Oldmeetsnew House by Block Architects
The Oldmeetsnew House is a two-story modern residence located on a narrow plot in Tar Vinh, Vietnam. With just under 1,600 square feet of living area, Block Architects have designed this residence with a floor plan that references the traditional country houses of Vietnam with three parts, including three main areas in the center and two bedrooms on each end.
Even though the space is quite limited, the house’s design manages to harness wind for air circulation and sunlight for natural light inside.
The house is located in Tra Vinh, a city full of fresh air, hospitality, and rustic charm. Not being heavily urbanized, the city retains plenty of traditional pagodas and residential areas. Generations of the Vietnamese, Chinese and Khmer residing here have built a particular cross-cultural life.
Before planning the house, we wondered how the new one would interact and harmonize with the surroundings, especially the buildings nearby, so that they could form a harmonious combination without dimming the spirit and individuality of the house itself, which serves as a shelter and a home to which the whole family would be attached.
Bricks form an outermost cover to protect the whole house. Also, they can filter the inner microclimate. Buffers such as lobbies, porches and voids are reasonably arranged to circulate fresh air. The floor plan draws its inspiration from traditional three-part country houses, which include three main areas in the heart and two bedrooms on either side. These areas lie parallel to the adjacent empty land in order to harness natural wind and light.
This contemporary house contains some reminders of traditional architecture, so that it looks fresh and pleasingly harmonious with the landscape. Seen from above, the house looks like two small pure white blocks contrasting with its separate brick shell. That is our metaphor for the relation between the old and the new, the private and the common, and the family’s generations. More importantly, it is very family values which shelter and motivate all of us.