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portfolio .

manh le tran


M A N H

L E

T R A N

undergrad the degree of architect ho chi minh city university of architecture (HCMUARC) e-mail lemanh17@gmail.com address 590 e12 cach mang thang 8 ward 11 district 3 ho chi minh city viet nam web tranlemanh.com

TAB LE O F C O NTE NTS 1

_ RAINBOW IN DOWNTOWN . march 2008 . second year . team work . competition . first prize

5

_ PHU QUOC PRISON OF WAR MARTYRS MEMORIAL . march 2009 . third year . individual studio work . short-listed contest . first prize

11

_ WALK THE LINE OF HISTORY . march 2010 . fourth year . team work . competition . third prize

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_ IN A THINKER’S MIND . june 2010 . fourth year . team work . competition . concept prize

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_ UNDER CONSTRUCTION . september 2010 . fifth year . individual studio work

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_ SAI GON POETS MEMORIAL HALL . february 2011 . fith year . individual studio work . graduation project

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_ ONE-WAY TRANSPARENCY . april 2012 . individual volunteer work . chicago torture justice memorial project

47

_ SKETCHES . watercolor + pencil + ink drawings . personal works


“It is the peculiar task of architecture to reach meaning: the human habitat is pivoted around meanings, not objects.� Romaldo Giurgola


Sai Gon’s downtown

1

. rainbow in downtown


RAINBOW IN DOWNTOWN march 2008 . second year . team work . competition . first prize

“Tai Nang Sang Tao Kien Truc” is the name of the biennial competition organized by Ho Chi Minh city University of Architecture (HCMUARC). The core activity of the competition is the Quick Design contest, a 2-day design task. In 2008, the topic of the Quick Design contest was to revitalize the September 23rd Park in downtown of Ho Chi Minh city (also known as Sai Gon). Despite its central position, the park is suffering heavy degradation with an abandoned building frequented by lowlifes and large concrete-covered surface misusedly serving as parking area. Instead of being a relaxing green venue, the park became an obstinate eyesore right in the very center of Sai Gon. Our 3-person team aimed to transform this eyesore into something that could generate hope and inspiration. We proposed a large water square to replace the existing abandoned concrete mess. A water square is a highly inviting venue in a hot tropical city like Sai Gon. As team’s leader, I took responsibility for the overall concept, conceived the idea of the fountain, shared the drawings works and presented our project before the jury panel. Our team was awarded the First Prize in our board of freshmen and sophomores.

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site map

At the center of the square, an arch fountain produces a constant rainbow produced by the dispersion of sun rays passing through the water sprayed from it, adding a colorful scenery to the stuffy concrete scenery of Sai Gon’s downtown.

existing site

3 . rainbow in downtown


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destruction

bereavement

separation

inhumanity

5

. phu quoc prison of war martyrs memorial


PHU QUOC PRISON OF WAR MARTYRS MEMORIAL march 2009 . third year . individual studio work . short-listed contest . first prize

Phu Quoc Prison is located in Phu Quoc, a large archipelago in Viet Nam’s south west sea. In the 1960s, at the height of the Viet Nam War, it was expanded by the US backed South Vietnamese regime for detaining Viet Cong prisoners of war (POWS), the revolutionaries of North Viet Nam regime’s military who fought for the country’s liberation and reunification. Phu Quoc prison is an evidence for the war crimes. Here, POWs suffered here the most barbarous torture methods, such as breaking teeth with pliers, crucifixion and burying alive. Despite the inhumanly cruel maltreatment, the POWs’ spirit had never been downed. After the war, a Memorial Park project was planned in the southwest area of the prison, where a grave containing more than 4000 sets of remains of martyrs was found, most of them were tortured to death. The Park’s main memorial monument, located at that grave, became a studio assignment for our class of middlers. The project area was limited to a square of 50 x 50 meters. To select proposals to receive awards from the Memorial Park developers, 30 students were later short-listed for presentation before the jury panel. I was awarded the First prize.

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The concept was to elicit a sense of reverence for the indomitability and the sacrifices made by the prisoners, as well as for the pains and the losses the Viet Nam War had caused to my people. This must be conveyed not in a way to nourish hostility or hatred, but to generate a profound contemplation of the nonsense of the Viet Nam war.

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. phu quoc prison of war martyrs memorial

concept model


ground plan 0

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-5,000 plan

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section 0

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. phu quoc prison of war martyrs memorial


The underground memorial space is situated at -5.000. More than 4,000 remains of the executed prisoners of war were excavated at this level and position.

