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WAN Award-winning practice completes stunning low cost house in Vietnam


Former 21 for 21 Award-winning firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects have completed two prototype low-cost houses in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam as a potential solution to the country’s need for more residences for low-income families.

Two versions of the house have been realised onsite, one at 22.5 sq m which acts as a model home and one at 18 sq m which is currently being used as a site office for a nearby kindergarten in an effort to demonstrate the flexibility of Vo Trong Nghia’s design.

To reduce the size and therefore cost of the property, the architects have removed the kitchen and bathroom facilities from the main volume and created shared amenities for several families. In doing so, the construction cost of a single residence can be reduced to as little as $3,200 with potential for expansion in a longitudinal direction.

Owners of the houses will be encouraged to participate in the construction process to further reduce costs and the design has therefore been composed to be as simple as possible. A lightweight steel frame can be assembled without the use of machines or complex construction techniques and the building envelope comprises of a polycarbonate panel wall and corrugated FRP panel roof with bamboo louvers.

This bamboo shell gently diffuses the harsh sunlight and reduces the need for artificial light and therefore electricity costs. Natural ventilation has also been incorporated into the design.

Of their latest project, Vo Trong Nghia Architects say: “According to the statistics, the quantity of total housing area in Vietnam has been increased tenfold in the last decade. However, many families are still living in very small houses, some of which are less than 10 square meters. It is an important issue for Vietnam to provide houses for low-income classes.”