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View of the guest house from the street, which shows its colourfully painted reused shutters
Daytime view of colourfully painted reused shutters facade

Colourfully painted reused shutters form the facade of this guest house and kitchen in Ho Chi Minh city. The shutters, known as jalousie windows, provide a wonderfully low-tech way to allow the occupants to control access to sunlight and fresh air and also to block out heat.

Block Architects have designed the house around an open atrium which, in time, will have a tree growing up through its centre. Aside from providing each floor with a leafy view, the atrium provides ample access to sunlight, cross flow ventilation and draws heat up and out of the house via a stack effect.

Vietnamese vegan house ground floor communal kitchen with exhaust fan
Detailed view of the colourfully painted reused shutters as stair railing
View of the courtyard in detail, including the dining area and recycled shutters

The low budget of this job saw the architects skilfully interweaving an extensive amount of old, reused or donated items with a sprinkling of new. The resulting house is full of quirks and diversity and charm that reinforces the owners desire to bring culture and community together to “meet up, share and cook Vietnamese traditional food, especially vegan food” in the ground floor communal kitchen and dining space.

Colourfully painted reused shutters and doors in the guest receiving area
Potted plants are displayed inside the louvered shutters window
Antique sewing machine with countertop lavatory in the stair hallway

Sustainability specs:
– Recycled louvered shutters and doors used to control access to sunlight and ventilation
– Central courtyard
– Open atrium penetrating all floors of the house, providing access to sunlight and fresh air
– Cross flow ventilation used for cooling
– Extensive recycling and reuse of second hand items including building materials, furniture and fittings

Courtyard timber stair with a black steel handrail and countertop Basins
Courtyard timber stair with a black handrail and reused shutters walls
Colourful painted recycled louvered shutters ceiling and door rooftop with potted plants
Colourfully painted recycled louvered shutters ceiling and walls on the rooftop of Vegan House
Detailed view of colourfully painted recycled louvered shutters
Colourfully painted reused shutters facade during night
From the architect:

These windows have been used in Vietnam for a long time because of ventilation. They are now rearranged into a new facade and create a special attraction, as well as harmonising with the ancientness of the entire area. Some open windows on the roof provide the trees beneath with space and natural light.

Images courtesy of Block Architects. Photography by Quang Tran
Via www.dezeen.com
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