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VTN Architects recreates a ‘forest hill’ image for Viettel telecom office in Vietnam

Six V-shaped concrete walls, bracketing lush roof gardens and low-lying meeting blocks, define the architecture of Vietnam’s largest telecommunication network office.

by Zohra Khan Oct 21, 2019

Located on a light slope next to a lake, and amid abundant trees on the outskirts of Hanoi, Viettel Offsite Studio by Vietnam-based Vo Trong Nghia Architects renders an image of a forest hill. The architecture is defined by six V-shaped concrete walls, creating triangular enclosures that weave together office spaces for Vietnam’s largest mobile network operator, Viettel.

The Viettel Offsite Studio sits amid a sprawling lake and a beautiful undulating landscape | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
The Viettel Offsite Studio sits amid a sprawling lake and a beautiful undulating landscape Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki

“The client,” the architects explained, “proposed the design of a meeting and conference building with diverse and unique ways to use in accordance with the new trends and at the same time, must be the most iconic architecture for the whole area.”  

The office building has been designed for boot camp meetings, and will also serve as an offsite working place for its leaders. Positioned on a slightly raised topography, it overlooks views of the Viettel Academy, an educational infrastructure for Viettel’s engineers, which was also executed by VTN Architects.  

Narrow slits within the V-shaped wall enclosure defines the entrance to the office spaces | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
Narrow slits within the V-shaped wall enclosure define the entrance to the office spaces Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki

The site was originally covered with dense trees that had to be relocated during construction. The architects drew their concept from this image of the forest hill that the former trees used to create, illustrating it through a rhythmic pattern of the concrete walls. “A new building design with different height range of walls protruding from a forest became the main visual aim,” said the team.

Meeting spaces follow the V-shaped typology of the exterior walls | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
Meeting spaces follow the V-shaped typology of the exterior walls Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki

The design integrates low lying meeting rooms within five functional blocks and a café, arranged freely following the lay of the land and connected via an open corridor. The layout of the conference rooms includes V-shaped tables that reflect congruence with the outside walls, thereby offering no distinction between interior and exterior spaces. Oriented towards the north, each of these triangular blocks have one of their edges opening towards the lake and scenic landscape that allow people to be relaxed and immersed in nature while working.

  • A web of staircases link the terrace garden to different levels within the building | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
    A web of staircases link the terrace garden to different levels within the building Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki
  • Overhead passages facilitate circulation between the blocks | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
    Overhead passages facilitate circulation between the blocks Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki

A series of small roof gardens alternate between the blocks as public spaces within the built fabric. These gardens are wedged between 450mm thick, high solid concrete walls with square apertures, that boasts an alluring identity of the project in its context. The imposing character of these walls also allows for cutting strong and harsh sunlight from east and west and ensuring that light and ventilation reaches every corner of the site.

  • Square apertures on the solid concrete wall filter sunlight and foster ventilation across various areas of the site | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
    Square apertures on the solid concrete wall filter sunlight and foster ventilation Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki
  • Light, shadows, and multiple levels come together in harmony with the interiors | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
    Light, shadows, and multiple levels come together in harmony with the interiors Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki

A vivid palette of natural, raw materials such as concrete, stone, terrazzo, and thick timber have been used as the background to frame the various activities within the complex. The highlight, however, remains the striking use of raw concrete with its impressive unfinished layers, which as per the architects is not a popular construction technique in Vietnam, and requires extensive technical competence.

What truly makes this project unique is its ‘open from inside to nature’ approach, a rhythmic play of soft and hard landscape, and a rather effortlessly sustainable profile – all coming together to evoke that same image of a forest quietly nestled amid rolling hills.

  • Shaded corridors flanked by concrete columns facilitate circulation between various blocks on the ground floor | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
    Shaded corridors flanked by concrete columns facilitate circulation between various blocks on the ground floor Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki
  • Second Floor Plan | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
    Second Floor Plan Image Credit: Hiroyuki Oki
  • Section | Viettel Offsite Studio | VTN Architects | STIRworld
    Section Image Credit: Courtesy of VTN Architects

Project Details

Name of the project: Viettel Offsite Studio
Location: Thach That, Hanoi, Vietnam
Client: Viettel Corporation
Area: 1427 sqm
Architect: Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Design team:  Vo Trong Nghia, Marek Obtulovic, Nguyen Van Thu
Contractor: Delta Corp

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About Author

Zohra Khan

Zohra Khan

A formal education in architecture combined with an avid interest in architecture journalism and design criticism led Khan to professionally venture into writing and research. She has worked in design communication for more than two years, generating content for mondo*arc india journal. When not writing, she kicks back by dabbling on social media for STIR.

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