Agritecture: H&P Architects Designs a Terraced Home Inspired by the Rural Landscape of Vietnam

Kweku Addo-Atuah Kweku Addo-Atuah

H&P Architects, a rising Vietnamese firm, has created a large residential project in Hà Tĩnh city, Hà Tĩnh, that blends agricultural and architectural principles in an urban context. Merging the two distinct elements that embody Vietnam’s rural areas, the terraced rice field (cultivation space) and the house (accommodation space), the home encourages blurred boundaries, in-and-out, up-and-down and private-vs.-public space. Noting it as an example of “agritecture” — agriculture plus architecture — the structure of H&P Architects’ project derives its form from the terraced rice paddy fields that populate Vietnam’s countryside.

The three-story home features nine concrete terraces, each hosting planted beds with arrays of grasses, shrubs and small trees. Connecting these terrace platforms are small steps that encourage movement and increasingly more privileged views outward into the surrounding context. The vegetation not only cools the home, but also helps curtail the impact of such tropical weather conditions as dust, noise and heat on the dwelling.

Further adhering to the site’s environmental context, the home makes use of its sloped roof in channeling sight angles, light and shadow. The roof also holds an integrated system on its flanks that regularly irrigates the home’s vegetation. Much of the home’s living areas exist at-grade, supporting a play area, a lounge, a kitchen and a single bedroom. The middle floor holds three additional bedrooms, while the top floor features a workshop space, a study and the largest planted terrace.

H&P Architects’ project is further evidence of the necessary symbiotic relationship between architectural form and the landscape, particularly in the age of rapid urbanization and stress on the built environment. With continued strain on land and energy resources in addition to a greater focus on preserving natural environments, integrating such ideas as urban farming/gardens into structures is a promising problem-solver.

This principle encourages city food production of small-scale fruits, vegetables and herbs, reducing pressure on land in rural areas, and possibly reduces costs of grocery produce transported from rural areas. Urban gardens and terracing, all common landscape architecture strategies, aid the environment by reducing the heat island effect, cooling buildings, halting rainwater flooding and helping dissipate smog and other air pollutants.

To explore more innovative projects by H&P Architects, check out its in-depth firm profile now.

All images by Nguyen Tien Thanh

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