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LESSONS FROM VIETNAMESE URBAN STREET HOUSES FOR CONTEMPORARY HIGH-RISE HOUSING

Abstract
By : Le Thi Hong Na, Jin-Ho Park, Minjung Cho

 
Accounting for seventy five percent of urban housing in Vietnam, street houses refer to a mixed-use housing typology that emerged in the 17th century. Such housing has evolved in response to Vietnamís unique culture and environmental conditions. Residential and commercial functions are integrated in a flexible and expandable manner, creating a variety of compositional possibilities in spatial layouts. In addition, transitional spaces such as courtyards, balconies, loggia, and terraces provide shading, cooling, and ventilation effects throughout the building. As one of the most adaptive and popular urban dwellings, the street house has promoted daily domestic activities and the identities of Vietnamese urban areas. However, such valuable aspects have received less attention in many recent urban developments in Vietnam. As such, the goal of this study is to identify and analyze the unparalleled ingenuity of the street house, particularly focusing on its spatial flexibility and environmental responsiveness. Furthermore, this study is intended to apply analytical investigations to the design of contemporary high-rise housing in Vietnam.
With such purposes, this paper is structured in two sequences. In the first phase, typological characteristics of the street house are studied; a field survey is performed to address the evolutionary transformation of the street house. By studying several precedents in Vietnam, our study focused on understanding the ways in which spaces are manipulated and in which diverse indoor and outdoor spaces are created. In addition, passive environmental systems are studied, meaning systems that are integrated with the spaces in order to control the microclimatic conditions of the house. Next, the morphology of the forms and space components are carefully examined through the contemporary examples of street house models in Vietnam. Especially, the flexible nature of the street house, in terms of spatial composition and expansion, is identified. In the second phase, a transition from the street house to high-rise housing is explored based on the previous analytical studies; compositional logic for arranging internal and external spaces are outlined to generate typological unit plans of street houses. Out of diverse design possibilities, an exemplary high-rise building is proposed to address the notions of spatial flexibility and integrated passive systems that are found in the street house. Ultimately, the proposed design aims to enrich dwelling environments for new high-rise urban communities.
Keywords: Street House, Spatial Flexibility, Passive Design, High-Rise Housing.

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