Week 10 | Hanoi, Vietnam | Laboratory and Museum

The focus of this week is designing the façade. I decided to deviate slightly from the typical Vietnam tube house. Instead of all 4 sides of the building being flushed and restrained within their given plot of land, several corners of the building protrudes out. The gradual sloping of these protrusions hints the spiral circulation present within; they also increase some of the museum space within. While the main exterior is of a grey concrete colour, the protrusions appear wood-like, making them stand out from the rest of the building.

It is noted that all the extrusions does not interfere with the neighboring buildings.

Overall view

The sides of the protrusions consist of 3 layers: the outermost layer being cylindrical aluminum rods, coated brown to mimic the appearance of wood, as said material is more weather-proof in Vietnam’s climate; the middle layer being a thin layer of glass, to allow the viewers within to have a glimpse to the outside while allowing controlled amount of natural light into the building; the innermost layer being thin wooden blocks, aligned parallel to the aluminum rods, entirely made of rice husk so as to mimic the sensation of walking on the rice paddy fields. The corners of the protrusions, however, is only surrounded by the thin glass, allowing the most amount of natural light in while providing unique views towards different parts of the street. It aims to give the feeling of walking towards the light.

View of lab on left, view of street on right

The topmost spiraling stairs are no longer hidden behind the exterior grey concrete of the building; they are exposed visually to the public, being enclosed in glass. This provides a two-way view, both into the library and towards the street.

View of library on left, view of street on right

The first section of the building shows a throughway on the first floor, which acts as a public shortcut between two streets. It also showcases the fire exit stairs. The second and third section shows how the spiraling stairs can view the laboratory space and vice versa.

First floor shortcut; fire exit stairs
Glass dividing the spiral staircase and the laboratory space
Spiral staircase

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