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vestiges of the ancient citadel of Ha Noi

11 . walk the line of history


WALK THE LINE OF HISTORY march 2010 . fourth year . team work . competition . third prize

In March 2010, I was selected as a member of my university’s student delegation participating in the 7th National Festival of Architecture Students, a biennial activity organized by Viet Nam Association of Architects. One of the main competitions at the festival is the Quick Design contest. Mixed teams with members from different schools worked on a 2-day design task to produce a hand-drawn proposal. In 2010, the Quick Design task was to propose a conservation design for the lately discovered archaeological vestiges of the 1000-year-old citadel of Thang Long (Ha Noi) . As a member of a 6-person team, I worked together with the team in site surveying, documentating and conservation plan zoning. Individually, I became responsible with producing an on-site display design for the ancient citadel’s vestiges. Our team was awarded the Third Prize in our board of juniors and seniors.

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13 . walk the line of history


Based on well preserved photography documents of the old citadel and the state of the citadel’s structural remains, I conceived the idea of a “virtual reality�. By using large printed display glass panels and visually matching them with the archaeological remains along the visit path, the past scenery of the citadel could be reproduced. In this way, the visitors could have a clear visual experience of the ancient citadel.

me with other members of the delegation

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preliminary masterplan provided by the competition organizers

15 . in a thinker's mind


IN A THINKER’S MIND june 2010 . fourth year . team work . competition . concept prize

“Viet Connection In Hi-tech Space” is the name of this competition. It was organized to seek new proposals for the landscape connecting the laboratory buildings within the area of the Sai Gon Hi-tech Park (SHTP), a high-technology-focused research center located in district 9 of Ho Chi Minh city. The design must be based on SHTP preliminary masterplan provided, as per requirement. This work was taken as an exploration into the clash of my architectural perception and my existentialist experience. I looked for forms that can epitomize the world of contemplation, an eternal world of complexity and contradiction. That world is where all thinkers meet every time lost in a brown study. That was how the competition’s theme was perceived: creating a conceptually provoking and stimulating scenery to “connect” the scientists - the thinkers. Though listed as a team project, this project was virtually my individually work. As per our agreement, my teammate Anh Hoang Thi Vo took part only in the final works of model assembling and in the preparation of the presentation. Our team was awarded the Concept Prize (equivalent to Third Prize).

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an eternal world of complexity and contradiction

17 . in a thinker's mind


“The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it.� Anton Chekhov

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plan

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being, freedom and destiny

elevations 0

19 . in a thinker's mind

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an endless dialogue of evolution

21 . in a thinker's mind

the monument of intellectual freedom


plans

elevations 0

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Architecture is, in my eyes, the sublime shapes born in contemplation.

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the scaffold

23 . under construction


UNDER CONSTRUCTION september 2010 . fifth year . individual studio work

This office building was my last individual studio work before the graduation project. While studying the typical program of office buildings, I realized that this would be a good opportunity to try an interesting concept born long ago in my mind: a scaffold-building. I love the scaffolds. For me, they have their own beauty rather than being an eyesore concomitant of the construction. They grow with the building floor by floor and wall by wall just like a living body. With them still around, works are still undone, the building is still unfinished and more slabs are still waiting to fill the void up there. From this perspective, the scaffolds represent the everchanging aspect of human societies. Reminiscent of the scaffolds, the office building’s cage structure creates column-free plans, thus allowing flexible office layouts and partitions. Lifts and emergency staircases are located on the bounderies of the floors, maximizing the profitable area. Together with the cage structure, they also act as a sunshade system mitigating the energy used for air cooling.

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The works are still undone, the building is still unfinished, more slabs are still waiting to fill the void up there. Everything is still under construction!

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25 . under construction

masterplan

axonometric perspective

north elevation

east elevation


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27 . under construction


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typical office floor plan

The cage structure creates column-free plans, thus allowing flexible office layouts and partitions. Lifts and emergency staircases are located on the bounderies of the floors, maximizing the profitable area. Together with the cage structure, they also act as a sunshade system.

office

conference lobby+restaurant parking+technical

0 a structural module

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longitudinal section

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29 . sai gon poets memorial hall


SAI GON POETS MEMORIAL HALL february 2011 . fifth year . individual studio work . graduation project

My 16-week graduation project, the Sai Gon Poets Memorial Hall, was a conversion from a compound of chaotic small shops and degraded footbal yards into a memorial hall for late prominent vietnamese poets and a space for literature activities. As the project is located between the historic Independence Palace and the Tao Dan cultural park in the center of Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh city), the main design goals were to add a sense of harmony into this culturally and historically sensitive urban context, build a connection between the Palace and the park, as well as bring back the green to this heavily concrete-covered area of the park. Inspired by late 20th century sacred vietnamese songs and poems, the Memorial Hall was conceived to demonstrate the concept of “an empty sky of pristine clouds from heaven”, a metaphorical image remembering the beautiful souls of these poetry geniuses. With most of the building’s volume goes underground, a large flower and water surface smoothly blend the Memorial Hall into the romantic park landscape and soften views from the Independence Palace.

