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Paul Barrow, Stefan Buse, Sam Davison, Elizabeth Galiyeva, Kate Glynn, Lucy Hartley, Viktoria Ivova, Valerie Oncean.

All images unless otherwise specified are authors own, 2016.

CONTENTS Location; LĂŞ Quoc Hung History; District 4 Creation and Development Urban; Morphology and Analysis Architecture; Building Types, Elements and Styles Functionality; Analysis and Land Use Transport; Network Analysis of Vehicle Movement Infrastructure; Local Laws and Legal Aspects Culture; Cultural, Religious and Socio-economic Factors Proposals; Preliminary Designs and Site Locations Discovery; Our Architectural Discovery of HCMC Reflections; Our Personal Reflections and Experiences Individual; Our Individual Design Proposals Experience; Photographs of our HCMC Experience Sketches References

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LOCATION District 4, Ho Chí Minh City, Vietnam, Southeast Asia:

Map of Vietnam:


Map of Ho Chí Minh City:

Hồ Chí Minh City is located in the south-eastern region of Vietnam, 1,760 km south of Hanoi (Ho Chi Minh City, 2016). As Vietnam’s largest city, it is divided into twenty-four districts. The study area of interest is in District 4, the smallest of Hồ Chí Minh City’s districts, which is located on a small island directly south of District 1, just across the Bến Nghé River (District 4 Ho Chi Minh City, 2014).

1. $200inaire, 2012 2. Maphill, 2011 3. Wikipedia, 2016



Map of Ho Chí Minh City’s Urban Districts


The specific study area within District 4 is called Lê Quốc Hưng, which has an approximate area of 0.0308 km squared. The Saigon Port is located here. A colonial, colourful courtyard is the focal point of Lê Quốc Hưng area, which stands in stark contrast to the surrounding ‘slum’ areas. The area has a fragile yet essential culture and economy that represents the lower income group, which takes up to 80% of the city’s economy


1. Wikipedia, 2016 2. Author’s Own, 2016


HISTORY Creation and Development



Pre 17th Century:


1859 :


Hồ Chí Minh City started off as a small port town belonging to Cambodia, known as Prey Nokor (Hồ Chí Minh City, 2016).

Nguyen Dynasty came to power and started developing Hồ Chí Minh City. Primarily, the citadel and the port were established. The development of the port brought in merchants from many countries, making Hồ Chí Minh City the heart of trade in South Asia. Along with the port, housing to host local merchants were built, hence the development of District 4 (Vien, 2013).

The French conquered Vietnam and further developed the city. The railroad leading to and from District 1 and District 4 was built, with District 4 serving as a food provider to District 1. French colonial architecture was introduced to Hồ Chí Minh City and traces of it can be seen on the streets of District 4 today (Stewart, 2012).

Móng Bridge, still existing today, was built by Levallois Perret (Hồ Chí Minh City, 2015) linking District 1 to District 4.


Late 19th / Early 20th Century: Seeing the opportunity for development, Hebrard, who was a celebrated urban planner and architect (Hồ Chí Minh City, 2015), drew up the plans for renovating and enlarging the port and general infrastructure. However, due to the lack of budget, the plans were postponed and never saw further development (Stewart, 2012).


SAIGON PORT District 4 developed greatly when the French were occupying Hồ Chí Minh City. The construction of the port on the Saigon River in 1861 made trading and operations between Europe and Vietnam significantly simpler (Vien, 2013). The development was supervised by Hebrard, who saw the opportunity to improve Saigon by mainly concentrating on the framework, such as water ways and railway systems. The architect further developed urban industrial zones by positioning manufacturing near the port and warehouse district. This optimised movements to and from District 1, as well as cut the expense. Economic deficiency prevented Hebrard’s plans to be further carried out though, leading to the development being slowed down and, as a consequence, the area only saw short term improvements (Stewart, 2012).


Because the structure of the city roads made the heavy shipping containers unfit to transit and the overall port network hard to access, new plans were proposed in 2005 (Hồ Chí Minh City, 2015). The plans were to alter the purpose of the Saigon Port and reposition it on the outskirts of the city. To this day, the plans are postponed due to no financing and absence of a properly scaled master plan (Vien, 2013). An interesting dichotomy exists between the inner core and the outer core of Lê Quốc Hưng study area, with a mixture of private and public spaces. Historically, District 4 in general was a trading area with many merchants living there. The optimal solution was to establish living quarters directly above the trading premises on the ground floor. With the parks and gardens being few and far between, the courtyard of Lê Quốc Hưng area is something of a hidden gem. Here, the community meets and uses the small green space as a recreational area.


URBAN Morphology and Analysis


FOCAL POINT The main focal point of Lê Quốc Hưng area is represented by the courtyard’s centre, a place exhibiting the sense of possession by the residents who gather here to relax. Set aside from to the main axis of traffic (both pedestrian and vehicular), or the line of life for this area, the small square represents an easily accessible seclusion from the highly agitated life outside Lê Quốc Hưng area (Cullen, 2007). Its location and function are reinforced through a variety of ways:

Hazards and Incidents: Firstly, the purpose is quite evident from the range of features located here, such as the street furniture and plant pots. A lamp post, surrounded by a small wall of about 0.3 meters tall, which provides space for the planting of bushes, becomes the dominant focus of the place in terms of the built form. It is this inert and immovable object which anchors the purpose of the place “to the ground” (Cullen, 2007, p. 175) and serves as a good point for social assembly.


Trees and Foliage: However, the most imposing element in the square is the foliage surrounding it. The size of the trees, as well as their numbers, create a volume that draws the attention of the user in its direction upon reaching the courtyard. By being placed predominantly on the exterior part, the foliage also serves the purpose of bordering the space whilst leaving it accessible from all directions (Cullen, 2007). Much alike the physical edge but in a more discrete manner is the social boundary which is created by the foliage. Since the place is predominantly used by the local residents the social boundary becomes evident when it is broken by other groups such as tourists, however it too can be accessed. The trees also respond adequately to the climate of the area by providing a cooling effect to the place through the shadows that they cast upon it.

Ground Texture: Lastly, the ground texture provides a good definition of the focal point’s location and purpose. It stands out by being raised from the ground level by approximately 0.2 meters and through it’s construction that it incorporates different materials than the surrounding street. The courtyard’s texture also creates patterns that further define the social boundary. Conclusively, all the aforementioned elements create an assemble that ultimately translates itself as the focal point of Lê Quốc Hưng area.


HIERARCHY Height and Status: Height plays an important role in a building’s noticeability by pedestrians, “we look up to some people, we describe others as having a low mentality” (Cullen, 2007, p. 176). Buildings instinctively achieve more importance through bigger heights, thus a ranking in perceived status is created. Usually the functions of the buildings coincide with the hierarchy, as large companies own larger structures, whilst the smaller buildings are generally reserved for residential use. Buildings noted as ‘1’ are business, with ‘1a’ being a shipping company and ‘1b’ is a business specializing in product quality control. The buildings noted with ‘2’ and ‘3’ are both residential with the distinction that the former also incorporated a commercial unit at ground floor. The structure noted as’4’ is simply a segregation in the built form between the outside public space and the interior semi-private space to which the café is adjoined.


Street Level – ‘Legs and Wheels’: Street level hierarchy can be discussed by observing the relationship between vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic. The vehicle traffic consists predominantly of mopeds and motorbikes. By being in such excessively large numbers they overcrowd the roads, this generating a phenomenon where an extra bike lane is claimed from the already narrow pavements. Also, despite having a path of their own (a clearly distinguished pavement through texture hazards and boundaries), pedestrians still need to occasionally give way to mopeds challenging their territory. In addition to this, mopeds are also given plenty of space adjacent to building frontages, this being a more natural response to parking than the creation of a car park would be. Generally, according to Cullen, “roads occupy about one third of the total circulation area in an urban environment” (Cullen, 2007, p. 121), however, from the aforementioned argument it is clear that this is not the case with Lê Quốc Hưng study area, where motorbikes take more than this percentage.

Outer Edge of Lê Quoc Hung Area: Conclusively there is a clear segregation in terms of the built form defining the pedestrian space and the spaces reserved for vehicles. However, the large numbers of motorbikes push the limits of these boundaries, claiming territory on the pedestrian pavements.

Inner Courtyard: In the case of the inner courtyard there is no distinction through the built form between the two main types of traffic, pedestrian and motorbike. These create a symbolic relationship within Lê Quốc Hưng area’s precinct.


PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPACES Semi-public and Semi-private Space: The public space in Lê Quốc Hưng area, much like the rest of Hồ Chí Minh City, is a very relative term depending on the location in question. In the study area there is the very commonly found situation where shop frontages extend their endeavors into the pavement claiming a large proportion of it as their own, shown in Figure 2. This way the public space becomes semi-public for the pedestrians, as they have to traverse through the local vendors businesses which extend into the street. As a result, this blurs the boundaries between public and private space.

Shop Frontages: As previously mentioned, shop owners have a tendency of extending their business into the public space of the pavement. However, this is only the case with small commercial locations, as the larger ones, see Figure 1, leave a welcoming openness in front of their commercial units (sometimes the space can be filled in with parked motorbikes). This mostly has to do with the fact that they benefit from larger spaces within their interior structures of the business, and therefore don’t need to forcefully claim the extra space.


Moped Adaptation: Most buildings provide wide enough entrances for mopeds and motorbikes to access easily. They also provide adequate ramps and floor manipulations for the bikes to easily enter and exit their precinct. Gates enclosing these spaces and access points are usually designed appropriately by being on gliding systems, rather than opening at an angle like a hinged door. This is because people using the respective buildings park their motorbike in front (outside) since they might need to leave rapidly and parking their bike inside would be a waste of energy. Thus the gates can be opened vertically without impleading the parked motorbikes.








