Design: Idee Architects Architect: Tran Ngoc Linh Implementation team: Nguyen Huy Hai, Do Van Thoan, Nguyen Dac Nguyen, Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, Nguyen Dang Quang
Photos: Trieu Chien
This project is on the first floor of an old tenement which was designed and built in the subsidy phase in 1980s. The owners who have been living through the early history of the tenement want to renovate the apartment. They hope that it will be a more modern space and improve the quality of life, but also retain the inherent friendliness.
The space, before the intervention of architect, was divided into separated rooms. Low-light and poor ventilation made the environment very humid and dark. The structural system consists of load-bearing walls and in-stu concrete slabs left many overlapping layers of material after a few renovations. In return, the living space inside is pretty quiet and to the outside is a large courtyard with trees and daylight.
The architects decide to divide the rooms in a more simple way to have a bigger and brighter space. The most interesting part is the living room, the heart of the apartment, where there is a couch by the window, two large bookshelves along the wall and a dining table separating from kitchen. This arrangement connects all the activities in the apartment and leaves the inside space free.
The windows are expanded to increase visibility to the outside, allow more light to enter the space and to make more rooms for sofa and kitchen cabinets.
We use curved forms to create the boundaries for different spaces. These spaces still link to each other by the large windows which create spacious feeling. We maximize the ceiling height to reach the concrete panel structure above. So the lighting system is showed up.
The storage capacity of apartment increases because of many details recessed into wall. The wall between kitchen and bathroom hides not only water tank, bathroom drawers but also the kitchen cabinets.
To optimize natural light and create a sense of unity, the apartment was painted entirely in white which harmonized with shade and color of the tiled walls. The kitchen and the bathroom is tiled with bricks which recall the 1980s, and make a connection with the history of the apartment.
New and contemporary materials are still harmonious with the old ones to maintain the unified of the space.
With a sliding door, we can transform the space to expand it or to ensure the necessary privacy.
Bedroom is expanded and gets more light through the open roof of the rear storage area which forms a backyard with lots of trees.