Located in a newly developing area in Ho Chi Minh City, this head office and showroom for an electrical corporation aspires to express its own identity as a new icon within the region.
The building is formed by alternately-stacked boxes wrapped with glass blocks, and creating terraces in between to accommodate trees. This facade functions as a filter which optimizes climatic and visual conditions. It diffuses intense direct sunlight in the daytime, creating ideal luminous environment for interior. On the contrary, at night, it turns into a beacon lighting box illuminating the neighborhood. Glass block reduces thermal transmission due to its low solar heat gain, contributing to low energy consumption compared to typical glazed facade. Taking into account the high density surrounding in the near future, the glass blocks are meant to blur and calm the view to the outside, while the trees provide green ambience throughout the building.
Greenery, one of the most significant features, is also a response to the wider urban context. In the center of Ho Chi Minh City, green coverage ratio is only 0.25%, which is remarkably low in comparison to other Asian megacities. This lack of greenery causes various social problems such as air pollution, overheat, and flood. Therefore, we are aiming to bring green space back to the city by accommodating as much greenery as possible in the building. This project has been designed towards a harmony between humans and nature, providing a better working environment. Taking advantage of its high visibility, it is expected to present an exemplary architecture for sustainable development.
The 10 stories volume accommodates showroom in lower 4 stories, and office in the upper 6 stories. Unlike stereotyped showroom, it was required that the former includes communal area to serve as a platform for creative community and activity. Thus space is designed to be integrated, without separating by wall or floor, featuring several unique architectural elements. The entrance with a huge opening reveals activities inside, attracting people passing by. Right after the entrance is a multi-functional zone where various events and exhibitions could be held. Staircases within the vertical void, which penetrates through the floors, connect several kinds of the showroom and communal area and enhance interaction between them.
Under the rapidly-growing economy, the cities in Vietnam has been developed without long-term perspective or pursuing physical quality. However, in the end, it is extremely uneconomical and gives a huge impact on the environment. The challenge of the project is to improve its maintainability and quality of construction, aiming to the durable architecture that could last for hundreds of years.
Principal architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Tran Thi Hang Project architects: Nobuhiro Inudoh, Tran Vo Kien, Kai Echigo Contractor: Obayashi Vietnam Corporation