VOIDS AND MASSES The skylines are mostly defined by the following characteristics: tall, slender buildings with a width of approximately 4 meters and an inconsistent number of storeys from one to the next. The following elevations exemplify these particularities found in Hồ Chí Minh City’s traditional architecture and more specifically in Lê Quốc Hưng study area. There’s a chaotic emplacement of masses irrespective of the height of the adjacent buildings. Tall against small or even tall against taller, it creates an interlocking connection with the voids emerging between them. Dynamic to the eye this visual stimulus draws one’s attention towards it. The powerful fluctuation in height has an effect of sharpening a person’s sense of position in the respective place (Cullen, 2007).








NODES The node labelled as 1 represents the dominant node in terms of significance for Lê Quốc Hưng study area. In contrast to the other study areas this is the only node. Node 1 achieves a higher importance in relation to the other nodes due to its particularity of being the most emphasised in the courtyard of Lê Quốc Hưng study area and also one of the only courtyards in District 4. It is an unusual characteristic within the district for a parcel of buildings to form a courtyard such as this one, however, in the case of node 1, the i ntention for the courtyard is more than evident. Aspects supporting the claim are: the built form (raised pavement and being partially confined by the foliage and street furniture), the orientation of most buildings within the inner core of the study area are facing towards the courtyard, and the heavy use of the space by locals. The social aspect is the dominate element that defines the courtyard as an important node. Residents use the space for social congregations of the most diverse form. Whether they are taking their children outside, using it as a reference point for meetings, having lunch or dinner, or simply socializing – the courtyard is the place of choice for these activities.

View A

Node 2 functions primarily as an access point to the area from Lê Quốc Hưng street which connects it directly with node 3. The latter mentioned is a node of high activity at certain given times of the day because of three main reasons. Firstly, during the opening and closing times of the school, parents who take their children to or from school on mopeds create a heavy traffic flow at this node. Secondly, this is the place where the entrance to the pharmaceutical warehouse is located and supplies are stored and delivered here. Finally, node 3 represents the access point towards the more private space of the courtyard which is mostly used by the locals.

View B

View C

View E

Node 4 is the junction between the streets Hẻm 20 N T T, Nguyễn Trường Tộ and Đoàn Như Hài, and acts as one of the connectors with node 3. It is also the most used access point for the supplies of the pharmaceutical company. Node 5 and 6 are junctions between the highly dense streets of Nguyễn Trường Tộ, Hoàng Diêu, and Lê Thạch. They represent the nodes from which the majority of the traffic disperses towards Lê Quốc Hưng study area, these two nodes being the most circulated. Lastly node 7 represents another access point for Lê Quốc Hưng study area. It does so in the same respect as node 3, by accessing a semi-private space mostly used by local residents.

View F

View D



PATHS Streets that pose qualities of extreme differences to others, such as much wider or narrower widths than usual also pose the quality of attracting a person’s interest. In this respect, the path identified as Hoàng Diêu street is the most dominate amongst the identified paths around Lê Quốc Hưng study area. Noticeably larger than its counterparts, at three lanes per driving side (Figure 1) and two lanes as it goes deeper into District 4 (Figure 2), the aforementioned path is also the densest in terms of traffic. The paths defined by the streets Lê Quốc Hưng and Nguyễn Trường Tộ are second in terms of size and traffic density. They are also the ones to provide the access points into Lê Quốc Hưng study area. Hẻm 20 N T T street marks a path that emerges from Nguyễn Trường Tộ and creates an important connection between the outer edge and the inner core of Lê Quốc Hưng study area. It does so by being the route used for accessing the warehouse and the inner residential area.


View A

View C

View C

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View B

View B

View D

View D

View E

View G

View F

View H

LINE OF LIFE Another path, smaller in size than all previously mentioned, is street Hẻm 109 LCH. Its importance doesn’t derive from its size, but from the elements it passes by and connects, and mostly from its significance. It is the line of life that holds the study area together and gives it its character (Cullen, 2007). The plan readability of the path already suggests an important event taking place approximately half way through. This is represented by the courtyard, which in turn is embraced by two additional paths clearly defining its size.

View 1.

View 2.

View 3.

View 8.

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View 10.

The range and diversity of people that use the path is considerably smaller that of the other paths. However, this is exactly the reason for Hẻm 109 LCH Street to become the line of force for the study area. The range of users is almost exclusively restricted to the local residents and close neighbours who take their children to the schools here. This reinforces the path’s character of being strongly representative of the area. A journey on this path from end to end would also display a wide variety of architectural styles, building functions and activities that take place within these structures. In addition, by going through instead of around the area, this path tells a more intimate and personal story of the place as it stays away from showing lifeless corporate buildings and in turn shows built representations of people’s lives and characters. Some buildings are more imposing than others, larger and more dominant of the skyline, while others take a different path in simplicity and humility.


View 4.

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View 7.

EDGES AND BOUNDARIES The edges (marked with red on the map) defining study area 2 are clearly demarcated through architectural interventions. The frontages of the buildings surrounding the site provide a clear barrier between itself and the outside area. The only disruptions in the edges’ continuity are made to provide access points for the courtyard inside the area. By “detaching” the edges from the buildings’ facades and extending them in an outwards manner, passable boundaries (marked with green on the map) of a variety of types take form. One of the boundary types is represented by the streets themselves. Traffic is dominated by mopeds and motorbikes which, especially during busy times of the day, seems to be impossible to get through as a pedestrian. This creates an ever changing, inexact boundary surrounding most of the site. The traffic’s dynamism gives the border its blurred character; however it is the difficulty to cross it that reinforced the existence of the boundary. On a smaller scale and exclusive to the study area, the courtyard space has its own definitions for edges and boundaries. Its perimeter is evidently shown through the differences in ground texture and height. Foliage also adds to the definition in a vertically stronger manner. Boundaries are well defined as well. There is a clear distinction in the way the place is perceived by a person depending on whether he is inside or outside the defined zone. Despite there aren’t any elements with the sole purpose of confining space such as fences or walls the delimitation is easily understandable. The main reason for this is the fact that this space holds the role of a social congregation place for the local residents. Through their activities and habits they take claim of this public space and give it a more personal touch, thus also turning it into a semi-private area. Conclusively foreigners notice the transition from the public space of the street into the semi-private space of the defined courtyard when they cross the boundary of a strong social nature.

ARCHITECTURE Building Types, Elements and Styles


ELEVATION: TYPOLOGIES OF THE BUILDINGS The housing typology is simultaneously used as a public and private space. With the public space being on the ground floor and the private space above. The public space typically serves as a cafĂŠ or shop. In our study area, centred around the courtyard, the buildings are exclusively private. With the distinct separation by the use of gates the prohibit visitors to venture further into the private spaces. The entrances of the buildings on the outer edge are open and welcoming, inviting the visitors inside and offering hospitality.

Residential Apartments

Residential Houses


Diagram showing an imposing and monumental symmetry, reflecting the governments imposing nature.


Diagrams showing offices done in a contemporary style that do not relate to the context or rhythm created by the rest of the surrounding buildings.


Diagram showing an imposing and symmetrical religious building, showing its importance within society.


Diagram showing traditional elements such as a pitched roof and ventilation on a typical warehouse.

Diagram showing a repetitive and standard character of housing.

Diagram showing the rhythm kept though the repetition of segments and uniqueness style of the houses.


Office/House Diagram showing offices that respect the context and the traditional style of Vietnam by keeping the rhythm and creating a balance.


Diagram showing the functions of most row houses at different levels. With a commercial unit and ground floor and the other floor being residential.

The diagram in plan shows a building with no obvious physical boundary, generally a commercial unit and the extension of private activates on the street, these types of buildings have been mostly seen along the outer edge of our study area. The image to the left also signifies this blur in the private boundary. Also below is a diagram in plan showing a fence creating a private space, mostly used on private residential dwellings found in the inner courtyard of our site. The image to the left shows the defined boundary of privacy.


GATES The gates are used to divide and separate the private and public spaces. Most are made of steel and are painted for easier maintenance. The gates on the interior are placed to give the inhabitants privacy as well as shading. The overhanging roofs provide further shade and the mesh gates are encouraging ventilation throughout the building. Originating in China, Feng Shui is a specific arrangement to make a space unite in harmony. It is a certain relationship between a constructive environment and the impact of the inhabitants on the mentioned environment. It is an organisation of space, an assured flexibility and a value of balance in architecture. For example, the Yang (of the Yin Yang) is an odd balance. It is not surprising to see an odd number of stairs and an even number of bars on the gates. The outside gates are open, inviting the passer-by in. The lower floors are used as a vendor place for the owners to trade, they are for the patrons. This is where the activities take place and therefore, the gates allow the space to become extended and receptive.


SHADE Shading is vital in Vietnamese climate to keep the interior and exterior spaces cool and manageable. Correct shading strategies help cut the cost and do not require much effort on the inhabitant’s part. The streets and alleyways feature the buildings being within a close proximity to each other. The narrow passageways devise shading and encourage ventilation. Furthermore, the height of the structures relative to their encompassment have an essential effect in preserving the coolness of the alleyways and streets. This keeps the interior and exterior spaces cool and breezy. The decorative screens, Jali, encourage the airflow and provide shade by filtering the direct sunlight.

Diagram showing how tall buildings create shade for the area

Diagram showing shade created by special street furniture

Diagram showing shade created by the vegetation that grows on the electrical wires


Another form of shading strategy is using vegetation. The construction introduces the overhanging planks and canopies on which the vegetation can spread out and cover from the sun. Furthermore, the trees are planted near the structures, veiling and keeping the surroundings cool.


