The Vietnamese household traditionally followed the extended multigenerational pattern. The parents, their sons and their daughters, their children, and unmarried siblings usually constituted a specific typology, which is called “Tu Dai Dong Duong” (four generations under the same roof). Along with that, the formation of the land-ownership mentality in Vietnam in the past 30 years has led to a type of tube house, which is a variation of the traditional “shophouse”.
Mr. Nhan's land is an inherited piece of land belonging to three households, instead of cutting it into 3 linear tube houses, we propose a spiral structure so that the space blocks roll together and revolve around a central garden conceived as a microclimate solution. In that mix, there exists space for four families to live together: the grandmom + aunt’s block, the parents’ block, and two sons' families blocks. In the end, it's more than a house, it's a space for people to live together, wake up and cook together, talk and care for children together, and strengthen relationships within a home as the typical family system of Vietnamese people.
‘More than a house’ - that is the architectural goal that we aim at in this project. The main building block is divided through 3 courtyards to help the building move away from the traffic area in the south, helping to reduce noise from the main road. The public spaces are arranged to face the central garden where community activities take place such as a living room, two adjacent kitchens, a laundry area, and an agricultural harvest space. This central garden is also a welcoming place for neighbors, who often come here, sit under the veranda, drink tea, and talk late into the night under the shade of the trees. The low block in the South and gradually rising to the North helps to provide natural light to every room, besides it regulates the wind and reduces the impact of the wind during the fierce rainy season here.
More than a house. The worship space in the house is also an important component in the homes of four generations. This type requires estimation of demographic changes because children will be born, and old people will pass away one day. It's a part of life that happens under one roof. We work to make sure these events take place here, the birth ceremonies, the death anniversaries, and even the funerals.
As a low-cost house, we take advantage of the entire brick part of the old house to build a new house, the rubble is reused for landscaping to increase the permeable area for the building. The whole house, until the end is built by a single material which is ceramic brick, it is a traditional material of Quang Nam, it creates coolness for the building, releases heat, and keeps the surfaces clean & dry.
Above all, we hope this model will be considered as a new typical solution for four-generation families in the middle of Vietnam, it is also part of our long-term study on how to cope with climate change.