Architects In Charge:Hoang Thuc Hao(www.hoangthuchao.com) , Pham Duc Trung, Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, Le Dinh Hung, Vu Xuan Son
Photographs: Hoang Thuc Hao, Vu Xuan Son
Located in the southeast of Hoi An – a tourism destination in the middle of Vietnam with ancient quarter and breathtaking seashore, Cam Thanh is known for its mangrove forests, crisscrossed waterways, coconut forests and small looming villages. Despite having such great potentials due to naturally diverse ecology and local handicraft business, Cam Thanh remains a poor area with low living standard. The lack of connection between Cam Thanh and the old quarter – the centre attracting both domestic and foreign tourists has made it difficult to promote tourism and foster the local economy. Cam Thanh is also affected by climate change’s consequences: heat-wave, typhoons and rising sea level. These have raised the need for a physical platform acting as a community hub to provide linkage between the local and different social, scientific and economic groups which are interested in strengthening the connection with Cam Thanh, creating more tourist opportunities and contributing to the sustainable development of the commune.
The Cam Thanh Community Centre was designed to fulfill this requirement. The centre, locating in the commune’s core, includes 3 buildings providing a continuous zoning flow. By using flexible partitions, the space can be modified to adapt different requirements: meetings, exhibitions, events, combining with library, training courses and cafeteria. The open courts resemble the Hoi An’s ancient quarter houses, using convection ventilation. The complex also has playground, organic vegetables farm, areca garden and sport field. Cam Thanh Community House is expected to become a sharing place, an experimental organic agriculture hub and an ideal rest stop for tourists in the future.
The structure is simple with the efficient usage of local resources and material. Vines hanging across areca garden, together with the coconut leaves roof, can drastically reduce solar radiation and provide shade. Strong wood columns and bamboo frame support the large and sloping-in roof, collecting rainwater for reuse in irrigation and daily activities. Surrounding walls, made of double-layer adobe brick, create air cushions and insulation. This structure can help the building withstand during windstorms.
Inspired by the traditional courtyard of the ancient house, areca garden and featured vines of the rural area, Cam Thanh Community Centre – the embodiment of Hoi An culture – creates the symphony of shades and voids. The development of this Community house will be the first and hopefully the success example to be replicated for different areas, therefore gradually shaping the architectural identity of new development areas in Hoi An.