VENTILATION To encourage ventilation, some structures feature mesh instead of glazing. This enables an exchange of fresh air between the interior and exterior, and public and private. Furthermore, the balconies and overhanging canopies that create shade, cool the air and further circulation occurs. As mentioned before, the narrow passageways are manipulated in a way that formulates shading and encourages ventilation, particularly in the form of wind currents. The thermal mass of the buildings keep the interiors cool. Cross ventilation, with the windows being significantly wider on the front side (northern side) and narrower towards the back, allows the building to stay cool. The air enters through the wider windows and exits through the narrower windows. This passive cooling technique is known as the Venturi Effect, where the fresh air is unrestricted to pass through the interior whilst the pollutants and warm air are being sucked out of the building.

Diagram showing cross ventilation

The narrow space between buildings allows airflow and the terraces, especially garden rooftops, act as a heat barrier.

Diagram showing a window as a device for ventilation



Diagram showing cross ventilation

Diagram showing a window as a device for ventilation



Wandering around Háť“ ChĂ­ Minh City and District 4, it is evident that the architecture is an interesting mixture of French and Vietnamese styles. The majority of buildings are of dual purpose, retail and lodging. The facades are tall, narrow and vibrant, offering protection from the heat of the busy streets of Vietnam. To understand the combination of styles, it is vital to analyse French and Vietnamese architecture and pick out the main characteristics.




CONTEMPOARY STYLE Modern Architecture of Háť“ ChĂ­ Minh City demonstrates the combined characteristics of French Colonial and Vietnamese Architecture. The concrete frame is rectangular, straight and simple with a flat roof. The loggia balconies and canopies provide shade from direct sunlight, whilst still allowing natural light to enter. Points: Concrete rectangular shape Straight and simple geometry Flat roof Loggia balconies and canopies Windows with filtered sunlight



FRENCH COLONIAL STYLE Main element of the French Colonial Architecture displays symmetry, a rectangular concrete frame with narrow arched doors, and multi-panel windows. Furthermore, the shutters and a steep roof are prominent and notable features of the style. The porch encloses the external space, therefore creating more room for the facade and entry point. The facades are richly decorated. Points: Symmetry Rectangular and concrete frame Decorated facade Narrow arched doors and multi-panel windows Shutters Steep roof Extended porch Canopies and balconies


VIETNAMESE STYLE Vietnamese Architecture exhibits the prominence of gates and railings separating the spaces and providing shade. The colourful structures are adorned with animals and statue silhouettes. The roof is tilted and ornamented. The vegetation provides shade by being vertically positioned over the canopies. Points: Colourful and smooth surface Gates and railings to separate the space Adorning the facades with figurines Vegetation providing shade Tilted and ornamented roof






The selection of materials is a direct impact of climatic, economical and cultural factors. The most general material is concrete. This is primarily because concrete is cheap, easily attainable and responds well to the tropical climate. Interestingly, local materials, such as bamboo, are looked down upon as being too lower class and therefore are avoided in construction. The qualities of the materials and further detailing are a link to a particular architectural style that influenced the architecture of District 4 and Háť“ ChĂ­ Minh City.



The most popular material is concrete. Hence, the majority of the structures are made of it. Concrete produces necessary thermal mass (with the walls being approximately 10-20cm) that keeps the building as cool as possible. The material is also easy to mould and manage, and is therefore produced on site using rebar filling. The light colouring and a smooth surface makes it ideal for the tropical climate of Vietnam.



Glazing is used to demonstrate wealth as it is an expensive material to import and manage. Glazed buildings further require air conditioning to sustain an ideal temperature inside the building. The material is primarily used to give a finished, delicate touch to the façade of the building.



The material used for some windows and fencing is steel. It is a cheaper option to use instead of glazing, and by using a material such as steel mesh, ventilation is encouraged throughout the building. In order to keep the buildings easier to manage and to reflect the sun’s rays, the texture is mostly smooth. The steel is painted to increase the simplicity of maintenance. Metal is further used for building high rise structures



Even though it is locally available and was used for centuries, the use of wood is somewhat outdated and not commonly used in Háť“ ChĂ­ Minh City. Timber was quickly replaced with much more durable materials during the French Colonisation. It is now primarily used as support, as well as for making window and door frames.



Colourfulness is a popular cladding feature in Vietnamese Architecture. The colourful facades are achieved through cladding and mixing pigments into soft, pastel colours. The vibrancy adds and mimics the spirit and character of Vietnamese culture and society.





TEXTURES The Courtyard: The textures of Lê Quốc Hưng area form a unique surrounding that attracted us to study the area in further detail. The interesting clash and contrast between the inside and the outside, which formed a basis for the preliminary study, is particularly pronounced when studying textures. The underlined textures show how vibrant and colourful the area is. It is interesting to see the contrasting textures and colours coming together to form a dynamic atmosphere of the courtyard.


The Outer Edge: On the outside, the colours and textures are less exciting. It is clear that the greenery adds to the overall atmosphere in terms of vibrancy and liveliness.






Although Lê Quốc Hưng study area is not very big, it encompasses a large variety of building types that make it self-contained. Bordering the study area are two churches which satisfy spiritual needs, whilst, within the study area, are two schools and an enclosed courtyard which make the area child-friendly. Government buildings, woman federations, law firms, doctors’ surgeries, travel agents and engineer offices are all located in Lê Quốc Hưng area, catering to almost all everyday needs of the community. In Lê Quốc Hưng area, the majority of residential-only buildings are in the centre of the courtyard, while the buildings on the outer edge of the area, facing the busy, main roads, are mixed-use buildings that incorporate residential with restaurants, cafés, or similar small businesses. There are a large number of buildings catering to the two schools in Lê Quốc Hưng area and the children they bring in. There are several paediatricians, a learning centre, a video game arcade, as well as shops and offices to help the parents.




The diagram of building types shows more clearly the definition between the building types within the inner core of Lê Quốc Hưng area and the building types on the outer edge, situated along the busy, main roads. The building types within the inner core are primarily residential-only with a few exceptions that can be related to the school activities and the need for dining establishments and relaxation.

There is a high density of buildings relating to childcare and education within Lê Quốc Hưng area. This is related to the two schools and the high density of children and parents active within the area.




INFORMAL ACTIVITIES There are a large variety of informal activities taking place in Lê Quốc Hưng area on a daily basis. With the line between public and private spaces blurred, open spaces are often used by residents and shop owners. There are also people travelling to the site to accommodate to the needs of the two schools. 1. Bananas being sold during the day from a food stall 2. At the end of the school day, a temporary stall is opened where children can buy cotton candy – the stall is on the back of a motorbike that the vendor uses to arrive to site 3. A small stall can on some days be seen open on junctions – this stall changes location on different days 4. At the end of the school day, a temporary stall is opened where children can buy pancakes 5. Tailors line the windowless sides of buildings 6. Throughout the day, the courtyard is constantly used for relaxation and by customers of the cafés 7. 9. and 10. In the morning, the courtyard and the sidewalks are used as additional space where the cafés and shops can prepare food for the day ahead 8. The streets are often busy with parents coming to pick up or drop off their children at school




TRAFFIC District 4’s popular market and busy port make the area one of Hồ Chí Minh City’s liveliest trading hubs, which means a large number of people pass through it on a daily basis, and easy access is necessary at any hour. The vast majority of people seen on the streets of Lê Quốc Hưng study area seem to either live there or travel there in a private vehicle to access the two local schools, so it’s no surprise that many people there are friendly. The small enclosure between buildings makes for narrow streets and a very dense community in which motorcycles are the easiest mode of transport. The peak times for traffic within the inner core of Lê Quốc Hưng study area are 7 o’clock in the morning, as the school is opening up, and 12 noon, as the school is breaking for lunch, with the traffic being almost entirely made up of motorcyclists with children perched on the back or front of them. On the other hand, traffic on the outer edge of Lê Quốc Hưng study area had peak traffic times of 6 o’clock in the morning and 5 o’clock in the evening, likely due to the typical Vietnamese working hours.




Future plans:

More than ten different public bus routes operate in the immediate area, four of which pass directly through Lê Quốc Hưng study area (bus numbers 142, 34, 31, and 44). Three of them loop back to a bus depot in the much more commercial area of Bến Thành, while the others head south along the river towards Nguyễn Hữu Thọ. The main vehicular thoroughfare is a six lane dual carriageway, known as Hoàng Diệu, which runs along the southern edge of Lê Quốc Hưng area. The trip to the airport is 90 minutes via a connecting bus. Given that most people seem to live and work in the area, there is no call for an extensive connection to the public transport system of Hồ Chí Minh City, and since practically every family owns a fast motorcycle, buses are widely neglected. This is in line with the rest of Hồ Chí Minh City, as 65% of journeys are made by motorcycle and another 25% by bicycle (Vidiani, 2011).

More than 4 million tourists arrive by air per year, which makes Tân Sơn Nhất Airport the leading source of international people by far. However, there’s no direct public transport connecting the airport to District 4, making it necessary to take a private taxi or catch a connecting bus via the Bến Thành area if you’re a tourist looking to reach Lê Quốc Hưng area. As Lê Quốc Hưng area is simply a quiet residential area, there is little reason to desire foreign appeal. The area can be accessed by foot via a footbridge which connects District 4 to the much more commercial District 1, located on the other side of the river to Lê Quốc Hưng (LASeoulGuy, 2014).

In 2001 a city-wide metro plan was proposed and, after some amendments in 2007, it was decided that there will be six lines open by 2020. Construction on Line 4 began in 2008 and stretches 16km from Lang Cha Ca to Van Thanh Park, dissecting District 4 with one of its 24 stations, located right around the corner from Lê Quốc Hưng area at Khánh Hội. Not only would the metro connect Lê Quốc Hưng area directly to Bến Thành, it would also provide quick and cheap access to the rest of Hồ Chí Minh City and beyond, effectively solving several transport problems at once (Thanhnien news, 2015). The metro aims to help with congestion problems and to reduce travel costs with fares as low as 2000 Dong (which is approximately 8 pence) to encourage ridership (Urban Rail, 2007). The big plan has major implications for Hồ Chí Minh City as a whole, but for our area the change may not seem as drastic because of its niche aspect as a school and residential community. Traffic, and therefore pollution levels, are expected to fall but pedestrian levels may rise when the nearby market is connected more tightly to the rest of the city (Thanhnien news, 2015).


