Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam, has been honored as the National Green City by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The city is divided into Northern and Southern regions by the beautiful Huong River. In the Northern region where the old citadel is located, construction is strictly managed by the local authority. Constructions with high density and large scale are greatly restricted, which gives more space for plants and helps create a green and harmonious area. However, in the Southern region, urbanization takes place faster and there is less and less green space. The building is an office which is located on a beautiful street running along the bank of a small river in the Southern region. This is one of the greenest streets that remain in this area. Despite this, in recent years, the street still cannot protect itself from the impacts of the rapid urbanization. Along the street, there have been constructions with very high density, which affects the overall landscape. Likewise, before renovation, the original building was also built with 100% density. Therefore, after buying this property, the architect had a simple idea for turning it into an office: creating an architectural form that appears friendly and harmonious, and that has a symbiotic relationship with the surroundings. The building helps heal the wounds caused by the urbanization process on the street.
The solution is as follows: First, we replace the front half of the building with an area for plants and a vine trellis. The aim is to help the office completely blend in with the landscape around it and let nature cover and protect the space for use. This area is used for reception. Then, at the remaining area behind, we put another floor on top. The ground floor is a model studio and the first floor is the office for the architects. Both of the spaces are completely open to the front space that is covered by the plants and vine trellis. People in the building will feel like the space for use is doubled. The people, the plants and the building have a symbiotic relationship with each other and they become a single unit. Every day, people take care of the plants and the building. On the stormy days in Hue city every year, the building covers and protects the plants and people. And on summer days with high temperature, the plants provide shade for the building and the people below. The architects hope that this is a simple and effective solution which can be applied for every building with high density in order to bring back the original greenness to the street.