Well-lit and comfortable, the NQ House is a relatively small 1,517 square foot home that can be found in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. It represents a perfect example of intelligent architecture because even though it is found in a somewhat crowded neighborhood, it is still able to ensure outstanding living conditions.
The impressive design by Nha Dan Architects is based on verticality and balance. It involves the separation of the private areas from the entertainment areas in order to meet the needs of the owners while respecting local building restrictions. The swimming pool was placed at the same elevation as the bedroom but on the opposite side. The central space is occupied by an elevator shaft and a structural wall, both of which provide support for the swimming pool and the bedrooms.
In order to make sure that there would be no issues regarding structural integrity, the architects suspended the floors from the swimming pool with the help of thick steel rods, and they also installed extra columns.
From the architect:
We proposed to balance the entire volume consisting of the bedrooms on one side with the swimming pool on the other. In the middle, a structural wall and elevator core support the weight of both the bedrooms and the swimming pool. Next, we suspend the floors from the swimming pool using 100 mm diameter steel rods to avoid the traditional column-and-beam structure, thereby gaining more ceiling space. Due to the suspension, the slab of first floor is elevated from the ground, leaving an opening for natural ventilation at the basement and the entire house. For additional structural safety, we put supplementary columns for the swimming pool and the living spaces.
We also elevated the swimming pool for two reasons. Firstly, the small area of the lot does not allow room for a swimming pool. Secondly, even if there were room, sunlight would not have been able to reach the pool area.
The proposed solution simultaneously satisfies the client’s needs and complies to the strict local building codes.
Structural Engineer: Do Thanh Tuan
Contractor: Nha Dan Construction
Lighting: Cara Vietnam
Architect In Charge: Nguyen Dinh Gioi , Nguyen Van Anh
Design Team: Nguyen Phan Anh Tuan , Tran Minh Phuoc , Pham Thi Cam Van
Area: 141.0 sqm
Photos by Hiroyuki Oki