WASTE Waste in Hồ Chí Minh City is managed mostly by both door to door collection throughout the week, and cart circulation throughout the day to remove rubbish from the streets. Since Lê Quốc Hưng area has no large-scale industrial waste, there is no need for anything more substantial and therefore the streets are kept clean. It’s common to see the local people throwing rubbish into the road but there is also a designated workforce employed by the government to sweep the streets regularly.

When observing everyday life, it was noted that the same collector with the same cart was looping Lê Quốc Hưng study area several times a day, and meeting with a garbage truck once a day to transfer his load intermittently. While the nearby market piles its waste metres high in the middle of the street, the enclosed courtyard within Lê Quốc Hưng area seems more conscious and respectful. Perhaps this is due to the high number of children in the area, which makes for a neater environment; fitting for the bright colours of the French Colonial architecture.

In contrast to England, public bins in Hồ Chí Minh City are rare. Perhaps this is due to people living and working in one area and having access to their own private bin, which contributes to the orange carts. When it comes to waste production, it is relatively low when compared with other countries due to the culture in Vietnam. Eating street food as opposed to home-cooking is much more common, which means that waste is kept away from the home, and produced in bulk, which means less rubbish overall. Furthermore, the typical Vietnamese diet of Pho and fresh vegetables (noodles soup) produces virtually no unwanted bi-products or packaging in its consumption (World Bank, 2007).




ELECTRICITY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS Vietnam Electricity (VNE) is a state owned power company in Vietnam with multiple subsidiaries, including Ho Chi Minh City Power Corporation the subsidiary for the Ho Chi Minh City area. Power is generated by a mixture of different sources, almost half comes from hydro dams made possible by the number of rivers in Vietnam. The remainder is generated by fossil fuels such as coal and gas. However, the country’s fossil fuel reserves are running low and Vietnam will soon have to import the majority of its power supply (The Economist, 2013). Power Sources: Hydro: 46% Coal: 28% Gas: 22% Diesel: 4% Total power generated in 2015 was 159.5 TWh. Electricity cable are all above ground and strung across roads and buildings, although initially it is easier and cheaper install as it does not require trenches to be dug, the cabling is open to the elements and is susceptible to tampering. The lack of colour coding and the amount of cables so not make repairs to the network easy. In new developments cables are placed underground. Due to the cost and disruption it is unlikely existing overhead cabling will be moved underground. Mains Electricty in Vietnam Voltage: 220V Frequency: 50Hz Power Sockets: Type A,C,G Currently only 85% of the population have access to electricity and the network suffers from brown outs (EVN Power Generation Ahead of Schedule, n.d.).


PLANNING AND BUILDING List of Criteria Needed to be Fullfilled to Build in Ho Chi Minh City


1. (World Bank Group, n.d.)


WATER AND SANITATION Water and Sanitation Facilities in Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City has developed at a far faster rate than more rural areas of Vietnam, this has increased pressure on the water supply facilities and sanitation infastructure of the city (Water Resources Management in Ho Chi Minh City, 2007). Officially 98% of the population in urban areas has access to an improved water source, however only 59% have a house connection. The remaining 39% have access to a communal water source (Asian Development Bank, 2010). Both water supply and sanitation is governed by the Ministry of Construction and Ho Chi Minh City has an office at local government level. The Vietnamese government has created autonomous water companies in each region in order to improve cost recovery for infastructre and supply, as there is currently insuffiecient cost recovery. Vietnam’s water supply has wide spread pollution and is considered to be a poor quality of service. The tap water in Ho Chi Minh City is not drinkable and according to a study by the Vietnamese Institute of Biotechnology contains contaminants such as e-coli, ammonia and various bacteria (IRIN, 2009). In some samples the poison arsenic was also found. Due to this the majority of the residents of Ho Chi Minh City buy bottled water or boil tap water before using it Ho Chi Minh City’s drinking water comes from treatments plants, one located on the Dong Nai River and the other of the Sai Gon River. The Dong Nai has two dams further upstream that regulate the water, ensuring there is water for the city to expand (Asian Development Bank, 2010). In the dry season a ast amount of water is required for agriculture which puts additional pressure on water resources The city has a combined sewer network for rainwater and waste water, only 10% of waste water was treated in 2008, with most waste ending up in the rivers of which 98% do not meet the required standard set by the authorities for pollution. There are plans to construct 30 waste water plants along the Mekong Delta by the year 2020. Thirteen of these will be for domestic waste water and the the remaining seventeen for industrial waste water. This is being funded by a $50billion loan from the World Bank (Asian Development Bank, 2010). Water bills are usually less than 2% of the average house expenditure for those in urban areas. In slum areas unregistered dwellings cannot connect to the water system and are often forced to buy from dwellings that are connected at an increased rate, resulting in a black market for water supply (World Bank, 2006).

1. (World Bank Group, 2006)


CULTURE Cultural, Religious, Socio-economic Aspects



In 2005 the population in Hồ Chí Minh City was 5,891,100 people with 85.8% of the population living in the urban districts, Hồ Chí Minh City unlike other cities in Vietnam is predominantly an urban area with only 4 out of the 24 administrative areas being classified as rural (General Statistics Office of Vietnam,2005). There is now 7,981,900 people living in Hồ Chí Minh City which is a 26.2% increase in the population since 2005, with 6954700 of these people living in urban districts (General Statistics Office of Vietnam, 2014). “The most densely populated urban administrative area is District 4 with a population of 189,000 people, population density of 45,000 persons per square kilometre”. Lê Quốc Hưng area within District 4 is 0.0308 kilometres squared and therefore there is approximately 1,455 people living in this area (Hanoi Power Corporation, 2014, pp. 6).






ECONOMIC ASPECTS Modern housing with maintained appearances give the impression of a middle class community

As 71% of Lê Quốc Hưng area are small working enterprises, there is a high proportion of low incomes (Hanoi Power Corporation and Hồ Chí Minh City Power Corporation. 2014). In 2015, a new poverty threshold was fixed at VND 16 million per person per year, which is the equivalent of £530 per person per month. Using this new threshold, the total figure for poor households in Hồ Chí Minh City reaches 240,000, approximately 3 per cent of the city’s households (Nhan Dan, 2015).

1. Borgen Magazine, 2015 2. Ho Chi Minh City, 2015 3. Borgen Magazine, 2015 4. Based on 2015 poverty guidelines 5. Nhan Dan, 2015 6. Authors Own, 2016


Low income is exacerbated by chronic employment instability due to poorly qualified, seasonal and irregular work, such as motorbike taxis, informal vendors, caretakers, and cascade subcontracting. The outer edge of Lê Quốc Hưng area has low living standards, which, combined with irregular income, affect the ability of households to assume responsibility for the acquisition and maintenance costs of modern housing; moreover, they are incompatible with the repayment of a bank mortgage over several years (Castiglioni et al., 2010). The inner core of Lê Quốc Hưng area has a higher living standard than the outer edge. Modern housing with maintained appearances give the impression of a middle class community.

Housing for low-income groups in District 4

An improvement in transport links between Districts 1 and 4 has seen a recent rise in land prices in District 4 as more and more apartment blocks for executives are being built in the area (, 2012). A commute into District 1 can take as little as five minutes, and rent is much cheaper than in the city centre (, 2012). At the moment, District 4 acts as a thoroughfare between Districts 1 and 7, with Districts 2 and 7 fast become the new city centre of Hồ Chí Minh. However, District 4 is due for redevelopment at some point in the future, so perhaps it will lead to an increase in the amount of touristattracting restaurants and shops, similar to District 1. Approximately 30 percent of Hồ Chí Minh City’s population are estimated to be migrants or temporary residents (Asia Foundation, 2011). Hồ Chí Minh City’s economic growth has brought migrants from all parts of Vietnam and as a result it is experiencing the strongest migration pressure of all cities in Vietnam (Waibel, 2007). Migrants have played and continue to play an important role in Vietnam’s economic growth. However, as they rarely have residential registration in the city, they are particularly vulnerable group when it comes to housing.

1. Asia Foundation, 2011 2. Social Protection in Asia, 2011 3. The Voice of Vietnam, 2015 4. The Voice of Vietnam, 2015 5. Authors Own, 2016



RELIGIOUS ASPECTS Vietnam as a whole recognises many different religions, with policies providing religious freedom, in retrospect the socialist government regulate and in some cases restrict this religious freedom in order to increase the socialist propaganda.

Vietnamese families usually have a family altar to show respect to their ancestors. During Tết, the altar is thoroughly cleaned and new offerings are placed there such as a tray of fruit. Offerings are made to thank the Buddhas for a safe and harmonious year (Tết, 2015).

In Hồ Chí Minh City there are a wide range of places of worship with all the mix of religions creating the atmospheric culture of the city. 63% of the population of Hồ Chí Minh City are nominally Buddhist, however there are different variations of Buddhism and 10% practice Mahayana Buddhism and a further 3% practice Hoa Hao Buddhism. Another variation of Buddhism is Theravada Buddhism with 1.2% practicing this form of the religion, however this is many in the rural districts of the city. Another religion that thrives in the rural districts of Hồ Chí Minh is Coa Dai, it combines many different religions together with it’s base religion being Buddhist comprising of 4% (United States Department of State, 2012). “Roman Catholicism established a solid position in Vietnamese society under French rule” (Ronald. J, 1987), in modern day society there are still 11% of Hồ Chí Minh City’s population that are recognised as being Roman Catholic, with only 2.5% being Protestants. Islam only takes up 0.2% with other minority religions taking up 0.1% of the population of Hồ Chí Minh City (United States Department of State, 2012). In Buddhism, men and women are occasionally segregated during certain occasions, such as in meditation. Due to the seriousness of the meditation practice, lustful thoughts and actions are discouraged. Apart from during meditation, there seems to be no obvious gender segregation in specific buildings or activites in the practice of Buddhism.

