by Zohra KhanMay 19, 2020
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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