CLADmag issue 2 2016

Page 20


Without green design we’re finished Vo Trong Nghia founder Vo Trong Nghia Architects


ietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia has

environmental materials. Otherwise, we will all

it’s not as expensive as they think. We have to

told CLADmag that real estate developers

die very soon because of climate change, conflict

change people’s mindsets.”

must push for green design practices if

and misuse of technology.”

human beings are to survive and prosper.

Nghia himself arrived at his nature-conscious

Nghia’s studio promote this nature friendly

mindset after taking up meditation. He and his

philosophy in their work, particularly in their

staff meditate twice a day, and he has attended

bamboo leisure buildings – said humans have

leisure designs such as Naman Retreat and Roc

five Vipanassa courses, where you spend 10 days

become too disconnected from nature, “causing

Von restaurant in Vietnam, and their contribution

in silence and devote your time to meditation.

conflict, wars and the destruction of the planet.

to the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale – a

Nghia – who is best known for his intricate

“Capitalism requires development, but development needs a lot of energy,” he said. “If we

meditation zone surrounded by plants.

He told CLADmag: “I think anyone, not only creative people, should refresh themselves this

“With all our projects we look at the

way. It changes your way of observing the world

continue to develop at this rate, in this way, we’ll

surrounding nature and see how we can

and your perspective. People think of human

keep destroying nature and then we’re facing the

harmonise with that,” said Nghia. “Restaurants,

beings and nature as two separate things, but

end. In Asia, the problem is very serious because

cafés and hotels don’t have to be concrete,

humans are just a small part of nature.

the population is so big. Mega cities face

especially in tropical climates. Nice design is

“It can help us to care more for the natural

pollution, traffic jams, the destruction of greenery.

about function and beauty, of course, but also

world. Without this philosophy, we’re finished.”

It’s a mentality problem – developers cannot be

how to make humans much more connected

calmed down, they always require development.

to nature. We hope our projects can persuade

“Our challenge as architects across the world is dealing with high density, high consumption,

people living nearby to think this way. “We also use our work to try and persuade

high energy while moving closer to nature. In the

clients about the benefits of our approach. The

very near future we have to become more green

problem is maintenance – developers think it’s

– using things like green walls and roofs and

too expensive to maintain green buildings. In fact,

The Vo Trong Nghiadesigned Roc Von restaurant opened in rural Vietnam earlier this year


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