in bat trang, hanoi, the team at vo trong nghia architects (VTN architects), introduces a house which celebrates the ancient history of its context. while the village dates back to the 14th century and is known for its long history in ceramic pottery, the studio realizes the bat trang house with an intricate façade of ceramic brickwork. although this remarkable outer skin is expressive of the traditional beauty and history of the town, the interior ensures the convenience and comfort of the city’s contemporary life. the spatial organization of the house is further based on the owner’s ideal home, where nature is intertwined with the interior.
images by hiroyuki oki
VTN architects designs its bat trang house as a multipurpose dwelling for a seven-member family. together with its residential uses, the bat trang house also functions as a shop which trades the traditional ceramic products of the pottery town. in the cultural-rich context of the village, using local materials was prioritized by the design team. additionally, the owner was a ceramic specialist, hence VTN architects is able to take advantage of the material. ceramic has its own rough aesthetic and high durability, which was suitable for the exterior skin of the building. the entire façade of the design was made purely out of ceramic bricks. the bricks were individually made to size to create the alternating rhythm, opening up in some spaces while closing in others. the small gaps created by the bricks placement act as vents, circulating the air throughout the building while large openings along the façade host large trees, introducing a filtered lighting condition.
led by vo trong nghia, the team at VTN architects curates the bat trang house’s interiors with a minimalist approach. while direct sunlight is filtered by the ceramic facade and integrated greenery, the studio makes use of large glass panels without fear of overheating the interior. meanwhile, the gaps within the ceramic walls serve to balance solar gain released during the summer and the need for artificial air conditioning is eliminated with a three-layer ventilation system. this includes an ‘exterior ceramic façade, alternating green spaces, and door.’ solar panels and rainwater collectors also make up part of the sustainable design. vast windows, alternating ceramic openings connected by the indoor forest create a multi-layer living picture frame that promises to be ever-changing for its occupants.
project title: bat trang house
architecture: vo trong nghia (VTN) architects
location: bat trang, hanoi, vietnam
principal architect: vo trong nghia
design team: ngo thuy duong, nguyen van an, do huu tam, pham phuong thao
completion: october, 2020
photography: hiroyuki oki
designboom | architecture & design magazine