1. United States Department of State, 2012 2. Authors Own, 2016




Kim Lien Pagoda (Buddist Temple), 129/4F Nguyen Huu Hao Street, District 4, Hồ Chí Minh City

Nhà tho Tin Lành Khánh Hoi (Catholic Church), 98 Lê Quốc Hưng, District 4, Hồ Chí Minh City

1. Panoramio, 2013 2. Authors Own, 2016


BUDDHIST EXERCISES The behaviour observed on site at dawn is a form of Buddhist exercise and energetic breathing. The exercises are the living remnants of ancient traditions that have long been associated with Buddhist philosophy and religious beliefs. The idea behind the exercises is to restore the balance and vital energy in the body. Below are some of the ways Buddhists’ carry out their morning exercises (Simmons, 2010). Walking Barefoot - All of the body’s major acupuncture meridians connect with the soles of the feet, so traditional Buddhist medical wisdom encourages walking barefoot to massage the meridians and maintain optimal health. Head Standing - In past dynasties this was a favourite health maintenance method among Buddhist monks. Meditating while standing on your head increases blood circulation to the brain and promotes clear thinking. Walking Backward - The movement exercises muscles that are not used in ordinary walking, especially in the back, waist, thighs, knees and lower legs. Some people believe walking backwards is akin to a karmic reverse, allowing you to correct mistakes and sins of the past. Primal Scream - Shouting at the top of your lungs can balance, purge, circulate and nurture the body’s internal energy and strengthen the major organs: heart, liver, kidney, gall bladder and lungs. Dawn and late evening are the best times to practice this technique. An early morning scream can flush the fatigue from your system. A primal scream before bed can cleanse the ‘sea of energy’ that builds up below your navel. Tree Slapping - In addition to breathing in the fresh air around trees, this activity purges bad chi from the body, but it’s suspected that the reason old people in Vietnam slap trees is to vent the anger that they dare not show at home in front of the grandchildren. Bird-Cage Walking - Supposedly exercise for the birds, walking while swinging a bird cage on each arm is also excellent exercise for humans. Yang Ge (Fan Dancing) - Yang Ge is a popular folk dance where the dancers do a simple four step march, while waving a fan. The men of the community usually play simple tunes on traditional musical instruments, leaving the womenfolk to dance. Ballroom Dancing – Ballroom dancing is more than sophisticated fun, it is also good exercise, which is seen in parks throughout Hồ Chí Minh City.






BEHAVIOUR STUDY 05:00AM Behavioural studies were carried out at Lê Quốc Hưng area during different times of the day, in order to establish how the community works and how possible architectural interventions may integrate with and benefit this society. Buddhist exercises are the remnants of ancient traditions, intended to restore the vital energy in the body, some of which include: power walking, running, cycling and yoga, which were all observed during the 05:00am behavioural study. Dawn, as well as dusk, are the best times of the day for such activities, as a way to start and finish the day with a well-balanced energy (Simmons, 2010). During the 05:00am behavioural study, many of the local cafés were beginning to open and prepare the food for the day. In the inner core of the area, the courtyard, food preparation was being done between the two cafés, creating an efficient production line that involved mostly women of the older generation working together. Food deliveries were being carried out by teenagers, who were seen walking to the local cafés to collect breakfast for their awaiting families. Other businesses were beginning to open, with the most prominent one being the ice production business, which was making and delivering ice to all the local cafés. With drinking water not being safe this is an essential way in which the community stays cool safely. The bins from the previous day were being collected and empty bins were being put in their place, to allow the area to function continuously with its day to day life. The local Catholic Church was open and preparing for 06:00am mass, meaning that within the community there is a mix of religion, some Buddhists and some Catholics.


BEHAVIOUR STUDY 12:00 NOON During the 12:00noon behavioural study, the activities observed were mostly food orientated, with many businesses and schools being closed to allow for a two hour lunch break in order to avoid the hottest part of the day. In Lê Quốc Hưng area, the customers of the cafés and street food vendors were mostly men that worked or lived in the local area, whilst the waiting-on staff were all women. These cafés and small pop-up street food vendors were all very busy with many customers, creating a reliable and constant daily income for them. The street food vendors inadvertently create their own personal spot for selling food, therefore creating a concrete spot within the urban grain. Whilst some children of school age were seen on their lunch break, either frequenting the street food vendors or simply on their way home, young adults were also seen without school uniforms on. It can be deduced that these teenagers were over the age of fifteen and were in fact of the Vietnamese working age, which is a stark contrast to England where the minimum age that a teenager can legally leave school is eighteen years old.


BEHAVIOUR STUDY 03:00 PM During the 03:00pm behavioural study, it was noted that the kindergarten school finished for the day and a rather ingenious man had a stall set up o utside the school gates, making and selling white and pink candy floss to the children as they left the kindergarten gates. Even some of us students were very tempted by the pink and white clouds of sugar! Other street food vendors were seen making the most of the increase in traffic as the tranquil courtyard was filled with the sound of mopeds. It was observed that some street food vendors actually changed the products they sold based on what was appropriate during different times of the day. For example, during the 12:00noon behavioural study, a woman was seen selling bananas as a healthy and easy lunch, and then during the 03:00pm behavioural study, she was seen selling deep fried pancakes. It can be deduced that, much like the candy floss vendor, the sweet treats were to entice the minds and sweet teeth of the young children finishing school for the day. It can be concluded that the Vietnamese are very sociable people with a cohesive community network that is predominantly centred on food. During each behavioural study, the cafĂŠs and street food vendors were always frequented, sometimes busier than others, but there were always customers there eating.


BEHAVIOUR STUDY 07:30 PM During the 07:30pm behavioural study, it was noted that there were a lot of social activities happening. As a children’s evening event at the Catholic Church was ending, it was observed that the children were being picked up and walked home by their fathers. Other children were seen hanging around in the shops whilst their parents were still working. Unfortunately, the area doesn’t seem to have a designated space for children to safely play or wait whilst their parents are working during the evenings. Again, food played a vital part of the community lifestyle. Business men were seen socialising over an evening meal with drinks, and street food vendors were busy with customers. Whilst the majority of men were seen relaxing, it was noted that the cafÊ women were still very busy cleaning and tidying the shop fronts, which spill out onto the street, in preparation for the next day. Men and woman with very young children and babies were seen relaxing on the benches within the small, park area. Teenagers were seen hanging around chatting amongst themselves or helping out their parents in the shops. Two young men were seen decorating a new store, something that they were probably doing for extra money after they had finished their regular day jobs.


CONCLUSION It can be concluded that Lê Quốc Hưng area is a very densely populated urban area in Hồ Chí Minh City, with approximately 1,455 people living in an area which is only 0.0308 kilometres squared. As there are a large amount of people living in a very small area, the living conditions within the study area are very cramped. Often, there can be as many as three to four generations living together in one house, which often has a floor space as little as 300 metres squared. These are known as multigenerational households. The family cohabitation within the area is reflected by the social attitudes of the residents. The area has a cohesive community network that is predominantly centred on food. They live a very full and busy life, with the café women and street food vendors often working fifteen hour long days. Upon reflection, it can be concluded that a possible architectural intervention could be successful if it incorporated the ability to change function throughout different times of the day. Also, if the building was of multiuse, it could provide facilities for both the older, retired generation of the community as well as the large proportion of school children that live in the area. It may be useful for a possible architectural intervention to provide a designated safe space for children to safely play or wait whilst their parents are working during the evenings. Also, due to the high number of street vendors in the area, such as street food, tailors, dry cleaning, and clothes vendors, a possible architectural intervention may consider creating a space to house all of these street vendors. This would enable the street vendors to be brought inside, into a building specifically designated for them, and it would free up the streets for parking.



PROPOSALS Preliminary Designs and Site Locations





WAREHOUSE SITE This large site is located on Nguyễn Trường Tộ to the north of our area, has access to the narrow road that leads to the courtyard area. It provides a wide and open junction that currently allows the transportations of goods from the local pharmaceutical company and, the kindergarten that sits to the northern edge of the junction also has ample room for the many bikes that park here during the start and end of school time. With this space this site provides a good opportunity to explore landscaping in this otherwise tight and narrow environment. The multitude of used that this junction possess, gives something to respond to architecturally and creates ways of thinking both in the horizontal and vertical planes. The community in Lê Quốc Hưng area are a cohesive network, with children adults and the elderly all seeming to use the spaces around the area throughout different time of the day. However, there is little space other than the courtyard to sit and socialist or organise community events, a space for recreation indoors with green space with a park could provide a safe environment for the children to play which currently they are clearly lacking.


The massing of the surrounding buildings, show that the site and the large junction are in shadow at most points during the day from the buildings mostly residential that surround the courtyard. This will allow cooling to take effect and with the breeze blowing down the main road to the north of the Saigon River, it will create a pleasant atmosphere. The traffic in this area varies throughout the day with the busiest time of day being when the two schools start and finish, however in comparison to the outer edge of Lê Quốc Hưng area the circulation is much lower. With being set back from the main road the noise levels are reduced, however once again the levels rise in accordance with the school time as the traffic increases so does the level of noise. The land use surrounding the site will depict how the space may be used or what functionality the site may have to the southern edge of the site there are many shops and street venders mostly tailors and in the narrow alley and the large junction there are also street vendors that serve food, these activities will be incorporated onto the site through either indoor or external space. This means that when designing for this site it should be taken into considerations the different uses of the site throughout the day.

