Architects: Module K
Location: Thảo Điền, Vietnam
Category: Houses, Office
Project Year: 2017
Photographs: Dang Huy Hoang
It mixes modern and Indochine, inside and outside, past and future. Its prefab steel structure is (con)temporary, flexible, sustainable and relocatable. And it only took 3 months from concept to completion. That’s the new mixed-use building in HCMC designed by Vietnamese interior design company Module K. The building sits nestled between classic and French-inspired villas in HCMC’s hipster district Thao Dien. “We chose a prefabricated steel structure solution, quite uncommon in Vietnam where the traditional construction is bricks and concrete. It’s cost-effective, easy to erect and disassemble, extremely flexible and very light and airy. We can easily break it up when our ten-year lease ends and move it to a new location for another serene house of our own. It also helps preserve the initial capital investment”, says Jade Nguyễn Kim Ngọc, design director of Module K.
The steel creates a three-dimensional puzzle with the spaces filled according to the various and changing needs of the tenants. Double height ceilings alternate with lower mezzanines allowing for a multitude of uses of the light-filled creative space. Housing coffee shop, furniture showroom, apartment and office space, as well as a rooftop terrace, the steel structure and lightweight sliding and folding panel facade elements, allow control of light, shade and air, blurring the boundary between inside and outside. The surrounding garden – with tropical plants, curtain plants draping from the roof and the window planter boxes – brings nature inside and provides a place for rest and informal exchanges between different creatives.
A roof terrace offers views to the surrounding neighbourhood and a relaxation space. Indochine interior and decoration items, collected during many travels throughout the years also play an important role in creating a gentle atmosphere nested inside the modern steel building. “Module K has combined its own furniture designs, inspired by the Indochine history of Saigon, with digitally designed and locally produced futuristic LAVA furniture and lighting,” says Module K director Huy Anh. Thao Dien is close to the city centre and near the river, very popular with expats, and full of cafes and designer shops.