The diverse terrain of Ha Long, Vietnam, encourages tourism to its mountains and hills, valleys and coast, which boosts the economy. However, there is also a boom in urbanisation. Prolific construction and overall building density in the city is drastically narrowing people’s living environments. This particular home design project, by architects at Toob Studio, is located approximately 1km from the seashore, and so was designed to have open space that takes advantage of the fresh sea air. In contrast to the dense development of the city, these open and ventilated spaces work in keeping members of the family comfortably connected too. The home promotes a free-flowing and sharing way of life that’s beautifully characteristic of people of this city.
The proud modern exterior stands three stories high, in crisp white cement that reflects the bright Vietnamese sunshine.
Black framed windows are deep set into the thick cement walls, giving the interior spaces an element of shade from the searing brightness and heat.
Ventilation blocks let the sea air flow into the structure of the home.
By night, the installation of ventilation blocks create a square of bright twinkling pattern in the darkness.
A balcony extends out from the first floor living room, where a large door can be opened up to create comfortable airflow, and connection with the outside world.
The face of the building is predominantly glass, though the bedrooms on the top floor are given privacy behind shutters.
White curtains draw across to lock out the world and the hot sun on the lower two living floors. Out in the low maintenance yard, a planter or two add a little greenery.
The plant inhabited interior reminds us of this home. A large indoor courtyard creates a fanfare welcome, steeped in natural beauty. Indoor plants and an indoor tree spread emerald foliage against pure white cement walls. Pebbles scatter textured grey beds around the plant life and a reflection pool. A wooden bridge connects the lounge to the kitchen diner, which links to a bamboo lined yard.
The other end of the living space is home to a relaxed lounge with a large TV.
Wooden units and a glass backsplash make up the long kitchen run. On the other side of the long kitchen island, a modern dining table provides space for six diners. The Scandinavian style chair you see here is the Wegner Wishbone chair.
Three dining room pendant lights illuminate the tables length.
A stainless steel American-style fridge-freezer adds a shiny pitstop at the end of the kitchen run, marking the transition into the interior courtyard and then on into the lounge.
A white countertop wraps the kitchen island, blending it with surrounding white walls and pale floors.
Mirror image windows on each side of the building makes it feel as though there are no walls there at all, only walkways beneath the feet.
A skylight further boosts the feeling of open space, and washes the home’s central staircase and courtyard in sunrays.
Foliage shadows paint patterns across plain walls, which glow orange at sunrise and sunset.
Scandinavian furniture pieces shape the ground floor living room. A cane lounge chair, which is the Wegner style Circle lounge chair, offers a cooler seating option to the cushioned sofa.
Up on the top floor, a towering feature window presents views of the city. Multi-tonal flooring glows richly in the warm light.
Another skylight slopes down the other side of the roof, pouring in blue sky to quench the soul.
Thin white balustrades lightly line the sides of the core staircase and landings.
The importance of family life needs to be given due attention within the rapid economic development of the world today. With that thought in mind, everywhere in this house (other than private spaces) were designed to be flawlessly connected. There is open flow right from the very front yard all the way through to the back yard, and the top floor of the house is vertically connected all the way down two more levels.
The modern staircase design facilitates this openness of family life, taking out the risers to reduce boundaries.
The open staircase also allows natural sunlight from the skylights to feed the indoor garden below it.
Glass wall rooms mean that the courtyard tree can be enjoyed from multiple areas of the home, on all levels.
Interior windows open up for cross ventilation.
Even with family members settled in their own activities in different rooms, there is a sense of togetherness facilitated by the vast expanses of clear interior glazing.
A second lounge on the first floor gives the kids their own space in which to hang out away from the parents. Here, they can watch their own shows on TV, and at their own volume through those smart speakers. Alternatively, there is a workspace in here, situated for quietness away from the main living room on the ground floor.
A round glass coffee table completes the upstairs lounge layout.
A glass walkway crosses the upstairs lounge and landing.
The abundance of glass makes the house feel weightless and free.
Teasers of the house peep through the ventilation blocks.
Plain white interior walls keep the family home feeling fresh and cool. Lack of wall hangings and decoration gives the home a peaceful minimalist vibe.
Ground floor plan.
First floor plan.
Second floor plan.
Division of space.
Private and public spaces.
Ha Long urbanisation.
Here is a video tour of the home.
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