A large open space Easily accessible from the main roads connecting the two schools, in the area Shaded by surrounding buildings and therefore won’t overheat There is a large opportunity for green space

Weaknesses: There may be noise pollution from the warehouse Noise pollution from the two surrounding schools is a high possibility The small alley feels intimidating Privacy issues may become relevant in relation to the overlooking houses





The community in Lê Quốc Hưng area are a cohesive network, with children adults and the elderly all seeming to use the spaces around the area throughout different time of the day. However, there is little space other than the courtyard to sit and socialist or organise community events, a space for recreation indoors and area for the community to consult with area and issue that people may be having would impact the area positively. With green space with a park could provide a safe environment for the children to play which currently they are clearly lacking, along with an area for adult to wait to pick up their children from the local exiting schools.


1. (Gollings, 2010). 2. (Patkau, 2011). 3. (Quiñones Sanchez, 2013).


1. (Turenscape, 2010).



This site is located in the narrow alley that leads it has access towards the quiet and secluded courtyard and is directly opposite the primary school. The adjoining buildings are residential with the acceptation of two cafes that sit is the center of the courtyard. The alleyway creates a funnel affect in both the views and the approach of the site, meaning that instead of subconsciously seeing a landmark and navigating to it, with this site you would literally stumble upon it. This site provides a good opportunity to designing in authentic Vietnam with its arrow and long buildings providing a challenge that we have yet to experience. The school provides contributes to the atmosphere of the courtyard, creating a self-sustaining community within the Lê Quốc Hưng area. This means that the functionality of the site may in fact directly link with the school due to its close proximity, by catering the function to children to laugh and to play.

Strengths: Proximity to the existing school Away from the busier outer edge Oppertunity to increase potential of the exiting school Safe and secluded area

The breeze from the Saigon river will channel down the narrow road which leads to the courtyard, also the surrounding buildings play a role in the shading of the site. It is partially shaded by the taller building to the south however many of the other buildings are of similar height so other means in the design will have to be used in order to shade the site. The traffic has it has been previously explained is less in the inner core of Lê Quốc Hưng area, with the busier times being at the start and end of school time. There is also pedestrian circulation in the locals with many frequenting the cafes in the centre during mid-day, these types of circulation as well as the different users of this site will be taken into consideration.

Weaknesses: Mostly a residential area Not easily found Tight and narrow site Potential privacy issues into the school




CHILDREN’S PLAY AREA Due to the proximately to the primary school, it would be appropriate for the users of this site to be children, with the function being related to the school. Currently the children play in the roads and creating a safe area for these local children to play would be a great improvement to this area. Here we have decided to design a children’s play area to run in conjunction with the school to allow sports and other outdoor activities to happen in a safe environment. The addition of a children’s play area may bring more people to the area and increases footfall for local businesses, while increasing employment opportunities for the area. As you can see we have incorporated an enclosed area at ground level to prevent the entry of motorbikes and create a distinctive private boundary. This children’s play area would incorporate the imagination of children by allowing their playful nature to be expressed within the building – possibly incorporating bright and vibrate colours on the interior. At the first level there is a green wall that encloses an open roof garden creating a natural green space for the children to do sports of simply play away from the hustle and bustle of traffic below.

1. (, 2011). 2. (Huthmacher, 2013). 3. (Oki, 2013).


ig 2a: (Protracted Garden., 2014), (Trendir, 2013).


THROUGH AND THROUGH SITE This site is located on Nguyễn Trường Tộ to the east of our area, it is a typical Vietnamese style row house with commercial shops at street level and residential on the upper floors, however this site extends through into the courtyard area meaning that you would have to address the two very different aspects of the outer edge and the inner core. It provides a challenge of developing a design within the restriction of buildings at both edges of the site, being able to manipulate such a long and narrow space while providing natural light. By using this site and the two very different areas that it will hope to connect it will hopefully enhance both areas to a fuller potential. The commercial cafes mostly are used throughout the day, predominantly by the men that work and live in the area, thus providing a solid base on which to build upon in order to explore the commercial aspect that this site. This does however create an issue on the courtyard side as what functionality could be proposed their without losing the private and tranquil nature of the site.


With this site being located along one of the main road, the massing suggests that the site will not get direct sunlight as the buildings along Nguyễn Trường Tộ are taller providing shading to the site throughout the day. This road leads towards the Saigon River, the breeze created from the river would flow down the road providing a direct cooling effect that would in turn flow through the site and into the courtyard. The footbridge at the end of Nguyễn Trường Tộ creates a direct link to district 1, which could be utilized depending on the functionality of the building. The traffic in this area unlike in the courtyard is constant with a high stream if traffic thought the day, this is due to district 4 is a go between district 1 and 7. The noise levels are also at a higher level than that within the courtyard, this is contributed to the traffic noise pollution as well as the commercial business mostly cafes that are open throughout the day. The land use at ground level surrounding the site may dictate the functionality of this site. By using and analysing what is already existing and seeing what is needed within the community.

It is located on a well established commercial street Easily accessible from the main roads Creates a link between the outer edge and the inner core Is authentically Vietnamese in style

Weaknesses: May ruin the tranquil nature of the inner courtyard Getting natural light into the space may pose a problem High levels of noise on the commercial street Privacy issues within the rather private courtyard




HOTEL With this site being located on Nguyễn Trường Tộ and flowing into the quiet and picturesque courtyard, we feel that mix of the busy street with commercial enterprises along with the courtyard space that it special to Lê Quốc Hưng are we felt that by designing something that has a public front that would naturally fit into the small 8 meters by 32 meter would be best for example a hotel. While taking into consideration how not to ruin the courtyard space we feel that hotel would offer guests get an authentic experience of Ho Chi Minh City with views out over the courtyard or onto the road. During the analysis it was discovered that district 4 is a go between for districts 1 and 7, and with the new city centres being built in district 2 a hotel in this area would become beneficial to the local economy as the surrounding areas redevelop.

1. (Staek Photography, 2015). 2. (Palma, 2013). 3. (Francois, 2009).



This site is located along the along road of Lê Quốc Hưng, it has direct access to the other main roads connecting districts 1 and 4. Running up the south western edge of the rad is a green space that it used for shading and relaxing during the day. Like many of the main roads there are typical Vietnamese row houses with the commercial shops at the ground level and residential accommodation above, however there are also some larger buildings on this row – a catholic church and also a government building of some sort. This site provides a width that other sites do not accommodate and by addressing the rhythm and structure of the existing buildings a modern contemporary design would be appropriate along this main road. This roads usage is the most varied throughout Lê Quốc Hưng area for example: commercial shops, ice suppliers, street venders, religious buildings and government establishments. These all have different users and a building on this site would want to increase the potential of this road by using what is already existing and expanding upon it.

Strenghts: Located on a public commercial street Close proximity to the port Close proximity to local amenities Direct route towards district 1

With this site being located along a main road, the massing suggests that the site will only get direct sunlight in the evening, and only for a short period of time, as the surrounding buildings are taller, this provides shading to the site throughout the day. Lê Quốc Hưng leads towards Bến Vân Đồn the main road that runs along the Saigon River. This connection allows the breeze created from the river to flow down the road providing a direct cooling effect, and also provides a link to district 1 which in turn could be utilized depending on the functionality of the site. The traffic in this area unlike in the courtyard is constant with a high stream if traffic thought the day. The noise levels are also at a higher level than that within the courtyard, this is contributed to the traffic noise pollution as well as the commercial business mostly cafes that are open throughout the day. The land use at ground level in the row houses on Lê Quốc Hưng along with the other larger buildings consisting of a catholic church and government facility may dictate the functionality of this site. These attributes of the site will be used to dictate what the community in Lê Quốc Hưng area need.

Weaknesses: Located in a non-touristic area Located in an area with a high crime rate High pollution levels in the area High noise pollution levels




HEALTH CENTRE With this site being located on Lê Quốc Hưng, a busy street with a variety of functions along it we felt that by designing something that has a public front that would benefit the locals would be the best choice for the functionality. While taking into consideration the busy road. Therefore, we propose to design a health centre. During the analysis it was discover that there are many medical practices within Lê Quốc Hưng area, and by designing a health centre it would amalgamate the existing doctors in the area into one shared space and provides an official health facility for the area. The health centre could also possibly extend into the courtyard space to benefit from the quiet and relaxing atmosphere, also it would provide a safer entrance for children.

1. (Mein, 2014). 2. (Mork, 2011). 3. (Halbe, 2010).


1: (T3 Architecture Asia, 2016).



This site is also located along road of Lê Quốc Hưng, however this is a much larger site. The green space that currently runs up the south western edge of the road could be in direct link to the site with a green space area that spills out into the road and into the existing shading. On the opposite road to the site there are typical Vietnamese row houses with the commercial shops at the ground level and residential accommodation above, however the larger buildings site on the south western edge, this rhythm of larger and less traditional buildings could be incorporated into the site. This site provides an opportunity for integrating a larger green space into the area providing shading and an area where Buddhist exercises could be practised. With the surrounding buildings the functionality of this building could vary, it is not simply restricted to the traditional 4 meters by 16 meter row house and the commercial ground level function.

Strengths : Easily accessible from the main roads Close proximity to the port Close proximity to local amenities Large site

This site is located along the south western edge of Lê Quốc Hưng, so the massing of the surrounding show that this site would gain direct sunlight throughout the day, this means that when designing shading needs to be an important factor. With Lê Quốc Hưng leading towards Bến Vân Đồn which is the main road that runs along the Saigon River, it creates a breeze that will flow down the road creating a cooling effect within the site. The traffic along this main road is unlike in the courtyard as is it a constant high stream of traffic thought the day. The noise levels are also at a higher level than that within the courtyard, this is contributed to the traffic noise pollution as well as the commercial business mostly cafes that are open throughout the day the north eastern edge of the road. The land use at ground level in the row houses on Lê Quốc Hưng along with the other larger buildings consisting of a catholic church and government facility may dictate the functionality of this site. These attributes of the site will be used to dictate what the community in Lê Quốc Hưng area need.