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park elevation

31 . sai gon poets memorial hall


“spring swallow, winter snow lorn forests longing for blossoming gowan fields� Bui Giang

east elevation

west elevation

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33 . sai gon poets memorial hall


site map

Site map shows the urban green context of the project, which abuts the Independence Palace on the north-east and the Tao Dan park on the south-west. Therefore, building a harmonious connection between the Palace and the park became a top priority. A courtyard, at -10.000 level, divides the building into 2 volumes: the exhibition hall to the north and other functions (auditorium, admistration, cafeteria, library) to the south. By this measure, the tranquil exhibition hall can be separated from the more active areas. Also, the courtyard has a certain separation from the park’s atmosphere without being isolated roughly from the romantic park scenery. Visitors access the volumes through the two staircases or the three entrances in the courtyard.

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staircase to exhibition hall

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master plan

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drop-off

staircase to library and auditorium lobbies

ramp to basement

bridge entrances

axonometric perspectives

view toward the Memorial Hall from Tao Dan park portfolio . manh le tran . 34


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-10,000 plan . . . . . .

exhibition hall courtyard auditorium cafeteria literature clubs temporary exhibition lobby

-6,800 plan . administration

35 . sai gon poets memorial hall

the memorial hall extends the park with large open spaces


-4,000 plan . . . .

exhibition hall bridge walkway library and bookstore temporary exhibition lobby

-14,000 plan . research and storage . parking . technical rooms

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view toward exhibition hall from water entrance 37 . sai gon poets memorial hall


view toward the exhibition hall’s entrance portfolio . manh le tran . 38


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above: stair going from exhibition hall upto flower hill right: lobby of auditorium with stair leading upto the park 39 . sai gon poets memorial hall

longitudinal sections


“bedraggled in the rain a haggard soul recalling untouched pearls of the old pristine days ...� Kiem Xuan Tran

Formed as a memorial structure, the multimedia room displays visual documentaries about the poets. It can be accessed on the second floor.

exhibition lobby

inside the memorial structure

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“an empty sky of pristine clouds from heaven� Trinh Cong Son

41 . sai gon poets memorial hall


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Jon Burge

a torture victim and his injuries

43 . one-way transparency

a torture device


ONE-WAY TRANSPARENCY april 2012 . individual volunteer work . chicago torture justice memorial project

From 1972 to 1991, under the command of Jon Burge, former commander of the Chicago Police Department, over one hundred wrongfully accused African American were tortured by white Chicago police officers and forced into giving confessions. To memorialize the Chicago Police Torture, the Chicago Torture Justice Memorial project (CTJM) calls for proposals for a memorial monument. From my perspective, the Chicago Torture reminds us of a constant threat: wherever the Light can’t reach, there are chances for the Dark to rise. Inspired by the concept of transparency, literally and figuratively, I proposed a vertical one-way glass panel. In my view, it was the lack of transparency in the activities of law enforcement in general, and Jon Burge’s office in particular, that allowed this heinous crime to happen and covered it from the public and the justice for such a long period.

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my concept was to place the memorial right before the former Chicago Area 2 Police Station

Reminiscent of one-way mirrors commonly installed in interrogation rooms, my proposal metaphorically denounces the obstruction of transparency as the main bolstering factor of the Chicago Torture. As showed in the perspective above, the memorial was proposed to be placed right before Jon Burge’s office, the former Area 2 Police Station in Chicago, where most of the torture cases occured. People can’t see through the mirror from the street, while the ones inside can observe the street clearly.

This project was exhibited at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Sullivan Galleries in “The Charge Is Torture” exhibition, organized by SAIC and CTJM. The exhibition model was made, by the exhibition organizers, from a donated sheet of one-way glass. exhibition model

45 . one-way transparency


A namelist of the torture victims can be seen from the transparent side of the glass. The list is not visible from the other side.

street elevation 0

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sidewalk elevation

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view from the sidewalk before Jon Burge’s office portfolio . manh le tran . 46


old citadel of Hue . pigment ink

S K E T C H E S ink + pencil + watercolor drawings . personal works

tree . pencil 47 . sketches


still life . water color

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Portfolio of Manh Le Tran (for M.Arch application)