividing space according to each home member demands. In addition, the vertical aluminum trellis for ventilation and brought the indirect light to spaces in both directions.

The light is gather from two sides of the house, mostly go through the vines, the water, the walls with many pore slots and aluminum trellis systems into the house; the light also comes from the top down from the skylight in the middle of the house, this light is filtered by the plaster plates horizontal below the glass roof.

Based on the sun’s path, the panels systems are arranged for the direct light crossover a little into the house in rainy season (It is cool at that time). Light come to the house totally indirect with appropriate intensity, gently spread to every space as far as each corners of the rooms. Wind come to the house from both sides front and behind, go through the walls with slots to every space in the house. Hot air will out from above, two ventilation panels systems just below the glass roof at the skylight. We can feel the everywhere in the house.

Section of the skylight has the opener steps of floors from top to down for equally the sunlight to spaces below. The front facade also has the section with the opener steps of floors from top to down in order to avoid the rain and prevent a part of the direct sunlight into the house. Sunlight or rain can cross down caring trees below.

Living in this house, I feel like living in my old lush garden, welcome the cool breezes from the South facade of the house. (In Vietnam, South is the good wind direction.) I hope this house will inspires the neighbors, in which many people like her, who had lived in the house with the gargen and now live in a small house in this area.

Architects: Cong Sinh Architects
Location: District 7, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Architect In Charge: Vo Quang Thi
Project Architects: Vo Quang Thi, Nguyen Thi Nha Van, Nguyen Phuc Bao Thang. Nguyen Nhat Anh
Contractor: Thanh An Interior & Construction Co.,Ltd
Area: 261.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki


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