H&P Architects in Vietnam designs a model home for various locations, topographies

Comprising three main components – steel frame, wall and roofing options, and furniture – this residential design can be built on stilts or even adapted as a floating house.

by Meghna Mehta Published on : Jan 12, 2021

Vietnam-based H&P Architects has designed a prototypical house, what they call the Human's Optional USE (HOUSE), which can be used as a model in various contexts, locations and topographies. The house built in the Hai Duong region of Vietnam is composed of three main elements - reinforcing steel frame, two-layer coverings and furniture. These elements can be used in different vulnerable environments such as rural areas, flooded areas, and resettlement as well as low income zones.

  • The HOUSE designed by H&P Architects | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects  | STIRworld
    The HOUSE designed by H&P Architects Image: Le Minh Hoang
  • The aerial view of HOUSE (Human's Optional USE) | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    The aerial view of HOUSE (Human's Optional USE) Image: Le Minh Hoang

The purpose of this house lies in its various permutations and combinations that can be laid out and assembled with one another to create a homely area with uninterrupted open spaces for all. HOUSE can also be used as a multi-functional space for activities in education, healthcare, and community development.

  • The masterplan for HOUSE | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE) | H&P Architects | STIRworld
    The masterplan for HOUSE (Human's Optional USE) Image: Le Minh Hoang
  • Section | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    Section - HOUSE (Human's Optional USE) Image: Le Minh Hoang
  • Section and Elevation Plan | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    Section and Elevation Plan Image: Le Minh Hoang

The reinforcing steel frame composed of three-meter long columns and beams and a pitched roof frame is made of steel tubes (15x15cm) assembled with one another through multiple-point joints. This makes it easier to build and add more floors to the structure. The frame in turn allows the lifting of the foundation columns to form a house-on-stilts that can be used in mountainous terrains. The foundation can also be spread supported by many barrels beneath to create a floating house in case of being placed in flooding or water-logged terrains.

  • A model version of the HOUSE | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    A model version of the HOUSE Image: Le Minh Hoang
  • Model version of HOUSE’s interiors | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    Model version of HOUSE’s interiors Image: Le Minh Hoang
  • Close-up of the pitched roof frame | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    Close-up of the pitched roof frame Image: Le Minh Hoang

The two-layer covering of enclosed walls, roofs and doors are determined subject to the regions with the use of materials available in the locale such as compact bricks, unburnt bricks, waste bricks, steel tube, corrugated iron, foil, etc. The solar panels on the roof produce twice as much electricity as necessary for common electrical equipment used in a conventional household. The amount of residual electricity is designed to be stored or traded. Also, the rooftop has a sprinkler system to clean and cool the roof during the hot months.

Finishing work of the ground floor, staircase, partition wall, and furniture is done according to the needs of the living area of each family, and the house can be completed in different stages from bottom to top based on the empty spaces, which are available and within.

  • Upper floor of the HOUSE | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    Upper floor of the HOUSE Image: Le Minh Hoang
  • The living space in the lower section of HOUSE | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    The living space in the lower section of HOUSE Image: Le Minh Hoang

The house residents can participate directly in the construction process and actively divide spaces according to their requirements. The users in this case are also producers of materials (cover and completed parts) available in their locality, thereby contributing to creating jobs, forming homes, promoting the development of renewable energy and bringing about the ecological balance as well as economic stability for population communities in developing and volatile regions.

  • Staircase dividing the upper and lower floors | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE )| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    Staircase dividing the upper and lower floors Image: Le Minh Hoang
  • Netting between the two sections of the house, used as a seating space | HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)| H&P Architects | STIRworld
    Netting between the two sections of the house, used as a seating space Image: Le Minh Hoang

The prototype is easy to source, assemble and erect, applicable in various terrains, is ecologically sustainable and could turn out to be an optimum solution for the questions of residential urbanity in developing countries.

Project Details

Name: HOUSE (Human's Optional USE)
Location: An Lai hamlet, An Luong commune, Thanh Ha district, Hai Duong, Vietnam
Architecture: H&P Architects
Year of completion: May 2020
Construction area: 42 sqm
Total floor area: 75 sqm (for four people)
Manufacturers: Viglacera brick, bamboo, steel

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