Weaknesses: High traffic area High levels of noise pollution Located in a non-touristic area Located in an area with a high crime rate




ARTS ARCADE With the variety of functions along south western edge of Lê Quốc Hưng, we felt that adding a larger element would be appropriate here. There are also many street venders along this road and creating a building that could house them and amalgamate them into a shared space – an arcade. The shading would be an issue in this type of environment as shown earlier the massing suggest that the site gets direct sunlight during the day so a covered arcade would be appropriate, it would also bring more people to the area and increases footfall for local businesses. It would add to the image of the area by providing a specific shopping experience, increasing the public perception of this area.

1. (Wongwan, 2014). 2. (He, 2012). 3. (Srisakul, 2015).


REFLECTIONS Our Personal Refections and Experiences


PAUL BARROW Ho Chi Minh City has many similarities and parallels that can be drawn with cities in the UK, yet at the same time it is completely different. What is immediately noticeable about buildings in Ho Chi Minh City is that they are long and narrow, most are only 4.5metres across, to make this most of this plot size most buildings are built up, they do however make the best use of space that they can. Ho Chi Minh City is hectic and busy at all times of the day and into the night, the number of bikes and scooters is a shock, there are swarms of them everywhere with riders and passengers wearing very little safety equipment compared to motorcyclists in the UK. They ride the wrong way down roads, ignore traffic signals, ride on the pavement and some don’t even have lights whilst riding at night. Having to avoid being run over whilst walking on a pavement is a bit disconcerting to a westerner. The act of crossing a road turns into a game that you get better at with practice, where in the UK you use a crossing with lights or use the Green Cross Code, in Vietnam you just walk out. As the traffic is a constant flow you are unlikely to get any breaks in it and lights are virtually unexistant. Crossing a ten lane main road everyday never got any less frightening. The weather in Vietnam was shock from the near freezing tempretures of the UK I left behind with a constant tempreture well above 30 degrees celsuis it took a while to adjust. It is an interesting contrast between the UK when it comes to environmental design, as we try to keep our buildings warm and reduce the use of heating they try to keep their buildings cool and reduce the use of air conditioning. The food in Ho Chi Minh City was fantastic, lots of noodles and rice with every meal, having it for breakfast was a bit odd to start with but it did fill you up for the day. During the three weeks I ate, Vietnamese (most), Mexican, Italian, Japanese, thai, a fish that looked like it was decomposed, barbecued crocodile and McDonalds (to see if it’s any different and you can’t face any more noodles). The trip to Ho Chi Minh City was an amazing experience, being there for three weeks really gave me time to understand the city, the people and the culture.


STEFAN BUSE Vietnam for me represented a surprising experience, especially culturally speaking. Having been born in a newly democratic country, just after the fall of communism, I couldn’t help but notice lots of similarities, the ideologies and behavioural tendencies of the people and the architectural direction. From this point of view, it is relatable to my past experiences (not necessarily a positive aspect) as back home, despite being in decline there is still a “communist residue” back home. It was especially interesting to see how their systems survives on a very similar ideology to my country’s former one, by adopting an open attitude, economically and perhaps politically towards western predominantly democratic states. I suppose my familiarity with parts of this mentality has made me feel like it is such a culture crash in comparison with my peers. One of the most intriguing and not surprising aspects of Vietnam for me is the major discrepancy between the social classes. The extreme distinction between the rich and the poor is in a perplexing way is translated into the built form with example of high-end large structures standing tall against the more derelict buildings. On a more positive note, Vietnam is a really great place to visit as a tourist. I remember that once myself and my group were trying to cross the road during peak time, a next to impossible feat really, a local street vendor used his cart to “shield” us from the incoming traffic, while signalling to us poor helpless tourist to cross with him. Other surprising moments were when the locals asked us to take photos of them, they were very enthusiastic despite not quite understanding our reason for being in their residential district – showing the friendly nature of the local people.


SAM DAVISON The site: District 4 is a lively place where the streets are bustled with people during every minute of the daylight hours. Our little study area within offers something unique because of its quiet enclosure, separate to but not absent of the commerce and community that surrounds it. With two primary schools and some refurbished French-colonial style architecture, the place always appears well-kept yet modest and friendly. The lack of low-end residential buildings may make it difficult to start a new family, but it’s the quiet and calm environment caused by this that makes it the perfect hub for schools and activities.


ELIZABETH GALIYEVA The perfect dichotomy between chaos and order is what grabbed me instantly when observing Ho Chi Minh City for the first time. The timed precision, and simultaneously, total disarray of the traffic made the contrast especially pronounced. The streets seemed like a complicated, yet very simple mix stirred up in a pot to create the lively atmosphere of the District 4. The mix of colours, the mix of uses and the mix of movements. The liveliness of the streets instantly reminded me of the complicated, yet simply magnificent neural system. Patterns of movements, like neurotransmitters interacting in complicated arcs. Stimulus, response. Chaos, order. Tree of branching complexity of the dichotomous streets controlled by the currents of people. Beautiful.


KATE GLYNN Since the 1900s the people of district four have been left to themselves to develop their own community and to create both a cohesive economic and social network. These networks still existed today with the local people living, running and frequenting the businesses in their local community. The stark contrast to western world is apparent in a visual context with poverty and distinction between the rich and the poor being evident, it is unlike anywhere I personally have ever been, the struggles that these people face and the ways in which they tackle them fascinate me. They are simply happy that they have each other, they find way to accomplish tasks with very little means. The people of Vietnam are survivors and it is ingrained in their very being to not give up, to carry on regardless and to look after one another. One thing that people always say after visiting Vietnam is about the traffic, they are not wrong. The amount of motorbikes on the road is staggering and without the aid of traffic lights crossing the road became an art form that by the end of the three week I think we had nearly mastered. The problems related with the traffic and the countries complete lack of laws is something that I will need to consider in my design. When travelling to the country I already knew that it was governed by a communist government, and while yes there are many propaganda posters within the city, there is a subtlety to the way they exert their power and in the way that they control everything. For instance the way in which they use tourist attractions such as the War Museum as a way to bring people to their own side by controlling what was said and put into the exhibition.


LUCY HARTLEY Vietnam’s largest city, Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC), is divided into 24 Districts. District 1 is the central urban district of the city and is where most visitors to HCMC spend their time. This is for good reason; District 1 is dense, exciting, most of the tourist sites are here, there’s a good mixture of new and old Vietnam, and there’s lots of great food. We spent most of our time in HCMC in District 1, and really enjoyed it, however, our study area was in District 4, the smallest of HCMC’s districts, which is located on a small island directly south of District 1, just across the Bến Nghé River. When we arrived at District 4, we instantly noticed some contrasts between District 4 and District 1. The streets were busy, but not quite as busy, and there were a lot less modern buildings. Another obvious difference was that there was nothing like the spread of Western retail brands that existed in District 1. Vendors with carts were seen throughout the streets, selling everything from fruit and vegetables, to freshly cooked meals, to household tools. The conical hat was also seen very frequently, providing great protection from the sun, whilst also being used as a container when flipped upside down. As a tourist in District 1, you aren’t much of a novelty. There are enough tourists wandering about, and you’ll occasionally get asked if you want to purchase something by a wandering vendor or if you would like to be taken on a bicycle rickshaw tour of the city. In District 4, you’re much more of a novelty. The look on the faces of people noticing you is one of “why have they come out here?”. This look isn’t a bad look in the vein of “they don’t belong here”, but more a look of curiosity. I found the people of Vietnam to be very friendly and welcoming in general, and this was even more apparent in District 4. Despite the language barriers that arose at times, it was still possible to have conversations with the locals. My belief that most people on this planet are inherently decent and just want to be happy and get along with their fellow humans was reinforced.


VIKTORIA IVOVA Vietnam’s largest city, Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC), is divided into 24 Districts. District 1 is the central urban district of the city and is where most visitors to HCMC spend their time. This is for good reason; District 1 is dense, exciting, most of the tourist sites are here, there’s a good mixture of new and old Vietnam, and there’s lots of great food. We spent most of our time in HCMC in District 1, and really enjoyed it, however, our study area was in District 4, the smallest of HCMC’s districts, which is located on a small island directly south of District 1, just across the Bến Nghé River. When we arrived at District 4, we instantly noticed some contrasts between District 4 and District 1. The streets were busy, but not quite as busy, and there were a lot less modern buildings. Another obvious difference was that there was nothing like the spread of Western retail brands that existed in District 1. Vendors with carts were seen throughout the streets, selling everything from fruit and vegetables, to freshly cooked meals, to household tools. The conical hat was also seen very frequently, providing great protection from the sun, whilst also being used as a container when flipped upside down. As a tourist in District 1, you aren’t much of a novelty. There are enough tourists wandering about, and you’ll occasionally get asked if you want to purchase something by a wandering vendor or if you would like to be taken on a bicycle rickshaw tour of the city. In District 4, you’re much more of a novelty. The look on the faces of people noticing you is one of “why have they come out here?”. This look isn’t a bad look in the vein of “they don’t belong here”, but more a look of curiosity. I found the people of Vietnam to be very friendly and welcoming in general, and this was even more apparent in District 4. Despite the language barriers that arose at times, it was still possible to have conversations with the locals. My belief that most people on this planet are inherently decent and just want to be happy and get along with their fellow humans was reinforced.


