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.
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.
– 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
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.
Nadine is the founder and editor of Eco Edition and founder of the Eco Edition Design School. She’s an experienced interior designer, sustainable materials consultant, speaker and serial home renovator.
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