VALERIE ONCEAN I could put this into words, only when I got home, thus truly understanding, when I was trying to explain it to my friends and family how my experience looked like. By “this” I mean the sense of everything being “real”; no fake smiles, instead a lot of genuine and friendly smiles. No fake “sorrys”, the people there are too busy to notice the small things that can cause you any inconvenience. Instead of hiding behind massive gates for privacy, the locals are extending their daily activities onto the streets. Walking through the streets of Vietnam feels like an exhibition of various lifestyles. Peeking into peoples’ living room windows to satisfy my architectural curiosity was not needed, it was all there, exposed and honestly presented.


DISCOVERY Our Architectural Discovery of HCMC


DISTRICT 5 VILLAS In contrast to the architectural characteristics of District 4, District 5 is full of examples of the Vietnamese style modern interpretation. Obvious differences: definite boundary of private space, big size, vast diversity of expansive materials, rich in detail, a lot of greenery.


THAO HO HOME FURNISHINGS Seizing the day and venturing outside the comforts of District 1 and familiarity of District 4, we went to visit Tân Bình District’s Thao Ho Home Furnishings. The building proved to be a true marvel, with an open, courtyard like showrooms which exhibited the characteristics of a typical Vietnamese house. The store makes an important and interesting precedent in terms of creating a creative and professional space to showcase the pinnacles of designs and works.


CHUON CHUON KIM Located in District 1, the school stands out straight away with its unique design and vibrant colour. When visiting the premises, we were greeted with the smiling and happy faces of the children. The colourful and energetic atmosphere was apparent. The school was an exciting and appropriate precedent to look at due to creating a bright and lively atmosphere amongst a very typical and somewhat dull street.


CHINA TOWN We spent a day adventuring to the edges of the city to explore a part of HCMC with less tourists. What we found in District 7 was what is referred to as Chinatown (Cholon) because of its deep roots in Chinese culture and tradition. Somehow the markets were even busier than the much more internationally-oriented Ben Thanh, and the place seemed much more authentic as a whole. No signs were in English and very few people spoke it, the place was geared completely towards the local people and we had the impression we had found the ‘real Vietnam’ in some sense. It was as if the landscape of economical and efficient concrete building stacks were peppered with Chinese temples, traditional statues and parks. The interiors of any religious buildings are beautifully ornate and though quiet and clean, they are full of life as the people who keep them also seem to care for a lot of young animals at the same time. It was an experience that opened our eyes and even our slow walk around the town felt very peaceful because of how everyone was happy to get on with their lives.


INDIVIDUAL Our Individual Building Proposals


PAUL BARROW The area has an interesting contrast between private and public space with a busy outside surronded by roads lined with shops. cafes and other businesses, along with a inner core of mainly residential buildings surronding a communal courtyard. The site has one side on Nguyễn Trường Tộ with the other on the inner courtyard. There are a number of street tailors on Lê Quốc Hưng as well as some clothing shops further down the street. There is also a cafe culture in Vietnam that is some what unique. The proposal is to combine these two elements, a tailors and clothing store complete with a cafe serving traditional Vietnamese coffee. The tailors will face the busy road of Nguyễn Trường Tộ and the cafe will open out to the courtyard making the most of the unique space it provides.


STEFAN BUSE My building proposal intends to occupy the site of the existing warehouse owned by pharmaceutical company – Sapharco. As it stands today the site has a footprint of approximately 2700m2. My proposal aims to be closer to the 2000m2 mark in terms of floor plan, while the remaining parts of the site will be landscaped, forming a translation of the courtyard’s character from our study area to the junction of my proposed site. Purposefully the building will serve as a leisure centre serving the oriental physical arts such as martial arts, yoga and tai chi. The schedule of accommodation is planned to include three large rooms suitable for the above activities, changing rooms, washing facilities, a lobby, a few small flexible office spaces and a small cafeteria. Sizes and numbers of each room are still being set. The reasons for my choice are as follows: 1. Firstly, we’ve been told during our talks with the Vietnamese students that district 4 in general lacks leisure centres and a building of such type would indeed be appropriate. 2. Secondly, children from the two schools in the close proximity to my site could benefit from such a centre, as it promotes both healthy and entertaining activities that they could be drawn towards. 3. Another reason is my own personal passion for martial arts as I myself are a keen practitioner, which provides the opening for my other reasons. 4. Having done martial arts for the last 6 years, I have trained children which I believe qualifies as having an adequate amount of knowledge as to what a building serving such activities might need. 5. Lastly, I feel that this building type would be appropriate within the environment and community, the Vietnamese people do practice tai chi in public parks and I feel providing an area for such activities will improve the area.


SAM DAVISON I’d like to expand on the existing strengths of the area by providing more opportunity for children to learn while enjoying themselves. I plan to push back the storage facility that divides the two schools and reduce the unnecessary size of the roads that pass by it. I think by pedestrianizing this space, it could tie together the area much more while creating a safe haven for the kids. I’ll fill the space from which the storage warehouse receded with a children’s activity centre; linking the educational buildings either side while providing an outlet for creativity, learning and leisure at the same time as diverting the outgoing goods away from the younger population. The whole trip to Vietnam is something to remember because the culture and atmosphere are so different. Of course there’s the food and the fun and the friends, but the history and people within Ho Chi Minh City are a huge part of what makes it so enjoyable. I love to explore new places, and this one seemed to have so many different factors as influences that it’s possibly the one that most influenced me.


KATE GLYNN The unique courtyard space of our area is in complete contrast with the rest of the district, this in itself creates a problem, because this space works so efficiently any additions to this space may deteriorate the serine atmosphere of this space. It is for that reason I will be developing the pharmaceutical warehouse located next to the kindergarten. The site to me provides the opportunity for urban landscaping by creating green space within the community I hope to incorporate the existing street venders into the space while creating a community meeting area while providing a safe place for children to play possibly at a higher level to prevent the motorbikes claiming the area as their own. Along the western edge of my site there are a row of street venders mostly tailors, there are also many food vendors in the immediate vicinity of the site. My aim is to create a space that is able to house these different vendors and create stalls that are able to adapt and change based on the time of day. Along with this I wish to create a building where meetings can be held within the community, where stall members can discuss any problems they are facing and to share this information with the other members of the community. A safe place that during flooding could be used as a base to provide families affected by the flooding with housing and facilities to care for each other. The final aspect of the site will be to create a space where children can play safely, currently the children of the community simply play in the road where is highly unsafe. Due to the nature of the traffic and the chaos surrounding it a more suitable place to play may be on a roof garden creating a level simply for the children to play providing shading and the opportunity to just be themselves.


LUCY HARTLEY The site is currently occupied by two small, one storey micro-businesses. The building proposal believes in a strategy that supports and allows for the existing working and living lifestyle of the ‘slum’ residents to be retained on site, while providing for significantly increased densities responding to the economic realities of these inner urban sites. The building proposal introduces a mixed-use commercial building, establishing a symbiotic relationship between the formal commercial programs and the retained informal economic activities currently thriving within the existing condition. The proposed building facilitates the types of informal micro-economic activities observed in the existing site condition, to occur across an integrated network of three main activity zones: formal street commercial, informal laneway vending and recreational zones. The project as a whole aims to preserve the fragile yet essential culture and economy of the lower income group that takes up to 80% of the city’s economy. The building proposed will be a production base for a coffee company. The building will accommodate a roastery, café, office, barista training room and pastry factory. While promoting fair-trade and improving the labour environment of coffee farms, the building aims to construct a balanced production cycle and develop a positive relationship in which baristas and consumers raise awareness and grow together. The building will be open to the outside, creating a continuous space where everyone can establish and be involved in a balanced relationship to stay aware of each other’s actions and to collaborate for better results. In order to maintain such relationship across spatial boundaries, large-sized glass doors and screens on each floor will be used to maintain transparency between neighbouring spaces, inside and outside, and lower and upper floors.


VIKTORIA IVOVA I propose the creation of a community centre with a strong influence of children’s activities. One of the main goals of the building would be to create a safe space for children to play and learn. Currently children in district 4 play in the streets and need to constantly move out of the way of the busy traffic, they can also be seen alone on the streets late at night or very early in the morning which could be very dangerous. The building will also serve as a space where the children can wait to be picked up by their parents. This will also redirect the traffic of parents in cars away from the courtyard. Another aim of the scheme would be bringing together the different generation - people over 60 with children under 15 in particular. The older generation in Vietnam often helps in the small locally owned businesses but as our area is mostly purely residential many of the oldes adults do not have any work and can be seen relaxing in the courtyard. The building i am proposing can accommodate for that older generation to come together and relax but also help with the care of children. The building will also have facilities where locals can find clen drinking water and showers. Many of the people of District 4 have no access to running water leading in preventable deseases spreading. The building will also have a kitchen where people with limited access to fresh water can prepare meals I wish to make my proposal entirely communal. The building will be open 24/7 and will be available for use to anyone who needs it whenever they need it. Though some of the rooms will have an assigned purpose some will be created in a way that gives the community the control over the space Schedule of accommodation: Motorbike/car parking Plant room Reception Office Showers (male and Female) x5 Toilets (male and female) x10 Kitchen (for communal use) Library (small) Children play room Learning rooms (where adults can teach children) x4 Communal area Rooftop garden Courtyard (Proposal will roughly have 5 floors - this will match the surrounding buildings but will also create enough space for all the needed rooms) One of the main challenges of the design would be ventilation and light in this very thing and long site. Another problem would be cost. In order to make my proposal more realistic i will try and find the most affordable building options. I would also like to use materials that can be easily replaced by the community should they break. I plan on using concrete as a primary structure as it is what all the buildings around the site use.


EXPERIENCE Photographs of our HCMC Experience













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Urban Study - Ho Chi Minh City - District 4 - Le Quoc Hung.  
Urban Study - Ho Chi Minh City - District 4 - Le Quoc Hung.  

This Urban Study is done as a group project, is an insight into the culture and daily lives of the people of Ho Chi Minh City and how these...